Harsh Criticism

I’m sure I’ve written about this topic in a previous post that was shorter and made less sense. However, I’ll revisit it on 2019 (or write about it for the first time) because it’s something that’s shaped my character for years. You can thank my high school track coach for making me the terrible person you may (or may not) associate yourself with on the regular.

Improving oneself is based on the feedback you receive, either from yourself or others. Now to remain linear, there’s positive and negative feedback. The positive points out what you did right and that’s very encouraging because now you know what to focus on and build upon that. The negative, as you may have guessed, is based on what you didn’t do right, or could have done better. Everyone’s a critic and to grow, taking criticism in order to better yourself is a part of the human condition.

Since high school, I’ve believed that negative of your performance is the most important feedback to take in because that has the most meat. It’s great to be told what you’ve done right because that gives you warm and fuzzies inside. However, the feedback from that is very limited because you already know you’ve done it right, how much higher can you go? At least with criticism, what you didn’t do right allows you to fragment your mind to think of many different scenarios get it right the next time. The possibilities are endless. Why? Because you didn’t get it right the first time! It allows you to get up and try again and again. Eventually, you’ll get it right. Well, hopefully.

So I was a runner in high school. Yes, yes, digging up the past again, but what’s this post about if it doesn’t involve a good story? My coach always believed in giving harsh criticism on our practices and our races because he believed that allowed us to improve the most. It had the biggest takeaway. Even if you won the race, there was something there to work on. I took that philosophy to heart. I mean, if you know me, how did I turn out after all this time? Well, if you said anything other than “I am a work in progress”, then that’s flattering.

I am my harshest critic not just in my running, but in my life. To be a better person, professional, or whatever character you want to spin up. I couldn’t do it without being hard on myself. There’s a negative with having too much negative though. It can really eat your emotions ups. I get it. I’m there almost all the time. I won’t tell you how to let it not get to you because honestly, I haven’t quite figured that part out yet. I just know the results from what I am working on as a person has been relatively effective.

Take the positive in. I’m not saying don’t. It’s a good feeling. I just like the negative more. I’m a fun guy (like Kawhi Leonard), at least I think I am.