Your Own Worst Critic? Fire The Little !@$%^
When did you last put yourself down in the privacy of your own thoughts?
As someone whose job is to interview people and turn out their innermost thinking, I can say, there is no such privacy. When you demean yourself to yourself, people know. The hurt rises into your eyes and overflows your life. Easy to witness.
The cinders of self-abuse fly all over the place. They spew, lava hot, off tongues in Wal-Mart lines. Flare in the words of internet trolls. Anonymity on a message board is folly, after all. Our words identify us. A soul’s inner roiling always shows. The words brand us. Self abuse is a scarring tattoo, destined to peer above the waistline of how we’re seen by the world.
And, sure, self-bullying is nearly always rooted in what someone else said. Even from a long time ago, the words of another bounce around in you, even now. Still scalding hot. Only now, likely, in your own voice.
Consider this. You get to choose what to believe. People can call you anything. You can call yourself anything, even in silence. But only you get to mediate it. Only you get to decide what’s true, even of yourself.
So much of the news I report draws life from this truth, often tragically so. A gentleman once railed at me in a Home Depot store that he wanted some good news. I challenged him to go make some. I’m sure he’s learned by now it’s much easier to make bad news than good. We wired to believe the negative and doubt the good. Even its very existence. Something in us yearns to act out the grim.
But goodness lives. Thrives. Makes news. From Mother Teresa to Desmond Tutu to the group of kids rallying around a classmate or teacher in crisis, the beautiful DO make news. They’re as human as we are, these news-makers. They harbor dark sides. Their minds echo with criticism. But they are believers in something else, something virtuosic and beautiful, even about themselves.
And they are calling to you and me. Their words, their very selves, trying to chase away that inner critic.
Believe them. Believe in your true self. The one that inner critic has yet to meet.