Perfection Mountain

We all know people who are so secure and mature that they can take even the most mean-spirited of criticism with grace. These wonderful folks tend to see the unhappiness at the root of the troll, and don't try to adopt it. They might not love the news, but they are safe enough inside to peacefully disagree with it.

I am not one of those people.

When I feel the sting of humiliation or shame that comes with negative feedback, I sometimes have to wrestle it hard before I get to zen. I have to liberally apply the most fundamental notion in The Creative Loop; self compassion.

It's easy to say "I'm a person and I'm not perfect" and quite another to process the evidence of our limitations; work that isn't as good as we'd like it to be, and the tepid (or hostile) response it gets.

But here's what is easy; laughing with my critics. Laughing at myself, and how deeply I care.

It has the added bonus of making me the same as everyone else. And I believe the best creative work is the stuff that brings me closer to other human beings.

So insofar as I can own my mistakes, missteps, and just dumb-assedness, I can gracefully let others have theirs. I can share the general scrabble up Perfection Mountain, as well as the knowledge that we'll never reach the top without getting sweaty and looking like fools.

If we understand ourselves to be silly, essentially inept but trying our hardest, grandiosity tends to deflate. We all get to be wildly ambitious, tragically misguided idiots. High five. Pass the snacks.

Let's have some fun climbing this thing.