In my creativity coaching practice, I work with all kinds of performers. A client of mine just told me that she had quit performing for a year because of some unkind words from a booker. The booker's words had nothing to do with her performance; he was upset about something else. She knew that, but was so shocked by such treatment that she didn't return to the stage.
Guess what she did with that year: She spent it honing her craft. She recorded and watched herself performing over and over again, rehearsed every day, and created a rock-solid repertoire. (Insert montage sequence with the theme from Rocky here.) When she worked up the courage to return to the stage, she knew her talent and skill was unquestionable. And if a booker (or audience member, or anyone) ever speaks unkindly again, she'll know without a doubt that it's because they had a bad day. And more importantly, she's knows she's earned her self-esteem and her place on stage. I just saw her perform for the first time, and she's soulful, highly skilled, and beautifully in touch with her heart.
Her commitment to her goals in the face of fear inspires me.
"The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor."