When I read this from James Clear’s newsletter, I was stunned. First, I’ll share it to all:
“Actress Viola Davis on handling criticism:
“I don’t have any time to stay up all night worrying about what someone who doesn’t love me has to say about me.”
And for someone who has extremely low self-esteem, this is just what I needed to hear, not to mention that I really love Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder.
In class, we are asked to present our work individually and actually seeing my classmates’ works, I started to overthink. And here comes the worst part, I started comparing.
Comparing is good only if its on a realistic level. For example, I’m someone who is just a beginner in composing music, I barely have an experience and it is extremely unhealthy if I compare my work to Mozart’s or Beethoven’s who have decades and decades of experience. Hence, if I compared my works to them, I’ll probably not continue pursuing songwriting at all because I’ll end up thinking, “My works will never be like them anyways.”
For me, comparing is good if it gets you to do better. Let’s say I admire a work of my classmate and its not necessarily on a level of “Worldwide Popular” but it gets me thinking that, ‘Oh. I can’t do that yet but I can do that once I learned what I needed to learn.’ Basically, the bar is not that high. Hence, it makes it realistically achievable given that I spent time learning and practicing.
Anyways, going back to where I said that we will present our work individually, I did not have the courage to volunteer to present my work (BUT the good thing is that I can still present next meeting) because I was so afraid of what my classmates would think of.
BUT (capitalize for emphasis)
Good thing, classes ended earlier and hence, I snapped out of ruminating.
I remember that THIS is my life. I am here, not to impress anyone with what I can do, but for me. FOR ME.
Yes, there is a possibility that they may think of not really good things about my work BUT that is outside of my control.
I get to say what I can and cannot do.
Presenting my work and having the opportunity to hear constructive criticisms from my professor is what I wanted to do. And what other people may think should not be an impediment nor even a factor whether I should change my decision.
What my inner soul wants me to do is to learn, to hear comments about my work from my professor. And that is what I’m gonna do.
I should not even waste a second of my time here on Earth, dimming my light just so I would not destroy my self-made image to other people. There is no self-image. I’m just me.
So, I’m grateful to actress Viola Davis for her perspective. It helped me remember on what is the significant. Though, it’s not easy to change perspectives. I will always remember that every day is a new day to do my best.
Today, I would not have written this if I had the courage to present nor would I have this realizations. So, either way, I choose to be joyful and to understand my decisions.
Have a great day.