Constructive (turned introspective) Criticism

Look at her with the daily vlog, before & after success photos, inspirational blogs & memes. Who do they think they are?… acting like they’ve got it all together. This week’s sermon originally sounded like a rant, but turned into some serious introspection. Crap.

“Do or do not. There is no try.”


At the ripe age of 39, I was just about to finally finish up my A.S. degree in Criminal Justice, and all I needed was the (pain in my ass) Intermediate Algebra course, and to RE-TAKE a general Speech class. Back in the 90’s I apparently didn’t take enough interest in completing college, and instead found a major interest in boys, paychecks, and parties. It was a gruesome discovery, just a few years ago, to find out that I had earned a solid F in my first attempt at a Speech class around 1997 (odds are, I simply stopped attending class). Gazing into my boyfriend’s eyes, or inhaling a cream-cheese toasted bagel in the college’s cafeteria, completely superseded my academic aspirations.

Fast-forward to my recent second attempt at Speech 1A through our local community college. Here I am, (at that time) about to turn 40 years old. While battling debilitating anxiety (and working an insane amount of hours), I was kicking my “teenaged” self for allowing those scrumptious, college-cafeteria-toasted-bagels to be a priority back in the 90’s. Anxiety and a Speech class. Brilliant. The semester went along just fine, and I ended up passing the course with an A. Our professor was much younger than myself. Everyone sitting near me was younger than myself. I surveyed the whole classroom and everyone was younger than myself! Wait, there’s two ladies who look older. One of those two dropped out within a week. It was later revealed that the other potentially older lady (whom I thought must have at least a few years on me) was almost exactly ONE year younger. I am the eldest in the room. What did the professor just say? Ugh.

Being the eldest student in the class, working 17+ years at an occupation, and having endured almost every life experience imaginable, I thought to myself ‘what am I really going to get out of this course… other than a passing grade?’. That cocky confidence disappeared after receiving my first constructive feedback from the professor and fellow classmates. Filler words, filler sounds, ummm, uhhh, *silence*, and pushing back my bangs had all apparently filled my 3 minute monolog. And that was AFTER I had coached myself to NOT allow these things to happen! Thank goodness for having a more mature confidence, but this was an unconscious brain fart. Ummm.

“The greatest teacher, failure is.”

also Yoda

This new awareness for public speaking had created a monster. I had become critical of bloggers and vloggers… but why? Video blogging. An efficient, quicker, more eye-catching way of appealing to an audience, while expressing a view or advertisement. I have over a dozen friends and acquaintances who do fabulous, daily vlogging posts. Everything from encouragement, to faith, dancing & singing, to productivity, and simple self-awareness. Many of them have killer bodies, great personalities, and a perfectly delivered monolog. They’ve all beat me to it at getting their messages out there, and are a big influence on this very blog endeavor (so thank you). We’ve also witnessed the opposite (think ‘Miranda Sings’, but without the royalties). The random internet personalities who just don’t think it all through before they hit the ‘record’ button. Ummm, like, you know, *silence, hiiiiii, uhhhh. Ugh.

My new pet-peeve had caused me to be even more negative. For some selfish (& self-righteous) reason, I wanted to help (ex: strangle) a few of them smooth out their delivery. This caused a reawakening in self-perception and my perception of others. My occupation had also caused me to be critical and completely miss the message (I’ll add Vlog Manager/Coach to my resume someday). Why do I feel the need to micromanage? Was I subconsciously jealous? Or my controlling nature? Because we all have stupid, little nuances that bug us. Because a negative reaction is easier than a positive, supportive one? Why was I critical of someone bettering themselves and attempting to lift others up around them? Because I had zero control over my own life… Oh.

Wait… how’s my grammar and spelling so far? *ALT-F7

Truth be told, I now wish I had the confidence that they all have (and your abs, your profession, your lack of fine lines). YOU have given me motivation. I use to be critical of them… because of my own issues. Insecurities. Jealousy. Watching a vloggers’ confidence, or a motivational social media post, seeing their evolution and personal growth, knowing that it’s intended to better themselves, to make a difference, should be a good thing. And it is… even if it only reaches one person.

Soooooo, you know, uhhh, like, ummmmmm, *silence*… I was a person you reached.

“Pass on what you have learned.”

again, Yoda

What have you done recently to better yourself? We are all broken, battling, or lacking in several areas of this beautiful life that we are blessed to have, and satan wants to keep us trapped. Are you in a holding pattern? What is your immediate, knee-jerk reaction when you see someone else thrive (or having ambition to thrive)? What negative or nasty thought crosses your mind when you read a blog, or watch a vlog, and see something that could be potentially motivating (if you’d just let it)? If you can’t say (or think) anything nice, don’t say (or think) anything at all. Why let yourself think that way! Health, diet, stress, relationships, confidence, faith, jealousy, anger, education. PICK ONE… write it down, everywhere. Work on it all week. Daily. Share that word so I can pray for you, and even brainstorm with you if you’d like. Life is too short, and you are a prize.

4 thoughts on “Constructive (turned introspective) Criticism

  1. Your speech sounds like the Gettysburg Address next to mine….A Training For Trainers-mandatory class for the newly promoted. A short instructive talk as preparation for those crazy enough to desire to teach. I requested to go last. Once you had given your “speech” you were excused from the class. By the time I spoke my audience consisted of the teacher. I suffered amnesia, heart palpitations, loss of motor skills and confusion.
    It was videotaped. During the critique of my performance…the teacher just opted to laugh hysterically with me.


  2. Very well written…uplifting, motivational, and made me smile and laugh….thank you to my witty and pretty friend…missing your positive, influential, bubbly personality.


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