Brewtifully Made

Navigating the Web of Critique: A Guide to Personal Growth

November 17, 2023 Tracy Dawn Brewer Season 1 Episode 6
Brewtifully Made
Navigating the Web of Critique: A Guide to Personal Growth
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Why the pic of me at 7 years old? That’s when I knew I wanted to be an artist and first began my journey to dealing with opinions, criticism, and feedback.

Ever felt a knot in your stomach awaiting feedback?

 We've all been there - the nerve-wracking anticipation and the fear of judgment.  Join us as we untangle the complex relationship we all share with feedback. I share some of my personal experiences and expectations, and the ways it has shaped my self-perception. I also reflect on our worst critics - ourselves. I want to challenge this tendency and urge you to treat yourselves with the same grace and understanding you afford to others.

Imagine a network of individuals offering you sincere criticism and support. 

Sounds dreamy, right? 

Networking and feedback go hand in hand and we're going to explore this essential symbiosis. Learn how to create a reliable network, even virtually, and the importance of positive reinforcement in nurturing these relationships. 

I'll help you discern constructive feedback from the noise, and show you how to convert criticism into opportunities for resilience and personal growth. Get ready for an enlightening conversation peppered with personal anecdotes, practical advice, and perhaps, a few laughs along the way.

Today's doodle - 3 French hens...twerking...what?!

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Tracy Dawn Brewer

Speaker 1:

Happy Friday. Welcome back to a new episode of Brutifully Made. Let's see what our doodle is going to be today. Want to draw Three French hens twerking? Oh gosh, I was getting excited about a holiday animal. Oh well, okay, alrighty. So let's get into just a little bit of that tone that I took.

Speaker 1:

I was critiquing the app and its results, but really we're all looking for that. We're all looking for feedback. So I want to talk a little bit about what we're looking for and expecting and looking for feedback on what we're doing in our lives, in our work, in our creativity. It's been top of mind, especially with a class that I have been taking. I've been hearing feedback from other people that aren't receiving, feedback from the teachers and the people that are instructing the class. I know a lot of people have put a lot of money into taking some of these creative lessons and the expectations of working really hard and meeting these deadlines. And then we have these reviews and everybody is looking at all the work that's being discussed and their work may not get reviewed, and it's just so ironic to see, yes, we're putting all of this effort into something, but then who not receive any. You know, this is good, this is bad. This is what I would change. This is what you're doing. Well, this is what you need to work on and their expectation of you. Know I've paid money to take this class and I want to know what direction should I go in. What am I doing wrong or right? And they're not getting that personally. They're hearing it for other people at a higher level, and so you know there's lots of people on these classes and there's just really, I guess, no time to take time to give every single person specific feedback, and it's just really kind of odd to sit back and hear the complaints about it and seeing that they're taking it into their own hands. They're organizing other groups to help one another, which I think is awesome. You know I was diving into some of those groups saying I'll be part of that. I would love to hear you know what other people think, because I'm in the same boat. I would love to hear feedback. We all want feedback and I think that we all have a love hate relationship with being critiqued and having feedback.

Speaker 1:

I can remember in college that critiques were a huge part of, you know, having your work reviewed and everybody's work is sitting up front. You're all sitting back and you're just like kind of sick to your stomach, thinking, oh my gosh, I'm going to get reviewed. What am I doing wrong? What am my strengths, what am I terrible at? And you know, you have to really grow a thick skin around having to deal with feedback and I think we get it on all aspects of our lives. You know it's I always think about like white coat syndrome.

Speaker 1:

So if you are going to a doctor's office and maybe it's just like you're yearly physical and you just have this super high blood pressure reading there and they're like, oh, you have high blood pressure. Oh, no, no, no, no, I don't, I don't, I'm just nervous about being here, and you know those that stress that nerve that that does happen. It increases all of those. You know numbers and it's that feedback that you're worried, like, oh, you need to change this in your diet and you need to do this more and you need to exercise more and you need to do this less, and so we're so concerned about that feedback with your health.

