It’s very easy – easier than you might notice – to slip into an almost constant background of self-criticism:
All the ways you should be doing better, being more diligent, pushing harder, being more reliable. All the standards and measures – formally identified or not – for you to meet. All the people you imagine are watching you, judging you.
Yes. Because you care about what you’re doing, and how things are going.
But how about, for today, declaring the inner-criticism committee free from their duties? They’re more interested in keeping you in line and protecting you from shame than they are in helping you with what really matters to you.
In the quiet their absence creates you might get to marvel at the ordinary heroics of your life. The strength and persistence you’re bringing. Your capacity to keep going even at your most uncertain, day in, day out. Your ability to feel so much, whether joy or determination or sadness. The creativity and ingenuity you have to bring to even the most simple of actions. The relationships you’re sustaining at work, at home.
There’s much to be said for recognising, with gratitude and humility, the enormous capacity and skilfulness and dignity you’re mustering, minute by minute, that supports you in engaging with life in the way that you already are.
Just living each day requires a set of super-powers we rarely stop to appreciate. And what you are sure are your failings are also marvels of this one human life you are in the midst of living.