I long for validation. I’m not talking about kind words from an acquaintance. I’m talking about weighty validation from someone I respect. But many times I sabotage a compliment before it can even come.
Have you ever created something that you loved and then felt like you hated it?
I’ve actually apologized for my creativity. I’ve done it before anyone could make a comment just so that I can protect my heart from criticism.
There are some people to whom I will freely admit that I consider myself a writer. I have no problem accepting compliments and feeling proud of my accomplishments.
Then there are people I consider “real” writers. I don’t go around calling myself a writer in front of them. I talk about how much improvement I need. I talk about how I don’t write enough. I find every criticism I can think of. I do it many times without even being aware of it.
Criticism Is Not Failure
I find that I criticize myself in front of those I respect so that they understand that I don’t think that I have arrived. It’s my way of promising that I’ll get better. I feel that if I criticise myself first, it will lessen the blow of any criticism they may have.
I believed that criticism from someone I respect is a failure. But criticism is not failure. Criticism is either validation for what you intended or an invitation to improve.
Regardless of what kind of criticism it is, be it constructive or destructive, I have the choice to determine my perspective on it.
When I focus unnecessarily on criticism, it instills a fear of failure. It causes me to be safe with my choices. It causes me to devalue myself to protect my heart.
But with a healthy perspective on criticism, I can use to propel me forward rather than tear me down.
How do you handle criticism?
Have you ever criticised yourself in front of those you respect?