One of the things actors and lawyers share is the sometimes negative feedback from the audience, critic, jury. It’s one thing to not like your work, it’s another for the “not likeness” to be personal. If the critics say, for example, that your not being in the second act was a relief and justified returning after intermission. And if you come in second too often, and if you poll the jury and they just don’t seem to like you or your clients or your cases…..well, what do you do?
Well, first of all, I think it’s ok to spend a moment being….angry, sad, depressed, pissed off, confused, whatever. A MOMENT. Not several hours or days. Ok, maybe a day. But then you just have to move on. As my friend Greg Cusimano says Face it, Confess it and Transform it. (Sorry if I’ve paraphrased it Greg). He is talking about fear, which I think is related. After all, the criticism brings up all the thoughts about not being any good, not being worthy, not being capable, not being able to win or do it well in the future. FEAR. INSECURITY. That is what underlies all these reactions. So, yes you have to face it. Admit it. Then, you have to confess it. Say it out loud. Admit your fears and concerns. To yourself, to another person. Only one. Someone you trust who has gone through it. Someone who is your ally, who is on your side. Then you can transform it. Turn it around. Identify what is real, what you can control, change and what is our of your control. And what is just plain bullshit. Then you can move on. And to do that, you go back to zero.
Now, by zero I don’t mean a place where you have nothing. What I mean is back to a balanced beginning. A broad balanced base in your body and heart and mind. Focus on what brought you to your work in the first place. Your sense of what you want to do. To whom you want to be of service. To your talent, to your clients, to your self. Take a deep breath. Several. And then move forward. Take the next indicated action and do the next thing that needs to be done. Step by step.