So as an experiment, I posted a drumming video and I gave everyone permission to critique my playing for their own benefit. Of course, as expected, I got a ton of critique. After all, even though I am a teacher, my playing is by no means perfect. But without a doubt, it hurt me. It hurt a lot! But thankfully, what I was able to do was quickly realize that I wasn’t the one getting hurt; it was my ego. Once I let go of my ego, it didn’t hurt anymore. My sense of self worth as an instructor remained intact and I came to the realization that while I am not perfect, it doesn’t mean that I can’t teach! Here are some of the things I did to let go of my ego and respond to each person who gave me very constructive criticism:
I waited for a week to respond. Although I didn’t do this consciously, I waited for my emotions to come down before I responded. After all, the immediate and visceral responses I had in my head were defensive, dismissive and at the very least, cheeky. Waiting for emotions to subside helped me to be open to critique from a purely technical standpoint.
I considered every perspective each person had to offer, no matter what their age or experience level. I respectfully gave reasons for why I questioned some things I didn’t totally agree with but for the most part, I really considered what they had to say. With the absence of my ego, I actually ended up agreeing with most people’s assessments of my playing.
I stepped outside of myself and watched my video again, not as myself, but just as if it was some other person. So if that wasn’t me, I would normally just try to give that person my best observation and give them my best assessment for their benefit. This also helped me to see things from other people’s point of view and not just how I saw myself.
All in all, I think this was a good experience and this really helped me to get rid of my ego. Maybe this chips away at the armor of @karldrumtech. Maybe some students will see @karldrumtech as someone who is no longer worthy of being considered a teacher and shouldn’t be followed. Both of these are fine. We’re all on a path and we can all help each other, no matter what point we are in the journey. Finally, let me just close with “you are never as bad as they say you are and you are never as good as they say you are.”
Hope you enjoyed this blog. Here’s the link if you want to see the video in question: https://www.instagram.com/p/BGx8CgbTh19/?taken-by=karldrumtech. Are there other ways you can see how ego can hurt your own progress? Have you ever received critique online before and how did you respond in those instances? I would love to hear your thoughts!