It’s easier to ignore it when it’s not in your face. I tell myself, it’s not so bad; I can deal with this and use it to help me. It’s only trying to make me a better person. Although, every time it confronts me, I feel like it consumes me in an enrapture of negative energy. I can’t control it nor gain from it. I try to pull every ounce of good from this force that keeps disturbing my already not-so-stable world. I try to remain calm, cool and collected with this energy. But when you’re under a fire, it’s hard not to get burned.
What I’m talking about is something everyone has to deal with in the realms of their work place, the comforts of their homes, or from the mouths of their bluntly honest friends. Criticism has been my enemy since the first time my mother scoffed at my 85 test score and questioned why I didn’t get a 100 as a child. I know it’s just a way for people to help me. I know it’s a way for me to grow. I know it’ll only help me in the future. But, for some reason, hearing the critical truth stings to the core of my feelings every time. It’s like being in a sumo wrestling match with my conscious. The bigger, rounder, heavyweight, foot stomping fighter is the pessimistic side shouting “These people know nothing of your efforts. You can not do anything right, fool. Crawl right back under that rock from whence you came from.” And then there’s the hopeful, optimistic, more like me side that’s tiny and cowering in the corner from the massive aggressor that squeaks in a quiet voice “These people are only trying to help you grow. They want you to be better. They see potential in you. Don’t take it personally.”
Of course, the victor goes to the big, fat blob who bounces negative words on my head with every round. But the fight isn’t over yet. I’ve grown more and more accustomed to criticism. Especially after bracing the harsh winds of this cold world once I graduated from college. It truly has made my skin tougher and helped me to become a stronger person than I ever thought I’d be. So the next time my conscious dukes it out in the ring of good vs evil, I know that little sprout of positive energy residing in me will become a larger force to push me towards a greater tomorrow. Got to love that criticism.
The real enemy here is the fear of being wrong and of being a failure. This song by Kirk Franklin greatly exemplifies my enemy as its so adequately called “Hello Fear.”