“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” – Henry Ford )
Being judged and put into compartments of opinions by “others”, is one of our greatest fears. It can either make us or break us. We all grow up enveloped in a cocoon of parental influence first and then siblings, friends, neighbors, teachers, etc add to this nimbus. But this mentoring is not all good and often involves prejudice which leads to a build up of inferiority complex within us.
If I could give/receive one gift, it would be to be free from the voices in our heads that we grow up with, often growing into them. These tend to be our biggest critics and often the mirror in which we judge ourselves against.
I grew up hearing that I am a girl and therefore I must be seen not heard. Voicing my opinion or asking questions was shunned, often with a shake of a head at my impunity. My blackened knees were frowned upon with a severe admonishment of who would marry me. In fact this lament accompanied me right until the time I left home to begin a working life.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing its stupid.” – Albert Einstein
I was called dark, fat and then there were the buck teeth which needed to be rectified with ortho-dentistry. I would read non-stop and was often told that you will ruin your eyes and will need to wear glasses. More woes added in the quota of marital department!
Its no wonder that I grew up into this awkward, gauche and an introverted kid who refused to believe she could ever do anything. To put it mildly, I was ruined by all those voices in my head (and to date some bits of them still murmur from time to time.)
Its not easy to stand up to one’s parents- the first and foremost critics in a child’s life. We all grow up wanting to be like them, to impress them and to have them fawn on us. While some parents would say children don’t come with a manual, so we did the best we could. I would say to them all that blaming, criticizing and non-stop admonishment with threats of punishment are no ways to bring up a child.
“Don’t Let The Past Blackmail Your Present To Ruin A Beautiful Future” – SRK in Dear Zindagi
You only end up undermining the individual that child could ever have been. Its a crime and there is no easy solution out of it. Perhaps years of therapy or yoga or meditation or any such thing might work. But that inner child will always be damaged and stay so. Not only that but we tend to become our worst critics and be so hard on ourselves that finding joy in what we achieve becomes impossible.
Its taken a lifetime of rebellion, thickening my skin and standing firm on my stance in front of all of my detractors. I have grown to say I don’t care and mean it too. I have learnt to say No and with a clarity that brooks no argument. Yes in the process I have acquired some more adjectives but I just don’t care anymore about any of that.
I wish for all of us to be free from these overtly critical fears that we harbor within us, right from childhood and lean into our potential fully. Nobody has the right to put anyone down for whatever reasons as we are all uniquely different. Its for this reason, one must build a close inner circle of people who relish in giving encouragement and positive feedback.
Do you have a tale to tell of your inner critics? Wont you share it with me please and also tell me your thoughts on my post.
I am participating in the #WordsMatter Blog Hop and this post is in response to the prompt “If I could give/receive a gift…………….”. This bloghop has about 25 participants. I received this tag from Keerthi Vydula at Thoughts thru lens. It’s my pleasure to pass on this tag to Apeksha Rao at Apeksha Rao