I’m no stranger to criticism in general. I get it from everybody–partners, my dad, a manager. Criticism is inevitable. And while it hurts to get feedback on your hard work as being not up to snuff, it’s easy to do a better job next time.
But the most harmful criticism is from ourselves. The inner critic. It makes us lack confidence and feel like we can’t do anything right, and the inner critic can magnify others’ criticism about us, making us feel like we deserve to be talked down to, or get that terrible mark on a project at work.
For me, my inner critic likes to get at me for everything, from cooking to job performance. Take last night when I cooked spaghetti and turkey meatballs for my boyfriend’s mom and brother. When my boyfriend asked how the food was (in particular, the spaghetti), his brother replied with, “It’s okay.” (He used to be a cook, which I was informed of only last night!! Imagine how anxious I felt lol.)
However, I agreed with his two word evaluation.
It was simple spaghetti with marinara sauce, which everyone should be able to make no problem. But I felt like it wasn’t the best.
Now the turkey meatballs. While the mom and brother liked them, I thought that they were only making me feel good. I could’ve made those better too.
Luckily, I’ve been keeping a recipe notebook, which I use to write out what I make, my rating of the food on a 5 scale, why I rated it the number I did (with positives about the dish), and notes for what to do next time. You can bet that I wrote about the turkey meatballs!!
I know that I shouldn’t be hard on myself, since it was my first time making the meatballs and making food for people outside of my family and boyfriend. (I’ve made it a weekly ritual to bake a snack for my boyfriend’s friends and us when we go over for games on Saturday nights.)
I also think that my baking goods don’t go over well with his friends, but they eat them. But, I must say that the brownies I made this past Saturday were really good!! (See, being positive here).
I’m trying to be more kind to myself. Telling myself that I’m doing a good job, or that I only need to practice more. However, it’s a long road and it’s easy to get the inner critic going though. But it’s a process to feel more confident.
What do you do to silence your inner critic and be more gentle with yourself? Let me know in the comments!