Your Greatest Critic or Biggest Fan, Which Are You?

Ever think about how you are often your greatest critic? It’s time to be your greatest fan. Build yourself up. Think & speak positively of yourself. You are worth it.

My team & I were on a retreat from work and I got the awesome opportunity to learn how to wakeboard. Awesomeness! When it was my turn to try my friend helped me strap my feet in to those super cool wakeboard boots. I was like a little kid, ready and excited for his first day of school.

Wakeboard boots

But, then something happened. As soon as a grabbed a hold of the rope handle all these critically negative thoughts began to flood my mind. “You’ve never done this before, you’re going to fail. You’re going to embarrass yourself. Everyone is going to laugh at you. You’re going to look stupid. You’ll never be able to do it. If others couldn’t stand up, what makes you think you can?” Are you serious? I didn’t even try and this hurricane of negativity was trying to sweep me away.

I did a mental stiff arm to the thoughts and literally told myself, “You are going to do this. You are a champ. There is nothing you can’t do. You can do all things. Who cares what people may say? Who cares what people may think? You are about to wow the world. You will not beat yourself up before you try. Even if you do fail, you’ll grow from it. You are going to try and you are going to succeed!”

“I’m ready,” I yelled. The engine to the boat roared. The rope tightened. I mustered my strength to try to stand and guess what happened. The rope handle flew forward and like a novice I held on for dear life. Next thing I knew I was face planting into the lake like a bird smashing full speed ahead into a clear glass window. Talk about comical.

I don’t know what hurt more, my ego or my face. All the sudden the hurricane of negative self-criticism began to try and take shape again in my mind. Thoughts like, “I told you that you couldn’t do it. You know how dumb you looked? Epic fail…yada yada yada…”

But you know what? Everybody in the boat was cheering me on to have another go. As the flood of self-criticism tried to sweep over me I realized that too often we are our own worst critics.

We often don’t even give ourselves the chance to succeed because we so negatively criticize ourselves before we even try!

Why is it that we tend to tear ourselves down? Maybe it’s because of our upbringing. Maybe it’s because those around us do the same. Or maybe, it’s because we are constantly expecting the worst for and from ourselves that we just allow our minds to wander down the familiar, gloomy, dark, destructive road of negative self-criticism.

Whatever the reason, it’s time to stop. We are in control of our thoughts and we need to learn to keep an ongoing narrative of positive self-talk in our minds.

Our self-talk must be truthful, encouraging, inspiring, hopeful, and intentionally positive.

It’s time to speak well of yourself. Begin today, begin now. What are qualities and characteristics you possess that are great? Do you affirm yourself in them? Take a moment to write some down and begin to affirm yourself in them. It’s time to become you greatest fan.

P.S. On my second try I was able to stand up on the board. I had a positive fan fest in my head. Just think, if I would have given in to the negative self-criticism I would never have been able to experience this awesome win!

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