When it comes to reviews, the risk and reward can range from incredibly uplifting and validating to brutally crushing. A negative review leaves you unable to think of anything other than how someone perceived you, or devalued your many hours of work.
Whether you’re an actor, musician, dancer, comedian, writer or artist – reviews are part of life. But sometimes a bad review can just be the straw that breaks your back after struggling for years.
Here are some coping mechanisms to help you manage the emotional turmoil as well as to build resilience and the capacity to deal with reviews:
Reflect on what you are going to read and what you’re going to pass on
Many of the most successful professionals simply don’t read anything about themselves. Many have gone through a process of finding their focus and internal validation. They have a career path lined up and the reviews are an extra to the work they want to do.
Decide why you’re reading a review, and what you’re going to do about it either way
If you do read reviews, or Twitter messages, or newspapers, decide what you’re reading it for. Will you do something differently if it’s positive? Will you do something differently of its negative?
Knowing your plan A and plan B helps to manage your emotions in the moment.
If you know you’re particularly sensitive to criticism, read them together with others, and if you’re expecting a lot of external feedback on a show’s opening or a book launch, plan an outing that night.
Whether you’ll be celebrating or dealing with disappointment – you won’t be alone.
If you’re in a social group which is prone to avoidance and risky behaviour, such as excessive drinking, drug taking or promiscuity – avoid temptation and make healthier plans.
Don’t give up.
Every professional performer, writer and artist has at some point received negative feedback.
It is how we grow, reflect, and improve. Reviews of your creative expressions are a particularly brutal form of personal criticism, but with digital media it’s unlikely to improve so to succeed you must build resilience through internal validation.
Many artists and performers might even avoid new projects due to fear of having to deal with crushing reviews.
If reviews distress or even block your creative flow, we can help you conquer your fears and doubts.
If you found this article helpful, please share it with anyone who could also benefit from it.