When did self-criticism become a viable opportunity for learning?  What does it really accomplish?  Why do we so readily embrace it?

I’m not talking about constructive criticism, but even here, many of us just end up calling self-loathing a distant cousin of constructive criticism, and move on with our day.

Language is a funny thing. 

No matter what you have done, or what you want to do, you can use the same words to say the same thing but mean the exact opposite.

Self-criticism. Self-loathing.  Self-hatred.  Constructive-criticism.  Constructive-hatred.

Call it what you want, but it ends up being and doing, the same thing.

We can become our worst enemy. 

It is no wonder we seek to silence ourselves with anything and everything we can. 

We hate silence. 

We get sick on our vacations.  We get easily bored.  We move on quickly to the next relationship, the next hobby, the next thing.  Anything and everything, to just keep moving.

We need to stop listening to the opinions of others.

There comes a time when we must stop listening to ourselves.

We are very passive aggressive when it comes to our own happiness.

At the beginning, we are our own best cheerleaders.  We jump and shout.  Shower our mind with encouragement and visions of paradise.  Then our voice grows tired and goes numb.

What follows is something along the lines of stupid, what were you thinking, I told you so, how could you do this to yourself again, what will the neighbours think, how can you look at them again, stupid, stupid, stupid.

If we want success.  We need to shut the fuck up.

We stand in our own way. 

We sabotage everything we undertake.  We see failure, magnify it, and project it, so that it is the only thing we see, even when it is largely ignored, unnoticed, or overlooked by others.

I am not saying that we do not need to know how to improve on many things, but this very fragile task of learning something new, should probably come in small spurts, and most definitely not from us.

What we need from ourselves is to hard work, build good habits, shed terrible ones, work our viable plan, stick with our effort, sharpen our focus, and never tire of dreaming dreams.

I don’t ask for criticism anymore. 

I can’t.

I need to ignore my own need to know what people think of my writing or my photography, because somewhere, deep inside, my fragile mind is fishing for something. 

Anything really. 

Anything and everything it can find so that it has proof that once again, while it was a good and enjoyable run, I should better leave what I dearly love, in the hands of true professionals.

It is best to stand still, and admire real artists from a distance.

It’s safer.

Self-doubt, like maggots, breeds itself through decay, and the stifling air of self-criticism.

Self-criticism is dangerous for my soul. 

It may be harmful to yours. 

One day I hope to wake up and not compare myself to others or wonder where I stack up.

I don’t want to compare.  I want to compliment. 

I want to be like the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, who early on, set out to introduce the British culture to the soulful Blues music of the suffering Delta and Mississippi.  Somewhere along the way, while they were trying to do something else, they found their own voice, and the world loves them for it.

I don’t know where I am going.  Most mornings, I don’t know what it all means.  Why I do it.  Who I do it for.  How long it will last.  What it will turn into.  Is it any good?  Or if I am getting any better?

I don’t know much, but I know that I don’t want it to stop.

I experience tremendous joy, writing in the morning.  I didn’t back in December when I started, but I am now very excited to wake up at 4:02 am, and first do some weight training.  I look forward to my morning coffee.  I look forward to the rest throughout the day.  I enjoy the heaps of food I need to eat to repair my muscles.

I enjoy the time I have to write. I need to steal that time. I have to look for it. It doesn’t come easily.

I enjoy talking to people about photography, about writing, and about life.  I love hearing their stories.  Telling mine.  Listening.  Talking.  Sharing.  Laughing.

I enjoy being.

Self-criticism can’t help me be.

I already am.