Silencing the Critic

Since I’ve “been stingy with the posts lately,” here’s one more random thought to end this lovely Spring day…

A friend recently remarked, into a lull in the conversation following a compliment I’d given:

“I was going to be self deprecating, but I’m trying to be less mean to myself. Left me at a blank.”

My thought: Self criticism is a double-edged sword. It’s useful at keeping arrogance in check. But easily can slip beyond that healthy ego-governing level, into destructiveness.

It’s also a really hard habit to break.

My inner critic arises from so many different sources of strictures and harsh examination: church, family background, social pressures, but also from a diffuse discontent and loathing of so many qualities I see inside me that I want to excise. I think it’s healthy to work at that goal, provided the focus is on improving areas of weakness, not wallowing in the shortcomings themselves. And, as I’ve said (see a few posts back), you do have to own your awesome.

Today’s awesome: I totally kicked ass at work yesterday, closing several key deals, earning millions of dollars of business for my company as the first quarter of 2013 came to an end. I love that rush, but I love even more the fact that I have the skills to do that consistently. I’m a rock star attorney, and I love it!!

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3 comments so far

  1. Femmi on

    You rock star attorney you! Kicking ass, making money!

  2. […] Last night’s post on the “Sudden Awareness” blog hit a trending theme in my life right now: the catch-22 that faces any woman the instant she receives a compliment. Accepting praise unchallenged feels conceited, socially inappropriate, and not just to the woman receiving it; the person offering the compliment and others who overhear it are likely to judge that response as well. What we’re taught to do, as nice young ladies, is to undercut ourselves, to pass the credit to someone more deserving, to dodge however we have to dodge to get out of admitting there was anything about us that could possibly merit such a comment. […]

  3. FemOutLoud on

    Loved this, and it definitely struck a chord with what I’ve been hearing elsewhere lately. I responded on my own blog instead of hijacking your comment thread, but thank you for posting this!


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