Over ten years ago I took part in a painting class with a well-known artist whom I admire and respect very much (to this day). During one lesson she was discussing how she would not critique our work in a harsh manner but rather in a gentle manner and I – thinking I was dauntless – said “well I would like to know the truth about the painting I’m working on”. So she looked at my painting and said to me “Well what would you do if I said I hated it?”.
I didn’t realise how much I would take that to heart. I didn’t have the courage to ask her if she really did hate it or if she was just saying that to make her point but in my mind she hated it. After the class I placed that painting in the trunk of my car and didn’t look at it for months. After many shopping bags and school bags crushed the painting to death, I threw it away. The sad things is, I really loved that painting.
Years later after doing work on self trust and also learning a bit about art, I came to realise that what I had done was silly. Not only did I throw the painting away but I lost my confidence in my art for a while – and the thing is the teacher was just trying to illustrate a valid point.
You may have a dream to do something or start something new and there will always be people who tell you it won’t work or that it’s a bad idea or that it won’t be lucrative or that it’s not the safe option. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a success of it.
If people do keep telling you it’s not a good idea, hear them out and take notes. Their criticism can help you. See if you can change things a bit so that your idea will work a little better. Ask them for ideas of how you could tweak your idea to make it happen. If they are generally negative people who like to find the fault in everything then it’s best not to listen.
Ask people to be honest with you but also ask for constructive advice. Criticism is not constructive, it’s destructive. Get help from people who know more about what you are trying to do. Do research.
Look forwards toward your result and work hard. You can do it.