Self criticism – perception vs. reality

Yesterday at work we were brainstorming some video ideas to promote our company, and looking at lots of different styles.

This one was played to us. I’ve never seen it before. Seriously, take 3 minutes out of your day to watch it. It’s beautiful, and eye opening.

I mentioned in my previous post about my blogging experiences how personal Twitter use has made me critical of myself. I’ve blogged about hating my hair. I look at photographs of myself and immediately pick up on the bad bits – I don’t like my nose, my face looks round. There’s always something not to like.

When I was in my teens and early 20s, I was so desperate for a boob job. I’d belittle my own appearance in front of people with the intention of them thinking I didn’t care if they thought I had small boobs. I wanted to get in there first, before they did, so they couldn’t hurt me. I was convinced that my life would be that bit better if I had breast enlargement surgery. When I first got together with my husband, who I’d been friends with for 2 years, he asked me why I was so critical of my chest (his actual words were “I was really relieved when I saw them, because the way you go on I was expecting two saggy half inflated balloons” – gee, thanks!) His reality of me was very different to my own.

I’d like to lose a bit of weight and be a bit more toned. But in truth I like food and hate exercise too much to ever look that way. And that’s a lifestyle choice. I can’t then complain when my jeans feel too tight and I’m not a consistent size 10 anymore.

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Yet other people perceive me as slim, doing a big roll of the eyes when I mention wanting to lose weight. Again, their reality of me is different to my own.

I’m not entirely sure of the point of this post. I know it won’t change things, not for me anyway. I’ll still be self critical. Maybe that’s a human nature thing – to put ourselves down. Is it for fear of being accused of being conceited? In case someone questions our self confidence and tells us we’re not “all that”? Women especially often struggle to accept a compliment, or will counteract one with “thanks, but have you seen my thighs/wrinkles/double chin”.

Maybe we should try and be less critical. It’s nice to make the most of yourself, and important to be happy, but our body is the vessel which enables our minds to live. Hating it will only stifle our enjoyment of life over things that we often can’t change and – in the grand scheme of things – don’t really matter.

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