Friday, January 20, 2012

Why are we our own worst critics?

                                       Here's my first quilt!

Back in "the day" when I first started my addiction to making quilts, I figured it was good practice for me to make them and give them to friends.  They would go crazy over them and tell me how great they were and how much the liked and appreciated them.  But instead of accepting the compliments and being happy that they liked them, I always felt the need to point out the flaws (looking back, there were many :0)  )  Now that I've matured some in this craft, I look back and ask, why did I do that?  What was it in my nature that made me unable to accept that I had done something well?

This week I have been thinking about that quite a bit.  I have come up with several possible answers to why I did that and why I still feel the need sometimes to continue that inability to accept accolades from others.  I remember as a youngster my mother telling me that other people don't like to hear bragging.  She said that it made them feel bad.  But shouldn't we be happy for others when they do something well?  I know when a friend gets an award, shows me their new baby's picture, gets a new vehicle or buys a new home, etc., I'm always happy for them and want to hear all about the event.  So shouldn't we want to share with them our successes?  So I'm thinking that it's not my upbringing.

My second thought was, could it be a fear of failure?  Or better yet, a fear of success?  I believe that I'm on to something here.  No one likes to fail.  Let's face it, it doesn't feel good.  But no one is perfect, so failures are bound to happen.  Failure will hold us back if we let it.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Learn from mistakes and don't make them again, right?  My wise hubby has a saying, "You never know how you look, 'til you've had your picture took."  Guess what he was trying to say was you don't know if you can do something until you try.  I've learned a lot from him over the years and I know that it's not a fear of failure any more.  

So I guess that leaves me with a fear of success.  When we do something well, we have set the "bar" high in our minds.  So by acknowledging our flaws, whether they are big or small or even tiny, we always feel that the proverbial bar is not so high that we may never be able to reach it again.  We know how good it feels to achieve a goal.  The trick I suppose is to not let ourselves think that the bar is too high to ever achieve again.  Just be happy for that moment in the sun when all is right.  

So the next time someone pays you a compliment about something that you've done or even if you're having a good hair day, just smile and say thanks.  And be happy that for a brief moment someone appreciated you for who you are AND all that you are.

And on a slightly related subject, my first Scrap Squad quilt is done and should be posted here sometime next month.  (Just have to get the word that it's go time!)  And my new year's resolution was to do feathers and guess what!  I did feathers!!!!  And I have to say that they look pretty darned good.  Hey, I just paid myself a compliment and you know what.............It feels good.  I'll get the hang of this "it's OK to feel happy for yourself" thing sooner or later.  Practice, practice, practice!!  :0) 


  1. Great insight Melzee. I think you're right. I like the changes to your blog - it is easier to read

  2. Done???? Congratulations on your first Scrap Squad finish... I'm having big doubts on my fabric choices... sigh...