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Day #7: Deal with criticism, grow a thick skin

Over the years I have heard a lot of criticism about my singing and my songs. In fact, in most cases I’ve actually asked for the critique to find out what I have to work on, but at other times it was offered to me without me asking for it. When I was little it would really get to me and my self-esteem would drop to a temperature of below zero.

Over the years my self-esteem grew and I got a more realistic view on my own capabilities: This is where I am today, and I’m always in progress. What I do today has been with the best of my abilities of today, but if I did the same thing next year, or even a few years down the line it’ll be better. I made the choice of sharing my journey rather than wait until I’m the best I could be. But I thought I had grown what we call in Dutch a “thick skin”.

All you have to remember when someone criticises your songs is that a lot of it comes down to personal opinion. What one person thinks it lacks is exactly what someone else might love about it. So when the criticism is not about technique you can take it as lightly or seriously as you want it. You could even just see it as a way of finding the right audience for what you do. For instance, while I got a negative comment on YouTube for the track “Burner”, my other track from my collaboration with Darryl Anthony “Catch Me”, was trending on the online musicians platform Emeraz. So that’s how different opinions can be.

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