Actually, in this instance, the criticism was requested, and I think it was a pretty good review! Brian, of candyaddict.com fame, kindly took some time out from his busy candy eating schedule to give my chocolates a whirl. You can read the review here.
I don't know how much of a secret it is, but one of the realities of being a chef (and probably any sort of creative person to some extent) is that no matter how confident you are in your abilities, there's a need for other people to like what you do. Artists often thrive on their outsider status, and usually it just takes a few of the right people to like something and the art world will follow suit - whether they really think it's good or not. Food is much more objective. Certainly there are tastes that aren't shared by everyone, but for the most part, it's pretty difficult to say good food is bad or vice versa - although some of the stronger smelling cheeses might give one pause. That leaves even the most confident chef at the mercy of someone else's tastebuds.
I consider myself very fortunate to have strong cooking skills and educated senses; I feel like I have a good idea of what tastes good to others. Still, every time I make something, every time I give a new person something I've made, I wait on pins and needles, hoping that they're going to like it. It's just the way it is for me. I don't ever want to be the sort of chef who turns out mediocre food because my overconfidence has kept other's opinions from penetrating my big head.