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Phil Cooke Podcast

Nov 13, 2018

Are you a creative person? Especially in Hollywood, you’ll eventually run into people who don’t see your potential or think your ideas are valuable.


Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and more in Hollywood have faced rejection and criticism as producers, actors and directors. Even novelist Saul Bellow was dismissed as a “dud.” He went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature plus other awards.


What do you do when people don’t recognize your talent? There are times to recognize criticism and times to change, but more often times when you need to understand how to navigate past it.


Here are four points from Phil Cooke to help you respond to criticism in a way that will lead to creative growth.


  1. Always consider the criticism.We all have a blind spot when it comes to our skill or creativity. Maybe this person sees something you don’t. Take a moment to at least reflect on their criticism before you dismiss it.


  1. Take the credibility test.Is this critic someone who cares about you, a mentor, an expert in the field? If it’s a person you respect and admire, find out what they saw that you missed. Take it seriously. But if it’s a casual observer or someone who doesn’t care, move on.


  1. Don’t be afraid to immediately dismiss online trolls. Block or mute social media critics. Nobody can survive a constant barrage of criticism! Surround yourself with people who believe in you and who will tell you the truth in a gracious way.


  1. Just “buck up.”Just because people don’t recognize your talent doesn’t mean it’s not there. If you’re a creative person, you’re going to have times that you fail or do something that a client doesn’t like. Be able to go back to the drawing board.


Also, don’t go to extremes. Don’t get on a high horse thinking everyone else is wrong – and don’t take criticism so hard that you give up. Remember Michael Jordan who said, “I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”


Just because people don’t recognize your talent doesn’t mean it’s not there. It’s how you respond to the critic that matters. Use these four points as a filter to help you handle criticism in a way that will lead to growth – and remember people are watching!


Our goal is to do work that changes people’s lives. When that’s at stake, I’m open to any new ideas that will take me from where I am to where I want to be! – Phil Cooke


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