It’s possible (not easy, but possible) to be a dispassionate observer. To have a sense of what the market wants, of what’s likely to work, of what quality looks and feels like.
But not when it’s our work.
When it’s your work, the moment you commit to it and own the outcome, you can’t help it. None of us can. We start to shave/bend/ignore the truth.
Some make a mistake by downgrading the work, lowering expectations and trash-talking the output of all that hard work. Probably to protect ourselves from the doom that we fear is right around the corner. This makes every criticism nothing but confirmation of what we say we already knew.
And some make the mistake of persuading themselves that their taste is universal, their talent is off the charts and that their effort is greater than anyone else’s. And so every criticism is seen as a personal attack.
The reality is nothing like this.
The reality is somewhere in between.
And it’s worth developing the skill and guts to see it.