My mom often tells me that I am my toughest critic. She’s right. I am hardest on myself and nothing I ever do is good enough for me. Those rare moments when I give myself credit for finally getting a positional shift in a complicated song I find a way to say, “but it’s not good enough yet,” or something else that pulls always from my accomplishment. The reality is I should be happy I got it right. Should that mean I stop focusing on getting it better? No. I should always try to get things better but that should not come at the cost of acknowledging the good parts.
Have you ever been your toughest critic on something or everything?
Being your toughest critic is what I relate to being a strength magnified so much that it becomes a weakness. Being harsh on yourself might prompt you to work harder; it may even help you deal with it when people are downright nasty in their attack on you—after all, you’ve said far worse about yourself. You’re constantly beating yourself up, mentally, emotionally, and because of that physically too.
So how does one stop being their toughest critic? I do not know the answer to this as I am still working on it, but some things I do that help me are:
- Recognize how far I have come and how much I have improved.
- Do not compare my skills with the person who has been doing it since childhood, or even the person who just started last year. We are not the same person and our development can never be the same.
- Find at least one good thing in what I have done.
- When critiquing my work I try to start with the good, proceed to the bad, and end with something else good.
Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes and sometimes it takes longer to get something right but that doesn’t mean you have to beat yourself up about it. When reviewing yourself by looks, actions or anything else start with the positive because you have that if you open your eyes to it. Proceed to the negative—what needs work and why. End with the positive even if that is just telling yourself that you can accomplish your goal. It is much better to think that you can than it is to always tell yourself that you cannot.