As a creative, it is very easy to get attached to projects we’ve poured our heart into. Most projects involve a lot of sleepless nights, tough deadlines, and hours of staring at a blank canvas. How can you not love something you have poured yourself into?

I remember a time when I was asked to do a project and I was so excited to get to work on it. I had a clear vision in my head of how it was going to look and just knew I was going to nail the design. Days later I was proud and excited to share the design I had completed. Imagine my surprise and heartbreak as I saw my bosses face fall at seeing the image I created. It felt like I had completely failed the organization and let them down. I was entirely devastated.

Our first response in these moments is usually “ WHAAATTTT!!! This is a really great design! What’s wrong with it?” It’s true that it may be a very good design, and there may, in fact, be nothing wrong with it. So, how exactly do you handle those moments when a client says. “ This just isn’t what we’re looking for.” Or, on the much less unpleasant side “This is awful” “uninspiring and bland” Etc.?

1.SILENCE your first response. Mentally take deep breaths and listen thoroughly. Hear through and understand what your client/boss is saying.

2. REMEMBER that negative feedback is a tool that helps us grow into better creatives. Thank your client/boss for helping you see where you missed the mark.

3. ASK questions. If the feedback is vague then try to pull it apart. The more questions you ask the more you will understand where you need to take the second draft.

4. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL. We can easily get attached to our projects. However, we need to learn not to let awesome get in the way of spectacular. Just as a sculptor throws out an almost perfect piece and begins again to create a perfect one. We also need to learn that our awesome project can become spectacular if we let it go and push in just a little further.