Let’s talk self-criticism. Well, in my defense let me start by saying, it is not always healthy to be too Self-Critical. There has to be a balance and you do not need to lose yourself as a result of this.
Every third or last Thursday of the Month, as promised, we will always be talking about something related to ‘self-improvement, career, passion and or purpose’ and here we are! Any more suggestions? Feel free to contact me!
Well, let’s zero in, shall we?
Practical example; after you have drafted an email or a text message or even a whatsapp message, it is inevitable to proofread what you have written and in the event of this, if you notice the errors, you erase and correct. If the entire message doesn’t seem to make any sense, you delete the whole of it and repeat the process. For some, this may take hours, for others, just a few minutes.
The critical voices in our own heads are far more vicious than what we might hear from the outside. Our “inside critics” have intimate knowledge of us and can zero in on our weakest spots.
You might be told by the critics that you’re too fat, too old, too young, not intelligent enough, a quitter, not logical, prone to try too many things…
It’s all balderdash!
Some elements of these may be true, and it’s completely up to you how they affect you. Inside critics are really just trying to protect you. You can:
Learn to dialogue with them.Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy(SARK), Creative Companion: How to Free your Creative Spirit.
Give them new jobs.
Turn them into allies.
You can also dismantle/exterminate them.
Since our inner critic is much stronger than the outer critic by virtue of the knowledge the inner one has concerning us, as opposed to the outside critic who bases his/her actions on assumption, self-criticism, which is birthed from the inside can either make/ break us. Self-critics could either end up saying, “I am never good at doing this, I always make an obvious error,” or “Thank goodness I saw it on time, there is room to correct it.” Both are inner voices but one needs extermination.
Self-criticism helps if you choose to use it positively. How?
1. You easily dwell on the details. Someone once stated that, “greatness is in the detail not the platform.” Many people have lost major deals because of a simple, overlooked grammatical, or punctuation errors. Healthy self-criticism helps to facilitate excellence.
2. Just like an eraser/ the backspace/delete button doing away with an error, healthy self-criticism helps you take a step back and view yourself/ your work in the eyes of the ‘other’ person, thereby giving you a chance to ‘Take-two.’
How the inner critics deal with you is completely up to you, like Susan Ariel said. But, as long as you are in Christ, you are not a slave to fear! There are people who literally run away from their inner critic everytime; by avoiding a quiet environment, being defensive, self-loath and the list is endless. I have been running too until I came to learn that, “I cannot run from myself!” I called me a meeting and now, I am confident enough to share this with you.
I love what Romans 8:14-15 says, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” As long as we are His children, we have the Spirit in us, and so we are not slaves to fear. We face them, learn from them and we conquer them.
My point then is, it is okay to self-criticise as long as it propels you to living an excellent life before God and man!
By the way, did you hand in that assignement you were given last semester? Have you washed those dishes? Did you feed the baby? Did you take out the trash? Have you delivered to clients what you promised you would?
Check yourself, and allow your ‘inner critic’ into your space, and as Susan Ariel said, Give the critic the job of scrutinizing every detail of your life, make the inner critic your ally, but if you notice the critic is plunging you into a vicious cycle of self-loath; ‘I’m not good enough’ attitude, FIRE or EXTERMINATE ASAP.
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