Oct 31, 2016

Self-Criticism: Be Your Own Worst Critic

     In the words of one of Slovenia's greatest (or at least most quoted) football players, "I'm very self-critical, especially of myself." Yes, I know, it's not the best quote in the world, but remember, I said he was a football player, not the world's greatest orator. Regardless of his vocation (or his shoddy statement), however, I can relate to his self-critical disposition. So much so, in fact, that a number of people have complained about my 'self-mutilating' nature at one point or another. I, on the other hand, recognize that as one of my positive traits and don't see anything wrong with taking everything I do, be it a work project or a blog post, apart and focusing on the flaws and only flaws in a desperate (and mostly futile) attempt to reduce or improve them, never patting myself on the back but always asking myself, 'What is wrong with this, why does this suck?' over and over and over again. Seems mental? Trust me, that's just the tip of the nitpicking iceberg — an iceberg I, as I said, appreciate and cherish and will keep on appreciating and cherishing until the day I die. Now, does that seem even more mental or what?
     If you're nodding and thinking I should go see a shrink ASAP, go right ahead, you actually wouldn't be the first person to say that to me, my boyfriend just suggested that a couple of times this past week and I'm going to say to you what I said to him: self-criticism isn't a disorder which one should aim to cure, it's a virtue which one should aim to acquire. Duh. Don't agree? Watch an episode of X Factor or Idol auditions and then we'll talk. It's crazy how many people today love themselves and everything that they do or simply touch, which isn't that surprising after all — we live in an environment where critique is seen as a form of oppression and thus no one is allowed to crush anyone's dreams ever, even if those are founded on wishful thinking, nothing more. Think I'm exaggerating? Just have a look around — the Internet is full of moronic platitudes like 'believe in your dreams, they were given to you for a reason' or 'stop trying to fix yourself and start trying to love yourself'. Instead of encouraging people to use their brain, the world at large has brainwashed us, some more successfully than others, to simply 'follow our hearts' when your heart is actually nothing more than a blind idiot in desperate need of some critical, yes, critical reflection. But why would you want to criticize yourself, when you should 'try to love yourself', right?
     I'll tell you why. Because complacency kills progress, dead simple, and when you think you're good, let alone great at something, chances are you're not going to get any better so you need self-criticism, you need to ask yourself, "What is wrong with this, why does this suck?" over and over again. Or you can, of course, keep thinking you're all that, seeing a magical unicorn with a shiny, glittery horn and a rainbow mane every time you look in the mirror when there's actually just an ass, who's trying to love itself, standing there. You think that's harsh? Well boohoo, grow a pair. That's how I've been treating myself for years, but you don't hear me whining. And don't even tell me that I'm being too hard on myself: whenever I hear that, I actually take it as a compliment because you know what? Too many damn people are too damn easy on their own damn sissy asses which clearly won't get anyone anywhere — "success comes from curiosity, concentration, perseverance and self-criticism." And if you don't like that, if you'd rather try to love yourself, instead of actually fixing anything, don't blame it on me, because I didn't say that, Einstein did. Who knew a theoretical physicist and a football player could have something in common.



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