There’s nothing wrong with a little self-criticism. Hell, there’s nothing wrong with a lot of self-criticism, either. Even the self-criticism that keeps you up at night, second guessing every decision you’ve made.
Pair a dose of self-administered critique with a little confidence and what do you get?
A separation between work and self.
It’s impossible for critics and trolls to dislike my work more than I dislike it. ‘Overrated’ is understatement of the year compared to what goes through my head during my nightly ruthless rumination sessions.
It’s impossible, I’ll admit, for fans and friends to like my work more than I like it. I know this sounds really lame and pompous. But it’s true. I love my work. And, I also hate it. I love it because I know I’m improving my craft. I know I’m making a small impact everyday with each blog, podcast, and video. I hate it because I know I can make it better, I know I can make me better. A separation between work and self is made out of a balance of confidence and skepticism. This is fantastic (confidence) but I know I can make it better (skepticism).
More on self-criticism:
Ruthless rumination is a reliable tool in any creator’s toolkit. Particularly nasty comments are different, of course, than your ruthless rumination. The nasty comments are in front of your face. They’re real. You can see them, hear them, smell them. You even memorize them. You think about them while you cook breakfast. The worst part? The nasty comments might, in fact, as painful as it is to admit, be true. Yes, your work might lack substance. Yes, your voice might be nasally and more incessant than a car alarm going off at 6 in the morning. But, you already knew that. You shipped the work anyway. Critics, some of them, at least, point out what you already knew. The point of shipping the work was to get better at everything you sought to improve in: writing, coding, designing, speaking, marketing, editing, directing, storytelling, etc.
Agree with others.
Love your work.
Hate your work.
Either way, work. Ship. Make an impact.