Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why are we our own worst critics?

Before you read the rest of this post I want you to do something.  I want you to go stand up and go to the nearest mirror.  The more you can see of yourself the better.  I want you to look at yourself.  I mean really look at yourself.  Then come back here.

Welcome back.  Now if you are a normal person you probably walked in and looked at yourself, then started noticing things that were wrong.  I know that is what I do, and I have started to figure out why.  It is because I am the biggest critic of myself.

You see, I made a comment yesterday about not being much of a writer.  The immediate thing that I was told by my girlfriend when she wrote it was that I am a great writer.  I brushed it off as I normally do because I "know the truth" about my writing.

Some of the people that read this blog have read some of my writing.  Some of the people that have read this blog have read a lot of my writing, and in fact participated in it.  Two of them have even seen me grow as a writer and helped me stretch that writing muscle.  The biggest thing about all of them is that I have heard each one of them say "I like your writing" or "That was a great _____".

And I brushed each and every one of them off.  I would look at what I just wrote, and I would think "Well no, that is not good. I messed up here, here, here and here.  I am a terrible writer, and one day people will start to notice."  I think that is one of the biggest issues that I have.  I think that one day someone is going to call me out on some terrible piece of writing and that I will no longer have the drive to write.

Which is silly.  I mean, honestly, every issue I have I know could be fixed through simple editing and the use of a thesaurus. Yet here I am, still not sure if I really want people to read my blog, because I just imagine that three people will read it out of some sort of duty, and the rest will eventually disappear.

Granted, I don't expect this blog to blow up, and I will never consider myself to be a "blogger", but I suppose everyone wants some sort of recognition in their life. I suppose the biggest problem will always be the need to silence that inner critic and allow for the compliments to stick.

So, now that I have said all of this, what did I learn today?  Simple.  Sometimes you need to stop worrying about life.  You need to stop being a critic about yourself.

Now that I have said that, I want you to do one more thing.

I want you to go to the mirror again and look at yourself, and tell that inner critic to shut up.  Realize that your flaws, no matter what they are, are what make you a normal person.

You are you.

And that is all the world, and yourself, can ask of you.


  1. To me, the mark of a good writer is someone that when I read something they have written their voice is narrating the words in my head as clearly as though I were talking to them in person. You do that quite well.

  2. I have always loved your writing, it is why you are part of the Order Four.

    That aside we are always our own worst critics and no matter how much we tell our inner critic to shut up, I am not sure it is really possible. Everything I do that I know I am good at, I will always second guess myself on. I am quite certain my writing is crap, my sewing is sub par, my acting is terrible, and my cooking is bland. I get nothing but compliments on all of these things, but I always doubt the validity. I actually think it is that self doubt that keeps us trying harder. If you suddenly think you are amazing and have no flaws is when you allow things to slip and they do get bad. There is a balance mind you, but a little inner doubt isn't a bad thing as long as you keep going.