We are all our own worst critics. I know a lot of you perfectionist control freaks out there totally feel me!

My inner critic is this crazy workaholic who thinks “PERSONAL BEST” should be applied to everything as mundane as brushing my teeth (exactly 2 minutes/ 30 seconds per quadrant) to my demanding design career all the while taking care of my clients, family, and friends like it was my sole purpose in life.

Now that I am taking on a LOT more projects from huge custom home designs to more film/TV shoots to my YouTube channel, not to mention growing Julie Khuu Interior Design from a one-woman home-office into a studio of 4 and more, this inner voice has been MORE critical than ever!

You need to pay more attention to X. You need to give more to Y. You must be on top of A, but don’t forget B, C, and D while you’re at it!

OMAN She is one tough cookie!

I am constantly fighting this voice that I believe echoes the most honest sentiment I feel in my core:

Am I good enough?

Most days I KNOW I am, but there are those days where no matter how much I pump myself up,  I get the “feeling” that it’s just NOT good enough.

Before we get to the WHY let’s dive right into HOW I got this way.

Know that your childhood plays a huge role

I don’t remember the exact moment I started putting this much pressure on myself; but I do remember it was VERY early on and definitely during elementary school where my competitive nature was born.  I would enter every single contest my school held from “Most Books Read” (First grade killed it), to “Best Essay on Arbor Day” (Won that in 3rd grade and spoke in front of the entire K-6 school) and errthang in between! When I was first runner up in my 7th grade district Spelling Bee (after having WON the school one) I was crushed for months. I obsessed over every detail up to the point of that loss.

Maybe I didn’t study enough? I could have skipped lunch that one afternoon and practiced spelling with my teacher instead? Maybe I had a bad breakfast that morning? Maybe I wore the wrong shoes that day?

I could still remember the word I spelled incorrectly, it was “fluorescent”. It’s no wonder I stay away from corporate offices these days, lol Can you tell I’m still traumatized?


Point is, you “taught” yourself to be critical when you placed such high standards for yourself and somehow in your mind, did not meet those standards.

But who’s judging you anyways? Who is making you feel all the guilt? Who is putting so much pressure on you that sometimes you feel like you’re about to explode???

Look in the mirror babe, it’s YOU.


My TOP 4 TIPS on HOW you can STOP being so hard on yourself

  1. Mistakes are what makes us human

Repeat after me:

EVERYONE makes mistakes. No one is perfect. My flaws make me human.

As flaws make you VERY relatable, don’t forget that part.

  1. Stay positive with words of affirmation and motivational quotes

I get daily help from my desktop page-a-day calendars “You Are a Badass” from Jen Sincero and “Inspire” found on Amazon HERE. The motivation helps start my day and end my nights so that I can constantly be reminded of all the goodness left in me when I am hard on myself. If the quote really resonates with me in that moment, I tear it out and keep it in my pocket all day long. A gentle reminder that it’s there when I need it.

 

  1. Give yourself one full day to sulk then get over it

Time is short honey. We all succumb to strange behavior that might be deemed “weak” at our most vulnerable moments. That weakness that your inner critic harps on is simply a reminder that you have to STOP and slow it down a bit.

Stress is deadly. So is doing too much.

Know that they go hand-in-hand so you don’t beat yourself up when too much on your plate leads to mistakes here and there. Just don’t wait for these mistakes to get costly before changing your ways. Present company included.

  1. Focus on the positive

I know this one is hard! Especially when we have been trained to spot all the bad before seeing the good. I have been working on staying positive since applying the Secret to my everyday routine. It’s a very simple concept this “Secret”: once you understand the hidden, untapped power that is within you to make change, you will begin to attract joy and happiness into every facet of your life. The Secret can be applied to every aspect of your life- money, health, relationships, career.

If you can dream it, you can achieve it.


SHOP THE LOOK

Jumpsuit: c/o Zaful | Sunnies: Quay | Bag: Vintage similar HERE | Shoes: H&M (old, similar HERE)

On another note, how cute is this tropical striped jumpsuit Zaful just sent me? I’m still on Costa Rica high guys so I have been living in resort wear lately. I love that Zaful makes super affordable and cute ensembles that works from day to night or from the suburbs where I reside to the streets of Rodeo where we shot this look. I love this jumpsuit layered with a bralette inside especially when I need a bit more coverage for daytime. Shop this jumpsuit from Zaful HERE.

Part of staying positive daily is dressing the part too. When you look good, you feel good right?


Closing Thoughts

This post comes at a time when I feel like I am on the brink of a cataclysmic shift in my life. Work has never been so chaotic with trying to juggle so many projects at one time. But to be completely honest, I have never felt so ALIVE as a result.

I do my BEST when I have a lot to do.

Ideas flow like water, concepts come on command, and I succumb to the creative force of nature that is a part of my spirit and soul.

Truth is, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be your VERY BEST, all day, EVERY day. I challenge myself daily so I can grow stronger with every new experience. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. Sometimes I fail so miserably that I crash and burn and take everything but the kitchen sink with me. The difference is knowing how long to let myself burn before brushing the embers off and rising again.

A beautiful new day begins tomorrow my loves. What will you do with a fresh start?

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2 Comments

  1. This was such an interesting and thought provoking post, I’m definitely my own worst critic, I never seem to be happy with anything I’ve done in the end, I’ll have to make sure I work on it more.

    Rosy | Sparkles of Light Blog

    • Julie Khuu Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Rosy! I’m always trying to practice self love but it’s been tougher as the responsibilities get even more demanding… a gentle reminder for myself and you babes <3

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