It’s ok to be mediocre. In fact, most of us are mediocre at the things we do.
It’s a bitter bit of medicine to swallow sometimes; critics love to shove them down your throat of course – and a single critic can make you question your talents for years and years. They can even cause you to give up your talent all together, which makes the world less colorful and die just a little.
Yet, critics are less than mediocre. They’re not even doing anything close to what you’re doing. Even as critics, a critic calling your hard work and talent “mediocre” is… a mediocre criticism!
So, you have your answer. If someone calls your work or talent mediocre, stop and look. Are they doing what you do? Do they have a right to criticize you – or are they just full of opinions with no weight?
If you feel the emotional sting of being called mediocre for your hard work, let the feeling pass by reminding yourself that the number 2 fastest runner in the world feels mediocre because they aren’t number 1. The 2nd richest person in the world feels downright poor compared to the number 1 richest guy.
And the person in the #1 spot scrambles to stay there and can never relax.
Which spot is the critic?
The critic doesn’t even have a number. They’re merely criticizing, not performing. A critic’s opinion does not count because they’re not even on the list. They don’t matter.
But you do. Keep performing, whatever you are talented at and enjoy doing. Forget the numbers. Brilliant Newton gets neglected over Einstein, even though Newton was in the #1 spot for CENTURIES. Forget having a ranking. The fact is: YOU’RE DOING IT and your critics are merely criticizing. They are in no position to give you an emotional sting and it is ok to reject their opinion entirely, crumble it up and throw it away and keep striving. Anybody who expresses their talents is #1 to me. If nothing else, I’ll be your #1 fan and always give you First Place. There is no #2.
Hang on to your fans. Even if you have a single fan, they’re exactly who you need to turn to when you begin to doubt your talents. For as bad as you think you may be, there’s always somebody you might not even notice who is looking up to you and saying, “*WOW, I WISH I COULD DO WHAT THEY DO.”
The fans are the ones that matter.
The critics? What if you’re angry and can’t let it go? Well, remember, haters gonna hate. Go tell them they’re mediocre critics and should improve their criticizing because they’re not very good at it if that’s the best they can throw at you Then go back to what you were doing. That’s FAR more interesting!
A responder wrote:
“Constructive criticism has its place but hating should go in one ear and out the other
Many things are subjective anyway
If you dont have any haters you probably are very mediocre”
My answer [which is likely mediocre but i stand by it ]
Well, I find that most constructive criticism is criticism and isn’t really all that constructive.
Someone who is *really good* at constructive criticism is quite rare indeed, most constructive critics are mediocre critics at best.
I don’t think there is a mathematical relationship between talent and amount of criticism. I feel that talent and criticism are entirely separate talents. Some critics are talented critics, some critics, not so much. I don’t mind a talented critic criticizing me. If they’re _really good_ at being a critic, they can actually be helpful. But most critics can be safely ignored. I’ve had a single mediocre criticism that was called “constructive” cause me to decide to stop doing what I was doing altogether for years. Took a long time to realize they were in no position to pass proper judgement. They weren’t qualified to judge my talent and certainly in no position to judge me.
Another responder write:
“Things is, there are disciplines where criticism has become vapid and stupid. Take literature for example. You look at every cover and it seems like every author who writes a book is amazing in someway. Even looking online, there’s too much book criticism that praises.
Also, criticism is necessary. Many great minds in literature were critics who pretty much disliked everything being written. Edgar Allan Poe and Nabokov thought everyone sucked. Having no critical eye and accepting everything makes you at the whim of your environment instead of being an individual.
And also, criticism is not subjective. The best critics know how to be objective, like T.S. Eliot and Roger Ebert.
Who cares about your feelings man, seriously. Criticism isn’t about your petty feelings. Criticism is about art. If you can’t take it just quit. My work was being criticized by every single person in my creative writing classes and I’m getting published and they’re not.
Criticism is necessary. I agree that most criticism sucks. And criticism from random people who don’t know what they’re talking about is totally worthless. But maybe you should listen to people calling you mediocre. You could learn something. Everyone is mediocre at some point.”
Oh, I’ve only been called mediocre 3 times in my life, all by people who didn’t deserve to do so.
I believe there *is* such a thing as *Good Criticism* – that is _specific_ and _meaningful_. But that’s rare. I love good criticism and when I find a good critic, I pump them for as much specific criticism as they can give me because THEY are people I learn from.
To me, they’re not my critics – they’re my teachers, wherever I find them, whoever they are. That’s the difference.
Plus, your feelings aren’t petty. They’re also a part of you and need proper management.