Resiliency is an amazing characteristic to have as an artist. To be able to have the courage to put our work out into the world and then have the resiliency to allow for others to have their opinions and it slide right off (like Teflon Coating) WITHOUT … shutting down or altering or resorting to some nasty internal self talk or going into obstinate rebellion … that is magical!
If you have been willing to put your work out in the world the bet is you have experienced your own flavor or flavors or resilience or non-resilience on some scale that runs from ABSOLUTELY NO RESILIENCE to MASSIVELY OVER RESILIENCE.
ABSOLUTELY NO RESILIENCE – We crumble with each opinion, rejection or critique that is “against” us. We get stopped. There is no jumping back in the game. Game over.
I’VE GOT SOME RESILIENCE – We may have some resilience and be able to jump back in the game to some degree, but we don’t really shake it off. We carry that view, opinion, critique, rejection with us … always being a little withdrawn from it … in the game but hesitant, not fully expressed … Nasty self-talk has it’s foot in the door and can gain ground.
On this low resilience side of the scale we may become rejection sensitive and begin to look for examples of other rejections and … of course when you are looking for something you will find it … so the “rejections” begin to add up … one rejection after another we become more silent and less expressive. Nasty self-talk usually takes completely over … assuring us that we are whatever we have begun to make up we are.
There are many more flavors in between but let’s jump straight to Massive Over Resilience just so you can see the O-My-I-May-Have-Gone-Way-Too-Far side of this:
MASSIVE OVER RESILIENCE – On the flip side of no resilience is becoming over resilient … this is where we become defensive, bitter and opposing in a way that doesn’t serve us. It is the “I’ll show you” attitude taken to an extreme. This may have us continuing to hammer away at something or some concept that clearly isn’t working over and over again because we refuse to “bow down to anyone”. It also comes with it’s particular set of nasty self talk just with a different attitude.
Healthy resilience? Is there such a thing? Yep!!!
Here are the two things that may help you find that sweet spot where you can keep being vulnerable and putting your work out in the world without having to suffer or internalize each opinion, rejection, etc.
1) Some people will like our work some people will not. Some people will never read our writing, hang our work on their walls or stay for the whole performance. Some people will love every word we wrote, collect our work and give us an encore. Of course … we don’t love everything written, painted, photographed, composed, etc. either.
Now we know this intellectually but what IF we actually work on getting that on a deep level. You are never being rejected. That publisher, critic, show juror, etc. doesn’t even know you … they just have an opinion about your work and no matter what their claim to fame is it is just their opinion.
2) We are not our work. I know it may seem like we are but we aren’t. Creating feels so personal … it may come from our soul, our heart, our essence … it may be our passion expressed, our gift to the world, our child … but we are still not our art. When we can separate ourselves out from our creations we can stop taking it all personally and enjoy the journey.
In that kind of journey we can develop the resilience to keep going, to get back up when there is a blow to our ego, jump back in the game with both feet ready to create more and to evolve and expand. We can be grateful for and LEARN from every blow. Resiliency with Appreciation = Growth.
Confession: I do get a little nervous each time I publish a blog or let any of my creations out in the world … I have it that it is a good nervous and just means it really matters to me that I make a difference!
Did you like this? If not let me know … O, and don’t worry … I have reached a point in my life where I have a really healthy resilience! LOL!
What kind of resilience do you have?