“Success Should…

…make you more self-critical.”

What a great idea to harness. I once heard John Calipari speak these words at a basketball camp. Not everyone is a fan of Coach Cal, but I am, and not just because I like his nickname since it lines up well with one of my favorite universities, not at all. Coach Cal has a talent that not many folks possess. He knows how to coach “talent” and how to get “talent” out of his players. Being a college basketball coach, especially at the NCAA Division 1 level is no task for the faint of heart.

Faint of heart describes a person who is lacking courage, squeamish, unable to rise to the occasion.

Not at all. Coach Cal often gets blamed with the idea of “one and done” where a player heads to school just for one season and then goes to the NBA (or at least tries to). We won’t dive into this topic today. All I will say is that it’s not easy to build a team each an every year if you lose 3, 4 or more players out of a roster of 12…there is more to it than picking out the talent that will help you win a national championship.

But this blog post is not about Coach Cal, or college basketball, even though basketball is indeed one of my favorite things to talk about. The strategy, the teamwork, the way it translates to our every day lives.

Let’s get back to that opening title and first line. It is not a bad thing to be critical of yourself. You can do it with a mindset of love, kindness, and growth. Self-critique is one of the most important things we can ever do for our growth and development. We develop when we learn and do new things.

We don’t grow by simply failing and lamenting. Self-pity does not inspire us to jump up off the ground.

Failure does indeed lead to success, but only if you recognize and harness it.

You must engage yourself to overcome those failures. You must accept the grind, and it may be a daily grind, that lasts for some time depending on what sort of growth you are after.

You may stumble repeatedly, but the goal is to stumble forward as much as possible. To keep getting back up. To keep living. To be present in what we are after. And if what we are after is indeed real success — whatever that might be — then being more self-critical is nothing more than one undeniable step in the PROCESS, over and over again.

It’s not bad, unless you see it through that sort of lens. So don’t.

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