Speaker 1:

And you know you're working on a business plan and you have a job, that you are working in a department and you have reviews and you're waiting for that feedback. You know what are you doing. Well, what are you you need to work on, what are your strengths, what are your weaknesses? Everything is a surrounding, feedback and critiquing. If you haven't worked for a company for a while and you're going back out into the workforce and you have to have an interview, it's pretty much a critique, a critique of your resume, a critique of your business history. It's your work history and why did you not work from this time to this time and what did you like about this job or this company? And then they ask you some of those crazy questions what three animals would you like to be?

Speaker 1:

It's judgment. That judgment is so difficult to hear, but we crave it, we want it. We want to know where we stand among everybody else, and it doesn't matter if it's on a personal level. It's with your family, it's with your friends. It's why you show up. 99.9% of the time is that? Where do you fall in that day with these people, based on your life and what you're doing?

Speaker 1:

And really, our biggest critics are ourselves. Why we are so hard on ourselves? Because we are anticipating what everybody else is going to say about us. We think the negative first. We have got to turn that mindset around. You have to stop being so difficult on yourself, because then you're giving yourself white coat syndrome, you are raising your blood pressure, you're causing the stress on yourself because you already think you know what everybody else sees and you don't. You have no way to see how someone sees you through their eyes, because you cannot anticipate how someone reviews your work or what feelings that brings up in them. And we have got to stop being our worst critics and we passed the worst judgment upon ourselves. And it's so difficult to come away from that self judgment and giving yourself more grace and more understanding and treating yourself like you would treat others. That's just.

Speaker 1:

We have to start with ourselves. We have to really understand that, the voices that we hear in our head about all of our faults. I wish that I could. I wish that people would be able to see them how I see them. And then we have to think about that with ourselves. We have to look at okay, this isn't that bad, or if this is happening to me right now, is it going to matter in five minutes, five hours, five days, five weeks, five years? And engage that situation or that judgment Is it something that you can fix, or that it's a lesson and it's not a failure. Really, everything is not a failure. It's always a lesson. You're always going to learn something for it.

Speaker 1:

I can think about multiple things that have happened to me in my life and how, at the moment, they were just devastating or they were situations for them, just like I can't see a way out of it. And now I look back I'm like my gosh, how much stronger am I because of this. That's really a way that you just need to stop, take a deep breath. Breathing is huge. That will help that blood pressure go down and think about is this the worst critique that I have ever had on myself or of somebody else? And then how to deal with that. You're going to get bad feedback. You know negative feedback. People aren't going to like you, people aren't going to like your work. People are going to leave bad review. People are going to be upset. That's just life and it's not the end of the world. And so how you deal with the feedback is so important and you've got to turn it into constructive criticism. You have to think of something that you can pull out of that situation and learn from it, because if you don't. You are just going to just pull yourself down into a depression and you cannot do that. You have to talk yourself out of all the negativity.

Speaker 1:

If something goes wrong and you've launched a business and maybe no one showed up and you're just so down and devastated about it, try to share your feelings, be wrong, vulnerable about it and what could you do differently? What could you change? Maybe you couldn't have done the thing differently. Maybe you had advertised things, you had paid advertisement, you had banners out and still something didn't happen that you expected and you need to look at it. Well, there's going to be a new day starting. There's going to be something. I'll share that. This was the situation and people will rally around you and people will.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I didn't realize. People are busy, things happen in their accidents. Maybe people didn't understand that this was something that was really important to you and maybe you didn't share it the way that you should have, but you thought you did by doing all of the big dollar things, I don't know. Just try to learn a little lesson from it so you don't walk away just completely devastated, because you're going to be your own worst critic, and build a network of people that you can talk to, about Handling feedback and giving constructive feedback, and set up that network of people that if you have an idea and you really want to hash it out, you can go to them, you can talk to them.

