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You Are Your Own Worst Critic

I don’t think I have ever liked the dose of truth that statement packs. I just have high standards and expectations for myself. When I don’t meet them, I am unhappy with myself. I don’t give up, but I will berate myself for saying/doing/thinking/being whatever foolishness was the flavor of the day. Sound familiar?   

This isn’t about being your own worst critic. It goes much deeper than just that. This is about perfectionism. We demand it of ourselves and yet quickly forgive the lack in others while reminding them to be kind to themselves. 

I’m going to say the quiet part out loud: this is toxic behavior.

Is this relatable? Do you feel uncomfortably seen? Good. I need you to sit with that feeling for a few. 

What do you needlessly criticize yourself for? I’ll go first. I needlessly criticize myself because I can’t lose weight and look the way I want (but my doctor says I’m perfectly healthy). I needlessly criticize myself for not having more of a publication history (but I do have one, even if it is small). I needlessly criticize myself for not having the career I imagined I would (but I have a career in higher education). I needlessly criticize myself for not knowing what my purpose in life is (but I’m a wife, a mother, a Gamma, among others). I needlessly criticize myself for many other reasons. This stops NOW. For you, me, all of us!

We hold ourselves to imagined and unrealistic ideals while failing to allow ourselves grace. We are fed these falsehoods from the time we are young. 

What if we’re on earth to simply have a human experience? We are here to experience all the beauty, warmth, and love the world has to offer. By the same token, we are here to experience all the disappointment, heartache, and sadness as well. The gamut of experience is already perfect. There is no agenda for the human experience, so why behave like there is one and we just never got the memo? 

We are here to learn what it means to be a good human.

It’s time to give ourselves credit for the things we have accomplished. It’s time to press mute on negative self-talk. It’s time to say “no” or “not right now” when we don’t have the bandwidth. It’s time to celebrate how far we have come and how bright the future really is. We aren’t here for a long time, we’re here for a good time. Let’s start by being good to ourselves and watch as that goodness spreads to those around us. No one can pour from an empty cup. 


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