My Best Defense Against Failure

It’s not a tool , process, skill, program or knowledge. It’s self-judgment.

I have been known to say:

  • No one has higher standards of me than myself. Or,
  • There’s no criticism you could say that I haven’t said to myself.

Maybe, you have grown accustomed to similar phrases. You may even think they can serve as motivation to get better.

Here’s my question : What do you do when you don’t meet those standards?

I don’t know about you but I enter the realm of self-judgment.

  • I should have done…
  • I am not good enough.
  • Do it right or don’t do it at all.
  • Remember when I told you…
  • I know better.

What I find intriguing about self-judgment is its point of origination: to protect ourselves.

Here are 2 logical ways I mistakenly use self-judgment as a defense mechanism.

1. If my standards are higher, I don’t have to fear yours

Holding oneself to higher standards is a common practice for many of us. What may be different is the way I use these same standards to protect myself from appearing inferior to others.

It’s a very clever way to avoid paying attention to what others expect of me because I already believe “to hold myself to higher standards than anyone else.”

This is when I found myself not doing a lot of the things I wanted to do because “I had to do it right or not do it at all.”

2. If my criticisms hurt more, your words can’t hurt me

This one is a different version of the common if I prepare for the worst, then I won’t be disappointed or hurt.

It’s such a clever argument. Some would even argue they can’t lose with that mentality. But…

What happens when I start spending all my energy on the criticisms and start believing the awful things I say about myself?



Self-judgment is the way I convinced myself not to try something new out of fear of failure. It is such a clever technique with solutions so logical that are irresistible. The key is to remember is that those solutions never move us closer to our dreams.




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