Growing up I was a very shy person and I developed a bad habit of putting myself down in comments both to myself and others, especially in regard to my talents and artistic endeavors. I'd say little things like, "I stink at..." or "I'll never be good enough...". I remember one time in a classroom the teacher asked us to introduce ourselves and say something we were good at, when it came my turn I literally said, "I'm Brandon, and I'm not good at anything..." I look back at that memory and cringe. That must have been so awkward for everybody. Being humble is a good thing, but there's a big difference between being humble and putting yourself down with degrading and hopeless thoughts and comments. Humble means you're teachable and that you don't think you're superior to others. There is full room for having self-confidence and self-worth while still being humble. The irony of putting yourself down is that it is actually very selfish.
Part of what we're doing when we put ourselves down is we are setting up an emotional defense so we're not too disappointed if something doesn't work out or if we fail at something. It's hard and scary to put yourself out there and deal with possible rejection or failure. Putting yourself down stems as an emotional self-defense mechanism from feeling vulnerable. We all need to realize, however, that we should never put ourselves down in exactly the same way we must never put others down. We need to talk with respect about ourselves in the exact same way you would talk respectfully to others and people you look up to. We have no right to talk anybody down, including ourselves. Constructive criticism is not what I'm talking about here. Criticism can and should be constructive. It's recognizing areas that can be improved and trying not be offended when someone shows us something we struggle with and should work on. Straight up criticism for the sake of putting someone down, including yourself, is what I'm talking about here and should be avoided by everbody in every situation...
This is especially true in regards to our work endeavors and art. You need to think and speak positively about yourself and your ideas, even when we know our ideas aren't the best ones out there. We all have different levels of talent and there will always be people better than you at something. There will always be failure and rejection (even the best people in the every creative field deal with it). At the end of the day, sometimes we need to something straight up just for fun of it, the sport of it or the journey of it. Sometimes you need to do something because you like doing it, and then try to not worry what others think (a lot easier said than done). In the wise words of the coach on the movie Cool Runnings (he was talking about winning trophies and championships), "if you're not good enough without it, you'll never be good enough with it." What he meant was...you need to put out your absolute best effort, and then be proud of who you are as a person and proud of what you've accomplished, whether success comes or not, because that's what matters most. Our natural tendency is to compare ourselves to others and we long for validation in awards and success, but at the end of the day we have to learn to be proud of who we are and be proud when we've done our best (whether our best is very good or not), because in the end that's all we anyone can do. So just go out and do it, and try and have fun, and then be proud you've made something. Don't put yourself down. Think positively, but do give yourself constructive criticism and