The Apache Pow Wow

Let It Go

Margaret Lin, Staff Writer

Through experience and observation, I can say that people usually hold themselves to higher expectations than they would others. When a friend says, “I failed the test” or “I bombed the assignment,” our natural response is usually “that’s all right” or “do better next time.” However, when we do the same, we often berate ourselves for not doing better. This is only natural; as people who are constantly seeking improvement, when we fall short, our self-judgment kicks in, beating us up and causing unhappiness.

That’s not to say self-judgment is a bad thing. It can be quite useful in helping us better ourselves. The point of self-judgment is to pick out, analyze, and then fix our flaws, because we know them better than anyone else. Self-judgement can be a positive driving force, motivating us to reach ever greater heights. However, self-judging can also be negative if we place too much focus on our imperfections. Instead of motivating us to do better, it can hinder us. Negative self-judgment certainly does not help our confidence and self-esteem.

Self-criticism is a double-edged sword. Constructive criticism provides insight into areas of our lives that are lacking and helps create a plan for improvement. On the other hand, criticism with no purpose other than to scrutinize and magnify our weaknesses is degrading and unproductive. The difference between “good” criticism and “bad” criticism is that helpful criticism is aimed towards growth and development while harmful criticism focuses completely on imperfections.

Sometimes, I find it quite strange why we can’t apply the advice we have for others to our own lives. We tell others not to dwell on their mistakes, yet we do exactly that. Brooding over our failures is quite similar to crying over spilled milk in that it ultimately doesn’t do any good for ourselves or anyone else. Forgiving ourselves and moving on would be quicker and easier in the long run, as we have to move on eventually. Compare it to ripping off a band-aid versus peeling it off slowly. Ripping off a band-aid would hurt more than peeling it off, but the pain only lasts for an instant. Similarly, forgiving our faults and moving on is difficult, but moping over the situation would only draw out our unhappiness.

So, while self-judgment plays a large role in helping us improve, a little bit of self-compassion is needed to pull us back out of our slumps. Just as we tell others not to be too hard on themselves, we should also follow the advice that we dispense. We can’t change the past no matter how much we mope around. However, we can achieve better results in the future. That’s why we must, as a famous Disney character once said: “Let it go.”

Photo courtesy of WORDPRESS.COM


4 Responses to “Let It Go”

  1. Maochun on December 20th, 2017 9:55 AM


  2. Jacob on December 20th, 2017 9:58 AM


  3. Maochun on December 20th, 2017 10:00 AM


  4. Jacob on December 20th, 2017 10:00 AM


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