The first criticism and its echoes

The first instance of self-criticism can be useful. If it is constructive, it can be a call to learn from your mistakes and be better.

The first criticism can empower you.

Every echo — that is to say the subsequent criticisms that exist merely to beratingly remind you of the same mistake — are needless. The more you entertain them, the more energy that is wasted helplessly ruminating about the past.

Echoes will drain you.

Pushing yourself to grow while maintaining a sense of well-being are perfectly compatible things provided you give yourself permission to pay mind only to the first criticism that serves you and none of the noise that comes after it.

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William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (