“You’re only as good as your last performance” – that sums up my mentality in high school and beyond. Participating in rigorous theatre programs taught me a lot and made me who I am today but it also heightened my critical nature. Again, and again I have been reminded that I am my own worst critic – it’s true.
That is how I began my speech on what I would change about myself for a public speaking workshop. We were given 3 speech topics to pick from and I gravitated toward that one. I wanted to share the speech I wrote because I feel that it may help others explore what they would like to change about themselves, as well as how to handle being your own worst critic.
I went on to share the positive aspects of being highly self-critical. I used an article from Inc.com (“7 reasons why being self-critical can make you more successful“) as a reference.
Here are the reasons the article mentions:
- Always getting better (self-improvement)
- Thinking everything through several times
- Listening to others (critical people are better listeners)
- Ego never runs away with you
- Going after bigger opportunities (ambitious)
- Enjoying failures AND successes (!!!)
The seventh reason is the most important one and it brings me to my next point. When it comes to being self-critical balance and perspective are needed. If you’re too self-critical it goes into the perfectionist territory – that is where I reside and that is something I wish I could change about myself.
How am I a perfectionist (just to name a few – I won’t go full on perfectionist mode and list them all in alphabetical order):
- I go over things in my head excessively (my to-do-lists, past mistakes, things I wish I said in scenarios that have long been over with, possible future scenarios, etc.).
- I do things over and over again until they are as close to perfect as possible (yes, I realize perfect does not exist).
- I do not trust in myself, my abilities, and my hard work. This one took me a while to realize. What is the purpose of all that hard work if I do not believe it is enough?
How I try to change my perfectionist ways:
- I take the time to breathe (I know, groundbreaking). It is important for me to let go of the things that I cannot change trough my breath.
- I try to have personal dance parties everyday to shake off the negative energy. I let my body move in whatever way it desires and it never fails to brighten my mood.
- I give myself motivational talks in the mirror. I have to full heartedly believe that I am great and worthy of success for anyone else to believe it.
The “you’re only as good as your last performance” mentality makes me work harder and strive for more but sometimes it’s more important to take a step back and let myself be proud and content. Life is way too short and precious to waste on trying to be perfect.