Recovering from Critical Condition

“A critic is someone who never actually goes to the battle, yet who afterward comes out shooting the wounded.”
Tyne Daly

Are you your own worst critic?

Last night, someone made that remark to me: “I’m my own worst critic.” It’s a phrase we hear all the time. But have you ever really thought about it?

I never had. But come to think of it, I am my own worst critic.

Sure, sometimes other people say critical things about me. And some of those critics have been pretty harsh.

But here’s the deal…I take their criticisms–or a lot of them–and I add them to the criticisms I already had for myself. Then I add the things that I heard someone said about me, but I don’t know it for a fact. Then I add the thing that I think that other person thinks about me. I mean, he must think that…he never said it, but I know he does.

So we carry the weight of legitimate criticisms, illegitimate criticisms, imagined criticisms, and comments from people who are just downright mean. (Sorry, but some people are just downright mean.)

Who wants to carry all of that?

So stop.

Stop being your own worst critic. Be your own best critic.

Honestly evaluate yourself. You know your strengths and weaknesses. Where you need to make a change, make a change. Create a small circle of others from whom you will accept criticism. Make sure they are people you trust, people who will tell you the truth, people who have invested in your life. People who want to see you get better.

And forget the rest. Oh, don’t forget them as people. Love them. Honor them. Be kind to them. But don’t allow them to influence your life with negativity, untruths about who you are, destructive criticism…or just plain meanness.

In place of that baggage, celebrate your victories. Focus on what you do well. Get better at what you need to improve on, and get rid of what you shouldn’t be doing at all.

Stop being your own worst critic. And become your own best cheerleader.


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