Tuesday, August 22, 2017

My Inner Critic

"What clever ways do you have to get rid of your inner critic?"

I have a terrible inner critic who can fill me with fear and keeps me paralyzed from taking action.

I remember reading something or hearing someone also call it “stinking thinking” which sums it up equally as bad.

Many people say that I’m harder on myself than others are on me and that I’m a perfectionist. I don’t know how I ended up that way. Maybe it was my upbringing because my parents expected nothing less than my best and I always thought “my best” meant being perfect. If it wasn’t perfect then I didn’t think I was doing my best.

I remember getting a convertible Triumph Spitfire years ago. It was a stick shift and I didn’t know how to drive it so my husband taught me. There were times I would cry in frustration because I just couldn’t do it smoothly and my husband assured me that with practice I would get it. He would never criticize me and encourage me by telling me I was doing a great job but if it wasn’t going right, then I didn’t feel I was doing my best. He kept telling me to stop being so hard on myself.

I also can tell others the same thing and not expect them to be perfect but I have a hard time telling myself that.

When I knit something and I see a mistake, I usually have to rip it out and start over because I can’t live with that mistake. Lately, I’m trying to ask myself if anyone will notice or care about that mistake and if not, just fix it at the point I’m at and move on. I think I need to do the same with other things I do.

I need to ask important questions about my mistakes such as:
·      How noticeable is the mistake?
·      What impact will it make if I leave the mistake as it is?
·      Can I just learn from this mistake so it doesn’t happen again in the future?

If the mistake is not noticeable and doesn’t really have much of an impact, I need to let it go and let it be. I need to learn what I did wrong so I don’t repeat it.

If the mistake is noticeable or can have a detrimental effect, then I need to fix it.

By sharing these thoughts with my students, I can be a good role model for them. I think many of my students appear to not care about their schoolwork because they are paralyzed with fear about making a mistake. I need to help them understand that an error is not a terror.

How do you fight your inner critic? Please share.

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