Speaker 1:

There's networking groups all over the place, even virtually. You know, friend, other companies that are like you and say, hey, you know, I've got these ideas, I want to, you know, toss around or I'm doing this in my community. What do you do in your community If you're afraid that that's the competition that you're talking? To try to go outside of your, like, local area and talk to other small towns that maybe have a business similar to yours and start a virtual networking group and have that situation present itself, that you've got some distance, rather than the competition, and hear that's what you're worried about. But you've got other people that are doing something similar to you and other locations and you can bounce ideas off one another and you can ask go and what, what worked well for you and what didn't. Hey, just a little break to see how you're doing with these ideas about getting feedback, receiving feedback, providing feedback and critiques. And if you're interested in maybe starting a small network of people that would be go to group that you could bounce ideas off of. Let me know, send me an email, tracy, at tracydonbrewercom, and we can discuss how to get that started Maybe a Facebook group or a different method to share ideas.

Speaker 1:

Thanks, and I see that in all kinds of groups that I'm in. I'm in creative groups, for example, for my laser, and sometimes people are like what's your best sellers and other people get all upset and bent out of shape because I don't want to tell you what that is. You're just going to take my ideas because you're too lazy to do something. You know you don't have to approach it like everybody's going to steal everything that you're doing. So try to keep an open mind about, you know, networking and sharing and being vulnerable. But it is helpful for getting you know honest feedback, creative feedback and putting ideas out there. It really does help build a community.

Speaker 1:

There's nothing better than learning from somebody, especially someone that has a passion and heart for the same things that you do, and that's really important because then you're going to take their criticism and you're going to, you know, find something good from that, because you're trusting them. You know that they're in the same boat that you are in that you know they want to succeed and you need to succeed and you want each other to succeed. And so when you get that feedback and that critique, you know it's not just like off the cuff, it's not just like your family members going you're great. They're going to say, you know, maybe you need to change this. You know, maybe this will work for you there. Or maybe, you know, I love that idea, I want to run with it too, and there is room and I learned that in a class. There's room for everyone. There is. There's enough business for everyone to do what they want to do, because you're going to have your own spin on it.

Speaker 1:

So take those critiques and those feedbacks from people that you've built, you know, a relationship with and that you trust them, because the ones that are going to be hating on you are the ones in the cheap seats. They're the ones that don't have any skin in the game. They're going to be your biggest critics. They're going to be the people that aren't putting anything out in the world and all they want to do is sit back and gripe about everything that everybody else is trying, and they'll be your biggest, you know, boohooers, and those are the people that you haven't networked with. Those are the people that haven't tried anything. Those are the comments that you can ignore.

Speaker 1:

You know you don't have to take everybody's feedback and criticism to heart and think you know I am a failure because nobody likes us. Think about where it's coming from. You have to measure, like who is saying this and what is their weight on your worth, because it shouldn't be a lot If it's someone you have no idea, that's never purchased something from you, that's never been any kind of group with you, that doesn't appreciate or do anything in the passion that you were working on. So really measure what some of those really heavy negative comments are coming from, because they're usually people that they're. They're not even trying. They just love to stir the pot and get people all upset and find the success stories that are in your field and things that you admire and other people, and just reach out, send them a direct message.

Speaker 1:

If they're on a social media platform, you know, don't be afraid to compliment someone and give them positive feedback, positive critique. Everybody waits for the negative critiques. Give positive reinforcement to other people that are doing what you love doing. Tell them that you admire, tell them that they've inspired you. Be that force, be that positive voice, because somebody's wanting to hear it, just as bad as you are too, and you have to lift each other up. It's really the best way to be on social media and to network is, you know, help somebody find a positive thing. You know, if you're going to say one negative thing, it's going to take 10 positive things to cancel that negative thing for someone. So really try to balance it with something positive.

