If self criticism were a discipline, I’d be very near achieving black belt status.
If perfectionism were an illness, I’ve been a sufferer for many years.
It dawned on me (again) yesterday the incredible responsibility that I have as a teacher… as a musician… as a human being. Remembering back to what I was like a kid – not yet tainted by the tribulations of teenagehood – still thirsty for knowledge, yet only just beginning (really) to test the boundaries… and the impacts that the adults in my life had on my development, my discovery, my dreams and, well, my general being.
I’m now one of those adults to some poor kids who – for whatever reason – might think that I know a thing or two… or that I’m (heaven forbid) a little bit cool.
This is when things get scary.
Am I doing enough? Am I ACTUALLY cool enough? Do I do enough to inspire? Do I do enough to promote good habits / behavior / change? Am I leading by example? Am I funny enough? Am I responsible enough? Have I found the fine line between being a motivator and being a challenger? What about being someone who’s both a leader, yet a friend? Do I REALLY need to know about High School Musical or Pokemon in order to engage children? Or are my New Zealand accent and strange colloquilisms enough to fascinate them? (Apparently it is).
And these are just the thoughts that run through my head about teaching… never mind the questions I have around the music I write / make / perform… though, to be fair, they’re generally pretty similar questions. Haha.
I find I often need to remind myself that I’m always going to be my biggest critic. That, even when I feel like I’m not doing enough, I am. That often my 75% is someone else’s idea of 150%.
Life isn’t about comparisons, but about gratitude, acknowledgement and self awareness that you are doing just fine the way you are.
We can’t always be our idea of 100% – but sometimes we just don’t need to. We need to do our best – and (apparently) that’s often when we achieve greatness.