Success Involves Ignoring Critics

Critics can destroy or inspire you. Your own self critic is often the most deadly critic of all. I was thrown out of the school choir at the age of 8. The teacher said someone was growling. She walked along the row and announced that I was the growler!

From that day onwards, I have had little if any confidence when singing. Maybe she was right but maybe she was wrong. I have since learned that so called experts are not always right. They can't be because they so often disagree with other 'experts'.

In March 2005, there was a comic relief week in the UK when money was raised for various charities. Several celebrities volunteered to take part in a singing competition based on a British version of the Fame Academy of the famous American film - Fame.

The judges were Craig (who is involved in putting on dance shows), Richard Parks (the headmaster of the Academy) and Lesley Garrett (a lively and popular opera singer). Opinions were also asked from David and Carrie Grant (the voice coaches) and Kevin Adams (the fitness and movement trainer).

On Thursday, 3rd March 2005, the singers competed for survival in the competition.

First up was DIY celebrity, Nick Knowles. Cat, one of the two presenters, spoke to him: "Everyone seems to say that you're confidence is growing. Would you believe that to be true?"

"Yes, thanks to David and Carrie. I think I have progressed a lot since I first held a microphone ten days ago and I'm really enjoying it now."

Nick sang the old Beatles' song about singing out of tune with great power and feeling: "What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me?"

His performance was magnificent in my opinion but the views of the critics differed greatly.

Richard Parks said Nick had shouted; the voice coach, Carrie, said he didn't shout; Craig said he was out of tune. Lesley said his tuning was improving. She added: "The voice is the window to the soul and I think your soul is fabulous. You just need to clean your windows a little bit."

Konnie, the next singer, had infuriated some of her teachers by her lack of concentration. Her performance was probably the worst of the evening and no improvement on previous performances. But at least she kept going to the bitter end.

Lesley said her tuning was awful but she needed more work. The other two judges gave little hope. Craig said: "You completely crucified that song and to make it worse you screamed it at us. You were completely out of tune. But you did show confidence".

Richard Parks, Head of the Fame Academy, had told Reggie Yates (top of the pops presenter) that he was vocally chronic. Richard said that singing was Reggie's biggest problem but Carrie told Richard that he was Reggie's biggest problem: "Richard, you have discouraged that boy so much that he is trying to scrape what confidence might be left off the floor."

Without confidence that you can do or learn to do something, progress is practically impossible. Lesley Garrett, the popular opera singer, also scolded Richard: "You must never tell anyone they can't sing. Every one can sing and every one can improve."

Next was Jon Colshaw, the impressionist. He began the competition as someone who could not sing but David Grant, one of the voice coaches said: "He has made more progress than anyone."

Richard said he had been shaken but not stirred by Jon's rendition of 'From Russia With Love." Craig agreed with Richard.

The criticized bit back: "I'm very surprised that the two of you heard anything from so far up your own bottoms."

Richard was desperate to reply to this insult but Paddy one of the presenters pointed at his own bottom and said: "We'll have to leave it back there!" The audience roared their appreciation. Richard is not their favourite.

Kim Medcalf, who has a beautiful voice, then took a risk by singing an upbeat song instead of a ballad: "If you want to taste my kisses in the night,Jump, Jump for my love"

Many men would be only too willing to jump for her kisses but the two men judges on the panel did not like her performance. Lesley, however, loved it.

The amount of disagreement over the ability of nearly every singer was huge. The same disagreement occurred after Chris Calhoun sang.

Chris had had a bad day on the Wednesday and was described by Carrie Grant as a complete confidence sieve. On Thursday, he sang about a depressed man whose despair was eliminated by his girlfriend:"Then I look at you and the world's alright with me Just one look at you and I know it's going to be a lovely day."

Richard said the tuning was off. Lesley said "Today you were relaxed; the tuning was fine." The critics could not even agree about singing in tune!

Debra, who was next, sang beautifully and moved beautifully. Craig, however, was not totally happy: "You should learn to move in high heels."

Paddy, the presenter, said "I am interested to know how you know how you should move in high heels." The audience, who dislike Craig as well as Richard, laughed loud and long.

I think I have made my point. Experts disagree not only about our ability to sing but about our ability to do most things. So let's not pay too much attention to them. They may of course be right but let's at least try very hard to do what they say we can't and find out for ourselves whether they are right or not.

Lesley Garrett in the above account was certainly worth listening to. That is not surprising. She is not only a critic; she is also a great singer.

I am not saying ignore the critics all the time. Just ignore them most of the time!

About the author

John Watson is an award winning teacher and martial arts instructor. He has recently written two books about achieving your goals and dreams. They can both be found on his website http://www.motivationtoday.com along with a daily motivational message.

The title of the first book is "36 Laws To Ignite Your Inner Power And Realize Your Dreams Now! - Acronyms, Stories, And Pictures...Easy To Remember And Use Everyday To Grab Your Life And Soar With The Eagles"

The book can be found at this URL http://www.motivationtoday.com/36_laws.php

The book uses acronyms, stories and pictures to help readers remember 36 laws that can gradually transform your life if you apply them.

You are welcome to publish the article above in your ezine or on your website so long as you do not alter it and keep in the words about the author and the 36 Laws.

In The News:

Soup-Fest Success | News, Sports, Jobs  Jamestown Post Journal
Plough Sunday service success for St. John's  Border Counties Advertizer
Jimmy Carter’s Persian Gulf Success  The Wall Street Journal

The Human Instincts

The gambling instinct is in every man or woman. All... Read More

How to Have an Amazingly Satisfying Year

I started taking stock of my year in 2002. I... Read More

Who Is Dietrich Mateschitz?

Hope you're having a GREAT Day!Last night I was reading... Read More

I Have Failed Before

Have you failed before and wished the earth could open... Read More

Changing Your Luck

In this week's New Age Notebook, I am going to... Read More

Success - Your Are What You Think About

You have complete control over your thoughts. Thought patterns develop... Read More

The Role of Failure in Success

Does the thought of failure send a cold shiver down... Read More

Is Success About Money?

Success could be just about making money, but I think... Read More

The Need To Be Successful

The need to be successful. This is the bottom line... Read More

What is Success and How Do We Achieve It?

To be clear about what success is must be the... Read More

Seven Empowering Success Beliefs

I call the following seven belief lies of success, taking... Read More

3 Powerful Tips to Help You Have Your Best Year Ever

Here are 3 powerful steps you can take to free... Read More

The Power of Small

Routinely, I rise out of bed before the birds, and... Read More

How to Develop a Millionaires Mind

You have a choice today?You can remain in the same... Read More

Let It Be You

Each and every day, there are people all around the... Read More

Discipline

I've been thinking a lot about what I believe to... Read More

The 80/20 Success Secret

Have you ever wondered if there was a way to... Read More

Benefits To Having An Education

If you look back to the 70s and 80s, many... Read More

The Core Curriculum Of A Wonderful Life

An acquaintance of mine once lamented that she was utterly... Read More

The High Cost of Doing Nothing

Cost is sometimes a difficult term to define. Here, we... Read More

The 2-Word Phrase That Conquers Adversity and Breaks Through Obstacles

"All the adversity I've had in my life, all my... Read More

Ever Find Yourself Saying I Want My Instant Money Now?

If that sounds like you, you're not alone. Everyone needs... Read More

Discover Your Path to Success - Part 2

Time taken for self-analysis is so important in developing your... Read More

Reach Your Goals - Get Professional Help

Get professional help There's no rule that says you have... Read More

Want Better Outcomes? Check Your Perspectives!

In my work with clients, the issue of perspectives comes... Read More