Our Own Worst Critics

Not long ago, my husband and I had a discussion about how I perceive myself and my body in contrast to how he perceives me. During that discussion, I truly wished that I could see myself through his eyes. Even for an hour, if I could see myself the way he sees me, I believe it would change my world forever.

Recently on my Facebook wall, I had the opportunity to read a poem that spoke to that very phenomenon so perfectly for me. Please follow this link to read the poem called Within by Michael Peter Smith aka Mikeywine:  http://mikeywine.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/within/

In addition, my wonderful step-daughter V, posted this incredible video where an artist sketches women based on their verbal description of themselves from behind a curtain and then based on another person’s take of them, someone whom they met just briefly. Call me sappy but the short video made me cry and I hope you’ll check it out as well: http://www.wimp.com/forensicartist/

Let me ask you why, as women, are we our harshest self-critics? I’m sure some men are as well but my general experience with the male gender is that they don’t waste much time wishing they would show up differently or that their bodies looked better. Why don’t we find satisfaction with our own uniqueness?

For myself, my weight fluctuated in my younger days and that had an impact on how I felt about myself on any given day. Fortunately the up and down of 50 lbs. has been reduced down to a 10-15 lbs. yo-yo depending on the season and my internal motivation. I don’t find it odd that we care about how we look since our appearance is what we present to the world, however, I must say, I’m looking forward to the day that my weight matters far less in my own self-evaluation.

In the My Body Trilogy, Jane’s view of herself changes and evolves through her character arc. Her mother often referred to her as Plain Jane in her childhood and that was the image she carried of herself until she met Luke and then Marcello.

As authors, being critiqued is unavoidable, and now anyone with Wifi can fancy themselves an anonymous expert. It’s imperative for our peace of mind that we maintain positive regard for ourselves and our work in the face negative criticism.

I know for me, early rejection as a child definitely affected how I viewed myself but as an adult I’d like to think I have something to say about how I perceive me, my life, and my writing.

At any rate, I plan to adopt my husband’s view, he who adores me and thinks I’m the coolest woman he knows. :)  Thanks love.

Are you a harsh self-critic?  Has your opinion of yourself evolved over time?  How do you handle negative reviews of your writing?

Warm hugs,

Blakely

Please feel free to friend me on Facebook by clicking here.
And follow the My Body Trilogy Facebook page by clicking here.
Find My Body-His (book one) for sale on Amazon here.
Find My Body-His Marcello (book two) on Amazon here.

7 thoughts on “Our Own Worst Critics

  1. We see our own flaws without the blinders of love, but with the microscope of scrutiny. Sometimes it would be best if we could see ourselves for the good in us and not all the negative. I believe this is not just a female issue as I know men who are both confident in their looks, and others who are very much insecure. Life shapes us from birth and sometimes the things we hear when we are young will haunt us until we push them into the grave.

    I wish you the best in seeing yourself the way your husband sees you.

      • Very much food for thought. Like you I am pretty hard on myself, but also like you I have a husband who loves me very much and, thankfully, sees me very differently than I see myself. Like your blog. Will be visiting again.
        Blessings.

  2. Hi, Blakely.

    WOW. So glad I popped in here via FB! I’m going to be mushy (as I always am), and say that your post actually made me tear up. Jeepers. It zinged right to my heart and your words, well, brought on loads of memories. I am very self-conscious, always have been. I’ve hardly ever been entirely happy with my body image. I was always thin as a rake in my teens, and then rounded out in my twenties. While pregnant, I’d put on 22 kg’s, which didn’t bother me at the time as it was the happiest time of my life, but then after having my awesome son, everyone always had a ‘fat’ comment or ‘you’re a tad overweight now’ comment. I eventually worked my butt (literally) off, losing 20 kg’s in one year, but then this wasn’t good enough either because now according to these very same people, I was too darn skinny! So either way, I was constantly being told something or other. Now, at the ripe old age of 47 and in the midst of, yes, menopause, my body has completely changed (and I’m 8 kg’s heavier than normal) and I have to admit that I have good and bad days. Some days, I want to scream as I can’t fit into certain things and other days, I don’t give a hoot who thinks what (including me!). Hubby, like yours, hasn’t got a problem at all. Which, in and of itself, is amazing and makes me feel good when he tells me so. I was also extremely introverted, beyond awful actually, but when I hit 40 – my confidence grew in leaps and bounds for some reason (I like to say that I now suffer from verbal you know what as I’m making up for all the years I barely spoke), and I am a much happier and rounded person in both body and confidence. So, I’m now a few kilos over my ideal weight. So what? It doesn’t change who we are on the inside, and we really need to shove aside the perceptions we have of ourselves, what we THINK we see in the mirror, because nine times out of ten, we are the only ones who see the negativity.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and views so candidly with us, and I do apologise for my long-winded comment. See what I mean? I’m definitely making up for how I used to be way back when.

    I’ll be popping back in for sure.

    Sandra

    • Sandra,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I like knowing that other people can relate and loved all you had to share. So glad it finally posted.

      Thanks for taking the time,

      Blakely

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *