Do you ever think or believe you’re making progress? I mean really making progress and then you hit a speed bump or someone tells you something and you just feel deflated? In that moment you almost feel like everything you’ve worked so hard to build up just crumbles in an instant. I felt that way today. And it wasn’t just once. I mean, my spirit wasn’t broken, but I felt stung and a bit punch drunk honestly.
I was just listening to Big Sean’s “Bounce Back” and it’s a song that talks about resiliency, among other things. The ability to bounce back when you get hit hard. I feel like I’m generally resilient, and I am. But today, I kind of felt picked on. I know no one is perfect, and we all have changes we can make for the better, but there are days when you feel like every little thing you do is criticized and picked apart. And frankly, it’s exhausting.
The book the Four Agreements talks about how you have to take nothing personally. And it wasn’t that I took these remarks personally as much as I was just tired of hearing it. And it felt the person throwing all this at me was projecting so many of their inadequacies on to me. Like since they didn’t feel good enough then they had to make me feel that way. I’m sure that was not their intent. But that’s what it felt like. And the worst part was that no matter how I tried to counter it or offer a different perspective, which was interpreted as defensiveness, it was still unacceptable.
We don’t have to agree, but what is it that you really want from me in those moments? You’ve kind of ripped me apart so what’s the appropriate response? You’re right? Okay? I totally agree? I’m sorry? Tried all of them. None of them works. So you just end up feeling like a punching bag. Because there is no way to win. So you begin to feel not only deflated but defeated.
The only solution I found that was effective, and by effective I mean me getting some peace, was to remove myself from the situation. Once I did that, I was able to gain some perspective and I think so was she.
It won’t change. It’s a constant. And I am getting better with criticism, and learning that when it comes from people who truly love you, it’s meant with love so you get better. But when you’re making strides and it’s still not enough—when you already struggle with feeling like you aren’t enough, at some point you will have had enough. And I am at that point.
But tomorrow is another day. And I will rise again, as will my spirit, and I will continue to improve myself so that when people criticize, just for the sake of criticizing, I will be able to bounce back, quicker and better than ever.