As if there aren’t enough pressures that fall heavy on our backs, we also battle our internal critic. Knowing too much backstory for us to ignore, it taunts and kicks us in the gut when we are down. Society pushes these pressures on us, and we accept them with a curtsey or a bow.
Do you exercise? Are you a good friend, wife, mom? Are you looking at your phone instead of your child (who by the way just said mom fifty times in a row and when I finally look they show me a booger)?
Okay, boogers aside, let’s talk about the goals we set. Even if we aren’t getting out a piece of paper and writing down the purposes of the day/week/month/year/eternity, a lot of us know what they are. Advancing a career, changing to a new job, maintaining where we are, finding happiness and peace. Inside, quietly waiting for the perfect time to swoosh in and crush all confidence, it’s our internal critic.
Looking at the distance between two ledges. Can I jump it? How far across is that? If I fall, how far down will I fall, and will it hurt so badly that I may not get back up? The critic answers these questions like Debbie Downer or Eeyore.
Will I fail? Probably.
Will it hurt? Probably, yes, a lot.
Maybe I shouldn’t do this? Yeah, probably not. Go back to bed.
I wrote a post many moons ago about betraying the oyster. You see, the world is our oyster, right? If we let the inner critic take us down before we even give it a go, then we are betraying that oyster. There are actually several meanings behind the saying: the world is our (a) oyster. One such definition I found relates to those with power, they feel since they have power (money, good looks, status) that they have an advantage. Another suggested interpretation is: the world is there for you to take it. I think, in this case, our strength is the will, drive, desire, creativity, curiosity. The world is there for us to take what we want/need from it.
I know that my writing skills have room to improve. I know that I’m not going to birth a novel anytime soon. I know I want to keep going. I want to see where this leads. My disadvantage is the asshole inner critic telling me I am not good enough and I should go home already! My advantage is I will keep going. Learn. Move on. Grow a thicker skin.
The world is our oyster seems so attainable at times. In waltzes, the inner critic, slicing down stamina. The battle seems continuous, even when one has a significant lead.