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‘I’m a quiche!’

Updated: Mar 28

A few months ago, I stumbled across this rather intriguing - albeit unconventional - ‘motivational ‘ anecdote on instagram (click here.)

At first, the moral of the story was belied somewhat, by the curious cheesecake theme.

However, in no time at all, the profundity of the buffet analogy became apparent.

The core message? That there is an untapped power in being misunderstood - in being the quiche among cheesecakes - that we maybe neglect to our detriment.


I say ‘misunderstood’ quite loosely, as here is a euphemism for ‘judged’ or ‘disliked’ if ever you needed one.


This, however, is by the by, and what's arguably more important than the irony of the word ‘misunderstood’ being potentially misunderstood, is just how adeptly it can transform into a superpower, given the right perspective.

A hallmark of this superpower, is the ability to concede that outsider opinion is only as valuable as the extent to which it's derived from context. It's recognising, as well, that context is a benefit afforded only to the few, not the many, which makes the margin for being misunderstood a wide one... no matter how much we push against it.


What this means, I guess, is that to float one's artistic currency (for example) on the volatile seas of outsider 'opinion', is to be in for a choppy ride at best…and risk a capsize of confidence, at worst.


Armed with this reminder - that people can only ever support what they can either grasp, relate to or find value in - past critique seems to lose at least some of its sting.

That said, it's an ongoing process - this art of learning to better tolerate the ideas and beliefs of others, whilst fiercely protecting one's sense of self!


It apparently involves, but is not limited to, the continual re-writing of one’s own inner dialogue. Especially the one that prevails whenever outside opinion threatens to upend all that we think we know about who we are.


According to Psychologist Alise Conner, when this happens, it’s helpful to recognise the resultant rumination, and repeat the words 'I'm not evaluating myself properly!'

I have tried this on the regular as a means to break the self-deprecating cycle that kicks in whenever my work happens to miss the mark, and when my expectations of how it will be received aren't met!

The technique alone is not necessarily a panacea for the brittle self-esteem or squirming self doubt that tends to plague those of a creative disposition, especially.

However, what it has done, is make it easier to reconcile the discomfort that comes from being 'misunderstood', with the freedom to be autonomous that is cultivated in the process.



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