Often, in interviews, people say ‘I’m my own worst critic’.

They say that in employee reviews too.

That’s because they actually are bad at it.

If the self-talk says “self, you’re awful”, then yes indeed, you are your own worst critic. Is your course of action ‘stop being awful?’ Did it work? Did you stop being awful?

Of course, we all do it to ourselves anyways. Just some more than others.


Here’s a parallel thought.

Does being your own worst critic give you a pass, so you don’t have to challenge yourself or the status quo?

Does it make you refute or ignore feedback from others? “I’m already my own worst critic. I don’t need to hear this.”


What would being your own best critic look like?

A best critic would consider your experience. If a novice makes a mistake, wouldn’t that be expected? I suck at skiing, most likely because I don’t ski.

A best critic would consider the emotional effort applied to a problem. Did you extend yourself toward something challenging?

A best critic would consider choices made instead of the results. Did you have a great performance because the tide raised all the boats?

A best critic would say you’re not really giving the 100 or 110% you say you are.

A best critic would be critical of you calling yourself stupid. So stop it.

A best critic would call you out when you didn’t do your best work and made excuses for yourself.


Example: My self-talk in writing this blog.

  • You’re a pompous asshole.
  • No one reads it anyway.
  • What if you hurt someone’s feelings?
  • Way to go, Captain Obvious.
  • You’re a far cry from a decent blogger.
  • Why don’t you get some real work done?


I do my best to ignore this voice.

Credit to Larry Gelin, twin brother, for recommending this subject.

Until next time,


Tom Gelin
Air Flow Inc.
8355 West Bradley Road
Milwaukee, WI 53223


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