We live in a culture and society where criticism floods the streets and rattles the windows. Criticism, by definition, is “the disapproval of someone, or something, based on perceived faults.” But criticism has slowly allowed our culture to accept judging as the latest fashion trend. I’d like to think otherwise.
Why is it that we all feel the need to have our ducks lined up in a tight little row or to have it “all together”? It’s because there is a constant fear that lingers on our shoulders. It’s our own worst enemy: judgment. Judgment from others and judgment from ourselves. Hmm… let’s allow that to simmer for a second.
The fear of being judged for being different or incomplete in some way in comparison to those around you when, in reality, our differences are what make us unique. It could be your appearance, your career, your accomplishments, your personality; the list could go on and on. Ever send a snap to your friend of an outfit for approval, agonized over whether you’re going down the right career path, analyzed and over-analyzed what that text meant, or leveled yourself next to a fellow colleague in terms of where you stand? Stop.
That little phrase “the grass is always greener on the other side” should resonate like a brass bell here. When did we stop seeing the value in ourselves and start finding it in our perception of how others perceive us? We need to stop absorbing all the negativity people spoon-feed us and embrace the positive remarks that seem to just walk right by.
What it’s really time for is a sincere pat on the back. Not that silly over the shoulder cop-out nonsense. No. It’s time we as a culture start seeing ourselves in a positive light. Sooner or later, that light will become contagious and no one will be able to stop it. Start congratulating yourself for the small feats. Stop comparing yourself to others or even to the fictitious version of yourself you’ve managed to create in your head. Take a moment to be proud of yourself. Embrace who you are and live in the moment. Savor every bit of it and latch on. Because, one day, it will slip between your fingers, leaving you wondering why you didn’t enjoy it when you had the chance.
Featured Image By Marcus P
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on abbyfricke.com