I’ve finally gotten to the point in my life that I can be proud of my accomplishments instead of picking them apart to find the most minute flaw. My cake decorating days were rough! I would spend hours putting together a three-tier cake designed specifically to match the request of the bride and, although she thought it was perfect, I always found the tiniest blemish and was disappointed in myself for not making it perfect.
At least I know I came by this mental mutation honestly. When I was in high school I was a good student, especially in math. I would bring home a test with 98 percent and my dad thought it was funny to ask “what happened to the other 2 percent?” Despite the fact it was said as a joke, to an impressionable fourteen year old girl, it felt like a failure to me. Unfortunately I have carried this with me along the way and although it has made me strive for that 100 percent even more, it has also made me extremely self-critical.
With my writing, something is different. I have more confidence in my words than I have had in any other area of my life. Perhaps with age really does come a sort of wisdom, or just maybe that elusive two percent was never meant to cause me so much concern. Either way, I give myself that little punch on the arm when I’m really proud of something I’ve written, and not just in theory, I really punch myself in the arm…….
I hope you are able to be proud of your accomplishments. Your successes should never be measured by anyone other than yourself.
Suffice it to say, Susan, your arm must have a lot of bruising 😉
🙂 Thanks Ned. I’m trying to put a few more on there.
I tend to be extremely self-critical also. It’s good to hold oneself to high standards but it’s a fine line between high standards and self-criticism. I agree – that other two percent is just the cherry on top but certainly takes nothing away from the 98 percent. 🙂
It took me a while to forget that darned two percent. Now I can feel like 98 is my 100. 🙂
My father used to say the same thing! I didn’t take it too hard though and actually always believed that you don’t need to spend that extra time on getting just 2% more that really didn’t matter.
Good for you….I wish I could say the same. I guess it’s all part of the experience of life and it just took me a little longer to figure it out. 🙂
I was always over-critical of myself. I still have disappointment when I think of how I missed graduating summa cum laude by a tenth of a percent. I don’t know why couldn’t I be happy with magna cum laude!
Be happy….so many will never achieve what you did. That damned voice in our heads is highly annoying!
I couldn’t have read this at a better time. Thank you for this post! I am the worst when it comes to criticizing, instead of focusing on what it is I am proud of within myself. And good on you for finding that confident feeling without that little voice hanging around all the time. Your writing is definitely something to be 100% proud of. 🙂
Thanks very much. I’m glad you found it as well. It’s nice to tell that little voice to “piss off”. 🙂
It’s amazing how a little offhand comment could have a such a powerful impact.
Lemme just say this, if the fiction I’m reading on this site is you giving 98%, then I must be getting, at best, a B-.
Thank you, my friend. I would never give you anything less than A +!!
what happened to the other two percent, this sounds SO familiar! nothings crushes your faith in your own abilities than this kind of judgment. I’m glad you are confident of your writing skills-which surely are praiseworthy. keep up the good work!
Thank you. I really appreciate that.