Wouldn’t you like to hear that enthusiastic proclamation? Particularly if it was made about you, lets say after you gave a speech at a reputable Association’s celebratory gala dinner or spoke at your old hippie friend’s third wedding? Or perhaps if it was uttered by critics about your first novel or your second exhibition showing acrylics on canvas? Or shouted by the crowd after you sang karaoke stand by me blue suede shoes at a bar in Ibiza or maybe in Bora Bora? I bet many of us would – and lucky you if you actually did. Good to be recognized, kind of confirmed as somebody.
But life can be tough, praise can be hard to come by. We may hear something that sounds a bit like a compliment when our teenager wants to borrow the car or a co-worker needs us to cover for him on a Saturday night, but we may never really get recognized as brilliant. Most of us just have to live with it. Be happy doing half-brilliant things. Wearing the half Carat, so to say.
From time to time, some of us may need to wrestle with our hardest critic, moi, who has become very good at giving a quick punch. Surprise us when we least expect it. Pull us down on the carpet, hard fall, there you go, I told you! What made you think you could do it? That’s hard speak, difficult to take. But pause. Before we get up for the next round, we need to recall who trained him. At the minimum, we drove him to his practice sessions for years, paid for them! And now what do we get? It’s clear that we need to re-evaluate the situation, rebalance the relationship. Exercise some authority. Moi, you will go to training again, dance lessons. Smooth and close, no more wrestling.
Having moi retrained, it’s likely to be easier to take feedback or criticism from others constructively. Like if someone in the karaoke crowd shouts “they are two different songs”. We’d just smile and say “might be, but that was my version of it”. And if we are lucky, we may hear a tiny whisper that was brilliant! I told you!