Is it okay to be your own worst enemy?

I’ve been told I’m my own worst critic.  In my usual overthinking manner, I found myself not wondering why – because clearly I don’t think anyone else is doing a very good job of it – but if that is good thing or a bad thing.

And, you know, I don’t know?  On the surface of the statement it sounds negative – just another way of saying, “You are way too hard on yourself.”  But if you look at it a little closer, “you’re your own worst critic,” is rarely spoken as an admonishment, because constantly pushing yourself to be better is considered a good thing.  Obviously, you can go too far, but…how can you strive to be better if you’re satisfied with your current performance?

Now, I kinda recognize there’s a line here between perfectionism and simply pushing yourself.  Perfectionism means everything must be the exact way you imagine it to be, which can be tricky if you don’t have a very clear vision and can be hard to achieve even when you do.

Notice I didn’t use the term “perfect.”  This is because I suspect that’s not really what the perfectionists are after – it’s just what they think they’re after.  Perfectionism can be very self-destructive, and very destructive to the people around you, if you don’t keep it on a very short leash.  There’s a point where you have to say, “Good enough,” and let it go or it can become a cycle of failure and abuse.

But yet…you can push yourself so hard and so often there’s no end in sight.  And the space between, “I’m getting better every day,” and “I didn’t improve enough today,” can be less than 24 hours.  Sometimes it can be less than 60 minutes.

Feel free to tell me I’m overthinking this.  I’ll even agree with you.  But I’m trying to set down in words something that has been plaguing me for awhile.  This is the mental equivalent of taking apart an old copier just to see how it works and find what makes that odd scraping noise.

So there may not be an answer to whether being your own worst critic is a good thing or a bad thing.  I think its kinda a gray area.  It’s not a particularly profound conclusion, but we may just have to accept that and move on.

Ironically, I feel this post could be better.  I have, however, decided it’s done and that enough for now.

via the Daily Post: Criticize


One thought on “Is it okay to be your own worst enemy?

  1. I use to be an elementary school teacher and I would have students do a self assessment before their report cards. I would not look at them till after I did their report cards. One year I even invited students to attend their parent teacher conference and pulled out the report card I did and the assessment they did. It always showed that the students were harder on themselves but it told so much about them. The parents loved it. -Bruce

    Liked by 2 people

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