- October 31, 2019
- Leila Johnston
- Creativity, Empathy, Motivation
- Comments Off on Your audience reflects your self-worth
How many times have you heard this:
“If you don’t love/value/[insert term here] yourself, how can you expect others to love/value/etc you?”
I always thought it was rubbish, to be honest. I didn’t follow the logic, and experience has shown me that it’s perfectly possible – indeed often much easier – to care about people whose self-care is clearly deficient.
But in a funny way, I’m coming around to it. Yesterday’s lesson was about the importance of being the biggest supporter of your own projects; accepting that no one will ever get it like you do. (That’s fine, they’ll get it like they do!) Today I want to build on that a bit.
How you feel about what you make is directly related to how you feel about your audience.
…and vice versa. Let me explain.
If you think your output is sub-par, then what do make of the people who love it? You’ve got to assume they’re a bit dim, haven’t you? At best they’re mistaken. Either way, you can write them off for wasting their time listening to someone as inconsequential as you. Remember what Groucho Marx wrote to the Friar’s Club?
“PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON’T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER”.
When you don’t believe in your work, you don’t believe in your audience. Of course, one doesn’t always create for the audience, but it’s obvious that having an audience you don’t rate is not going to inspire you to go on and make better and better things. If you don’t respect your audience, your work will not improve.
And it comes down to how you feel about yourself, and your work.
Much is made of the value of taking negative feedback, but when was the last time you really believed someone’s positive feedback? It’s usually much more difficult to trust that people like your stuff for good and proper reasons, not because they’re mentally defective.
How you feel about your ‘fans’ is often a mirror of how you feel about yourself. The good news is, I think it’s easier to work on your relationship with them than it is to work on your relationship with yourself. And as soon as you start respecting them, you’ll want to make better work, too. Before you know it you’ll be happy to stay in any club that’ll have you as a member.
Think of something complimentary someone has said about your work. How did you react? Sit with the feeling for a while, and think of some ways you respect the opinions of the person who enjoyed your stuff.