Stop the Beatings

I’m short.  And Impatient.  I stink at details, I am a horrible dancer, and I am a lousy athlete.  Like you, I have dozens of imperfections and spend a lot of time focusing on them.  How completely unproductive.

Worse yet, I spend far too much time focused on the shortcomings of others.  The driver in front of me going 10 miles per hour under the speed limit.  The salesperson that talks far too much.  The entrepreneur pitching me for capital with a sloppy game plan.  Unless you are serving on a jury, being judgmental of yourself and others yields just about the same benefit as eating nine glazed doughnuts in a row.

Not only is this tendency a total waste of time and energy, it depletes us.  It robs our mojo when directed internally, and fuels anger and resentment when directed at others.  Seriously… why bother?

Why do we spend so much time finding our faults instead of celebrating our strengths?

What would happen if we took all the time we spend beating ourselves and criticizing others and repurposed it into something positive?  Think about how different your days would be if you replaced blame with gratitude.  Think about how your confidence would soar if your internal dialog shifted from resentment to praise.  Think about how you could spend all of that newfound energy directed at pursuing your full potential instead of tearing yourself (and others) apart.

Perhaps it is that wiring in our brains designed to protect us from the saber tooth tigers of a million years ago.  No matter how it got there, it serves no useful purpose today.  Working to improve others and us with positive reinforcement will drive humanity forward, whereas exacerbating weaknesses is nothing but a pointless and destructive act.

It’s time we stop beating ourselves for what we’re not and start cherishing what we are.  It’s time to replace sharp criticism and finger-pointing blame with understanding and forgiveness.

It’s time to stop the beatings.