Unfortunately many of these people have authority over us, which makes it difficult to disengage and escape their negativity - although there are options: avoid a nagging parent; transfer from a terrible teacher; leave a harassing employer. However, there is that one person we cannot flee that we allow to defeat us with disparagement and distrust: our self. Amongst all naysayers, we tend to be our own worst critic and subject ourselves to the most pernicious and persistent criticism.
As an entrepreneur I struggle constantly with this self-imposed weight. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m wired that way, have been conditioned by years of social expectations or it’s just a natural by-product of the day-to-day hustle that comes with being a freelancer but I find I’m always playing defense against self-doubt.
I suppose a certain amount of self-induced pressure and questioning is good; it helps me focus and keeps the end-game in sight. As an independent contractor I do need motivations. And when I feel overwhelmed by self-criticism I bolster myself with some favorite inspirational reminders, such as:
“Have the guts to keep making mistakes.”
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”
“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing.”
If you have someone in your life who’s always putting you down and discounting your accomplishments or you’re battling the incessant whispers of self-doubt just remember your true value lies within, be bold with the challenges you set for yourself and make sure to celebrate their accomplishments. And, oh, repeat after me:
“All I can do is do all I can.”
That will always be enough.