Passion Basher

Screenshot 11:15:12 7:06 AM

I used to be a passion basher.

+I scoffed passionate creatives.

+I smirked at artists I deemed pretentious.

+I sneered at anyone who was zealous.


Because I was uncomfortable with their level of commitment and passion.

Because I was jealous of their tenacity.

Because I didn’t understand them and, consequently, was afraid of them.

Basher to Fan

Something happened recently that turned my desire to criticize the creative leaders of our day into a desire to become their fans.

I stopped hating and started loving.

I was missing a lot because of my critical spirit. Rather than embrace, I pushed away. Instead of asking ‘why’ I said ‘no way.’ My desire to protect myself from these committed artists kept me from my own potential because…

[box options]When artists demean and criticize other artists, we are really criticizing and demeaning ourselves. (Tweet this)[/box]

The Opposite of Critical

Moving from critical to acceptance isn’t easy. It’s a process I’m still experiencing everyday.

I make it a regular practice to slow down when I feel threatened by other creative people, and the best way I’ve found to overcome this criticism is simple.

I ask myself ‘why.’

My little chat with myself goes like this…

Andrew: So you feel critical of this creative person.

Andrew: Yeah, I don’t know why, but I do.

Andrew: Why do you think that is?

Andrew: Hmmmm. Let me think.

Andrew: Ok, go ahead. Take your time.

(time passes)

Andrew: I think I feel threatened by them.

Andrew: Wow, that’s an interesting discovery, Andrew. Why do you think you feel threatened by them?

Andrew: Another good question, Andrew. I think I feel threated by them because I’m jealous of them.

Andrew: Jealousy. Wow, now you’re onto something. Tell me about that.

Andrew: I’m jealous that they’re more creative than me. That they have more to offer. That they are more free than I am.

Andrew: Wow. It’s good to admit that and get that out, isn’t it?

Andrew: Yes! Whew! Man, since I just admitted that, I like that artist more already!

Andrew: Yeah, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. Instead of jealously–which is really what criticism is–you start to love.

Andrew: Thanks Andrew…glad we had this little chat!

Andrew: We too.

Love replaces criticism.

Community replaces seclusion.

Trust replaces skepticism.


Question: Am I the only one who has dual-personality chats like this? (Tell me I’m not–for my own sanity) How do you move from a critical spirit to a loving one?



Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • Rhonda

    It’s when the third and fourth personalities join in that I get a little scared : ) You know the verse “they comparing themselves among themselves are not wise”? I find myself quoting that alot as a creative. Good post Andrew!

    • Is it in Proverbs? That’s a good one for us!

  • You’re not the only one who has interesting chats to yourself (why would you tell him that? Now they’re all gonna think you’re weird). LOL

    It’s true, though, that criticism really is an outpouring of jealousy, insecurity, and feeling threatened that someone else is better than you. I had to learn to love others as well, and stop being critical of them all the time.

    • Both Andrew and Andrew appreciate you comment and that they aren’t crazy 😉

      Sincerely, thanks Jason. Insecurity causes us to do some crazy things!

  • Ann F.

    Love this post!!!! I have these conversations with myself all the time. Glad I am not alone! Admitting the jealousy to myself almost always turns into making a new friend rather than keeping the jealousy between us. And new friends help me learn and grow as an artist. I find that celebrating colleagues successes only fuels my own creativity. This is far superior than the alternative. Thanks for putting your thoughts into words. I needed that little pep talk!

    • Truth be told, I needed that pep talk too! Sometimes it’s just good to get it out on paper…or screen as the case may be 🙂

  • It’s easier to slam others than it is to admit the truth. I had a bit of a revelation when I wrote this Apology to Taylor Swift. I think by lifting others up more, you are less likely to put down others. At least that’s my experience.

    • Good post Jim! It takes a big man to admit that criticism and negativity usually stems from jealously.