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Personal development – Ignoring critics and failure

Posted Mar 08 2011 12:54am

“You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. Better get y’all job back drivin’ a truck.” Grand Ole Opry manager to Elvis Presley.

People who are creatively talented and willing to share those talents publicly – such as in writing, painting, performing or other creative expression – may be open to criticism, either direct or implied.

Julie Delpy – actor / writer / composer / director – said that from 1997 to 2003 she “couldn’t get hired. And even when I did get a good job, no one would notice it. I was like, not in trend, and forgotten.

“I went from agent to agent and it didn’t really work with anyone, and people would tell me terrible things. It was very difficult.”

But she added a very interesting comment: “I kind of like those moments when no one believes in you anymore. People dump you… don’t call you back, but you find out who you are surrounded by and it grounds you. It’s good when it happens earlier rather than later, instead of living in a fantasy world all your life and then having it suddenly all crumble.”  [Breathe mag., July/Aug 2005]

Elvis PresleySteve Young wrote (some years ago) in the “Unsolicited Commencement Speech” on his site about critics:

“Those who can, do; those who can’t, become critics. Negative judgments alone do nothing but stilt growth.

“That is unless you ignore it as did Elvis Presley who was fired from the Grand Ole Opry after only one performance and told by the manager, ‘You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. Better get y’all job back drivin’ a truck.’

“Or perhaps, Oprah Winfrey, who didn’t let getting fired from her television reporter’s job and being told, “You’re not fit for TV,” keep her from becoming one of the most beloved and successful women in memory.”

He is author of the book Great Failures of the Extremely Successful: Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Stepping Stones to Success .

Young’s site greatfailure.com also has his own quote: If necessity is the mother of invention, Then failure must be its father — and these additional ones:

Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win, By fearing to attempt. –William Shakespeare

Failure is the tuition you pay for success. –Walter Brunell

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant. –Horace

Photo of Julie Delpy from IONCINEMA.com interview .

See more quotes on the page: Failure — including this:

The only time we ever “fail” at anything in our lives is when we walk away from a challenge before we’ve allowed it to teach us its lessons.

– Guy Finley – Life of Learning Foundation

One of the central personality traits of many artists of creative people is high sensitivity – which may make you especially vulnerable to criticism – both from the outside and from within. See the Highly Sensitive site under the TalentDevelop sites tab in the menu above.

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