I’ve always said that feedback matters, but only when coming from the right people. From people who are well-meaning and insightful in whatever you’re doing. Your mom can be well meaning but she probably doesn’t know a lot about architectural photography.

At the same time, it is indeed natural to be defensive in the face of criticism. Often, the critic is someone with an agenda that’s different from yours. Criticism can be judgmental, negatively evaluative, and accusatory. Feedback, on the other hand, focuses on providing information that could be helpful. Rather than being judgmental, it’s descriptive.

So, actual solicited advice from someone who means well and knows what she’s talking about? If you make the mistake to confuse that with criticism, there’s a lot to be lost.

Here’s a way to process that advice: Give it a try.

Instead of trying to explain to ourselves and our advisors why their idea is wrong or impossible, we can consider acting out what it means. Talk it through and test it out. Turn it into different scenarios and even try to make it bolder.

You might not like the feedback – but being purely selfish about it, you owe it to yourself to consider whether there is anything in it. You can  always dismiss the feedback, but don’t dismiss it without considering it.

Try the damn thing.

Then, if you want to, you can sack it off.

George Kroustallis // Minorstep