It’s not your job to appease your inner critic.
You can’t placate a voice that’s never pleased.
I find myself trying to live such to avoid the little critical feeling in my head.
The way to avoid rethinking all the words you said over lunch with family? Don’t say any words at all.
The way to avoid wasting your time doing something that doesn’t pay off? Don’t try the thing.
How to not mess up, move too quickly, or question yourself? Only do the things you’re sure of or have done before.
But the idea that you can avoid the uncomfortable feelings or the voice that just won’t stop telling you how imperfect you are by not doing things is a myth.
That critical voice critiques. By name, that’s all it does. Even if you don’t do anything at all it will find something to hassle your mind about.
It’s not your job to act well enough or safe enough to never trigger the critic.
It’s not your job to shut the voice up, ignore it entirely, or do anything at all about your inner critic except realize it’s there and that your story is bigger than that critique.
It’s bigger than the time you froze because you feared messing up yet again.
It’s bigger than every mixup, faux pas, or social stumble your brain insists in reliving posthumously.
It’s bigger than the mistakes.
It’s bigger than the social conundrums.
It’s bigger than all the ways your kids have pushed your buttons but you only realize it after.
You’re human with the ability of self-reflection, but it’s not your job to placate the critic.
Avoiding the activities that set off the storm of self-critique does not make your life better.
In fact those activities that trigger that storm might be exactly the ones you’re meant to do. All the little mistakes or failures (and even that inner critic) are a part of the overarching narrative of your life.
Each and every time just showing up in spite of it all.
Common sense might say to avoid the struggle, the screw-ups, the self-doubt, the possibility of failing ourselves, or the discomfort of sharing ourselves.
But common-love says you can’t not try.
And whatever happens after that is all part of the story anyway.
Mistakes, messes, faux pas, critiques and all.
Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope these words found your heart a little bit of salve.