Speaker 1:

If you've got, you know, real concerns about somebody doing something, also try to find some positive stuff too, and don't just say I don't like it. Come back with something constructive. What is it that you don't like about it? Is it the color of something? Is it the flavor of something? Is it the shape of something? Is it the hours that I'm open? Is it my location?

Speaker 1:

Don't just say you don't like something. That's the worst thing that you can do. If you're going to give anybody any kind of feedback, be ready to back it up with some examples of why. That's just common kindness, honestly, just you know. Don't just say, no, this is the one I wanted. Tell me why, because then I'll learn from this, not just satir and rattle you know in my head, why didn't they like it? Why didn't you pick me? And that's the biggest thing I see with these glasses that I've been right now, because if they're not chosen to be reviewed, then it's just like this huge, deep, dark, negative, like series of posts and bitterness that are coming out and I'm just like it is so, so heavy.

Speaker 1:

And I was in a networking group with someone that's also in some of these classes and I love her comment and, lizzie, if you're listening, just feel like you have this like creative sunburn, because you have just been exposed to so much and you're trying so hard and you need a break from it. And that was I just related to you saying that so much because it is. It does we put ourselves out there so much, trying to shine as bright as we can and being exposed to everything that we can do to get our work noticed out there, and it's just sometimes it's overkill and it's just like you know what? I need to step back, I need to take care of myself, my mental health and my physical health, and I need to explore some other things, because this is obviously, you know, I maybe it's a little bit of white noise at the time of everything that you're doing is just getting mixed in with 100 other people doing the same thing. So it's okay to shift gears and, you know, go a couple gears down and take some time for yourself and do some things that don't have a purpose for your business. Maybe you just need to be creative or focus on something totally different, just to help your mind settle, and that's okay. That's totally okay. Don't beat yourself up for doing that, because you need those moments, you need that time and then, really, when you want to have feedback and to have a critique, ask for it, set up polls or set up you know specific things like I'm doing this project and these are the things that I have created which one do you like and why and put that out there and be ready. Be ready to handle the feedback, be ready to make some changes if it's good feedback and if it's constructive feedback, because that's that's how you learn and that is makes you successful. And we're never going to and don't throw your stuff away. So you're never going to have 100% perfect things created, even after feedback, but always keep it around, because you're going to want to look back on it a few years later.

Speaker 1:

I'm like my gosh. Look how much I've evolved and what I've done and how much I've changed. I can think about so many small businesses in the area. They have just grown leaps and bounds from where they began and it was because they took, you know, chances. But they also listened to others and they have taken that feedback and they've changed you know business models and they've changed. You know how they run things and they've, you know, changed how creative they have been, and I love that. I love watching people evolve and change and grow and even scale back. Some places have been huge, you know, and they're like you know what I need? I need to take a moment. I need to, you know, new direction. Maybe I need to sell this and reevaluate because it's got overwhelming and this isn't good for me. And that's okay too. You can totally do that.

Speaker 1:

But it's so important just to listen to that inner feedback, that inner critic, weigh it. Think about what is driving those voices, that feedback, that criticism, even with yourself, and really understand like, yes, this is valid or no, this is just a bad day, and just try to write things down. That helps a ton Doodle them out. It's working and it just helps you settle in focus, and that's what's important, and that's what feedback is good for and that's what we want. We want to have feedback in all aspects of our lives. Just don't let it weigh you down. Just don't let it take you down, because that's not what you should be using it for. Lift yourself up, dust yourself off, because you're brutally made and I am here to cheer you on.

Speaker 1:

So just a little bit of thoughts around critiques and feedback, and yeah, I just know that that's a huge part of being creative, but I wanted to share those thoughts with you today and I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Hope you like my little hands here, my doodles, and I welcome your feedback. What would you like me to talk about? Would you like to be on the program I would love to have some guests on. I am working on a few now, but if you have really succeeded in creating something that you absolutely love and you want to share it, I want to talk to you. So just reach out and talk to me so we can get it set up. All right, thanks, have a great Friday. I will talk to you next time. Bye.

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