You’ve Done Better

Do you know that one thing that you’re really good at?  Everybody does, even though you might not see it.  If you haven’t found yours yet, keep looking — it’s there.

Sometimes, though, you find yourself taking way longer to do it than usual, and when it’s done, you’re not pleased at all with the outcome.  I’ve been there.  You over-criticize yourself, knowing that last time it only took you two hours instead of five, back in March you did it for $20 worth of materials instead of $40, the details were that much clearer in your last one, or you hit all the right notes when you were practicing that morning.

Stop it.

There are always peaks and valleys.  When you get good at something, you will always have done it better at some point.  And guess what?  You’ll find that there will be a time where you’ll exceed the “before.”  It will come if you’re patient and diligent.

In the meantime, show your finished product to someone else who isn’t as good at it.  Guaranteed, if they’re honest (and not a total jerk), they’ll see that talent within you and compliment you on it.  Here’s the key:

Don’t shut it down.

Do not reply with, “I’ve done better.”  Do not even think about opening with all the things you see wrong with what you’ve just done.  You’ll make it awkward for the person you’re talking to, and you’re deliberately killing not only your own self-esteem, but the likelihood that the person will ever let you know how they feel in the future.

Say, “Thank you.”

Yes, you’ve done better, but you’ll learn to do better again.

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