The Good News About a Bad Review

Failure is a tremendous opportunity for learning, motivation and freedom.

Posted Jan 23, 2013

Last November, my second book Learning To Sing was published. I worked hard on it and am proud of how it turned out.  Building on The Art of Singing, it goes into greater detail of the ‘how and why’ of my instructional approach, based upon various client case studies and my research in graduate school. 

While people submitted some wonderful reviews, a couple of negative ones also popped up on Amazon.

Given my enthusiasm and hard work– as well as my pride– these bad reviews stung.  My expectations didn’t help either; I’d received tremendous feedback on The Art of Singing on Amazon and elsewhere, and had hoped for a similar, all-positive reception. 

Negative reviews and feedback are never fun.  Though, if you’re willing to remain open-minded, a great deal of good can come from them.  

For starters, they help you to meet your fears head on.  So often, we tread carefully in life– whether deliberately or not– in an effort to look good.  This is all the more true when we’ve ‘looked good’ in the past; nothing breeds future fear more than past success. 

The result is that we end up worrying about and being wary of things that have yet to happen.  Rather than focusing on what we’re committed to and excited about creating.    

We all deal with this to some extent.  No matter our field, the desire to look good, have people like us, and be successful often holds us back from taking the brave and bold steps that will in fact lead to our greatest accomplishments.  

It’s a fools game; no one who has ever truly succeeded has done so without critics.  Nor has anyone who has made a real difference in the world. 

Still, so many of us try with all of our might to beat the inevitable odds, to have everyone, everywhere like us and what it is we’re up to.  

Better, instead, to make peace with and even embrace the fact that success necessarily comes with criticism.  When we do, a new kind of confidence emerges, which enables us to move powerfully and confidently in the direction of our dreams, as well as to look objectively at what our critics have to say, to embrace whatever wisdom might be found there, and to set aside what isn’t accurate or helpful with grace. 

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