"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
"I was crushed. Here I was, forty-two years old, divorced, childless, having given up all normal human pursuits to chase the dream of being a writer; now I’ve finally got my name on a big-time Hollywood production starring Linda Hamilton, and what happens? I’m a loser, a phony; my life is worthless, and so am I.
My friend Tony Keppelman snapped me out of it by asking if I was gonna quit. Hell, no! “Then be happy. You’re where you wanted to be, aren’t you? So you’re taking a few blows. That’s the price for being in the arena and not on the sidelines. Stop complaining and be grateful.”
-Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
Forget it, cause you'd rather be just a spectator
An onlooker, afraid you may get slayed or
Struck by a blow, from a mic gladiator
I betcha that later you might be sad that you played yourself
Cause you stepped up, chest puffed out
And in just one lyric, you got snuffed out
Cause rhymin is serious, I'm strong, I'm like hercules
You'll get hurt with these lines, close the curtains please
And suckers can jet cause I wreck once you step in the arena
- GangStarr "Step in The Arena"
"Many may question, criticize & think they have all the right answers. But few have been in the line of fire in battle."
-Robert Griffin III
When you take risks; when you look to advance projects that have a high chance of failure, it can get really tough.
I'd be lying if I said I always have my composure. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about how I can make my latest venture work.
I often play through future scenarios about how things could go wrong and how I would react to it. So many hurdles to overcome.
But that is what it is about. When you face internal or external criticism, remember this: at least you are in the arena and not on the sidelines.