Many people are afraid of freelancing, starting a business and putting themselves out there because it means they will have their work critiqued. People really do fear the opinion of others, especially when it’s creative work like writing or design.
The reality is this is a part of the package. You will have your work critiqued by editors. Some commenter on your blog will be angry. A client may have some suggestions or may not be 100% satisfied with the work you’ve given them.
If you’re one of these individuals who is holding back because you are afraid of having your work critiqued, then take heed of some of these tips to help you through it.
Try to see what you can learn.
Having your work critiqued is often times an opportunity for you to improve. Here is a really touching example to prove my point.
When U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia passed away a few weeks ago, Justice Ginsburg wrote a heartwarming tribute to him. These two were on polar ends of the political spectrum so they critiqued each other’s work often – after all, it was their job to keep each other in check. However, outside of the courtroom they were besties.
In her tribute, Justice Ginsburg wrote how Scalia’s critiques of her work – however tough they may have been – helped her do her job better. She acknowledged him for his brilliance with the law and stated how through his critiques he would actually help her find the holes in her arguments.
Sometimes the same is true of our own work as freelancers. Occasionally we need the outside person to teach us how to do our jobs better. This usually looks like editors, but sometimes it can be clients or colleagues.
Know the difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism.
Let’s be frank, not all criticism is merited. Sometimes there’s an internet troll hiding behind their computer screen looking to start some trouble. Just read the comments of any popular news site and you’ll see what I mean.
Constructive criticism is the kind that helps make you better, like the example mentioned in the previous section. Destructive criticism sounds a lot more like insults.
The lesson here is to not let the people who bash your work stop you. The lesson is to learn to value and stand up for the great work you do.
Realize that people need to hear what you have to say.
I talk to so many freelancers, bloggers and aspiring online business owners who have stifled themselves because they are afraid of having their work critiqued if they release it publicly.
What they need to realize is that someone out there needs to hear what they have to say. Someone may need that blog post about how to get out of debt. Someone may need that tweet that shares your personal experience with them.
Trust me, the number people who are craving your work far surpass those that want to criticize it. This is an important point to remember as you begin to put yourself out there as a business owner.