For me, critique has been just as formative of my artistic growth as actually making the art itself. The reason being is that it gives me objective, new eyes in which to see my own work. I like to use the phrase “separates the intention from the result,” which can sometimes be a very different thing, much to our embarrassment.
The good way to think about it is if you’re going for a job interview, and you have spinach in your teeth, a good friend would tell you that you have spinach in your teeth. That’s exactly what critique is, it is not a judgment on your work as it exists, it is a guide onto how to make your work better.
The challenge of course comes in if, like many artists, your ego with your work is strong. You finish your work, and you believe that it is the best work you’ve done. It’s very important to get, like I said, that objective eye in a critique. To say, not “this work is perfect,” but “this work is good, now how can my next work be better?” That’s why critique is so important.