Everybody knows that you are your own worst critic.
I’ve often struggled with finding respect for my own work, no matter what it is. Aside from writing, I make a lot of crafts, I do a lot of sewing, and I dabble in art. I get compliments on all of these things, and while I deeply appreciate the kind words people share, it’s difficult for me to accept. I don’t protest, I thank people for their notice, but inside there’s always that small voice that says it could be better.
It can be difficult to keep a positive inner voice. People who struggle with self esteem often struggle to accept praise. A friend of mine wrote a lovely article about improving your inner voice not long ago. Her advice is sound and reflects a lot of practices I’ve worked into my own life this past year, but like anything else, it’s a change that takes time.
It’s also easy to feel like nothing is changing. Like a new mindset doesn’t make a difference. It’s easy to let this discourage you, but don’t! This, too, is normal. And it will pass. Sometimes we just need a small reminder that not everyone is as hard on you as you are.
You see, strangers don’t doubt you. There’s none of the niggling doubt we face from ourselves. If you tell a stranger you’re going to do something, they believe you. You create your own face value, the most important part is to reflect it inwardly, as well. Friends and family can be an excellent support, but some of the most supportive things I’ve heard have come from people I don’t even know.
As an example, an occasion arose where a friend and I were discussing one of my work-in-progress books on Facebook. One of her friends, someone I’d never interacted with before, joined the conversation and asked what we were talking about. She told him I’d written a book. He asked for a link to it on Amazon. I said it wasn’t published. He said “Send me a link when it is.”
When it is.
In three little words, a complete stranger voiced more confidence in me than some people I’ve known for years. I don’t begrudge my friends for this, mind you; I appreciate all their wishes for luck in finding representation. But the simple difference made by choice of words is astounding. When it is. Because even though I made it clear it isn’t yet represented, a stranger believes it will be. Without knowing me or my project. It may seem trivial, but it was a great inspirational boost.
Now all that’s left is making it happen, right?