Today, I took a picture of my worst critic.

Though it’s fun to rail on haters, the truth is, they have nothing on the critic I see in the mirror each morning.

Each day, he lobs insults when I least expect it.

He’s convinced what I write is not good enough to be shared.

He’s pretty sure other people have already done what I am trying to do.

He’s positive they are all going to laugh at me.

He doubts. He belittles. He cuts me at the knees.

And he’s good at it, because he’s got an entire 38 year history to pull from. He can go deep in the archives of my life and pull out a mistake I made in college as evidence that I will fail tomorrow. He knows my secret hopes and my unspoken dreams and will leave no stone unturned when it comes stirring up anxiety.

You might have a critic like that too. You might have heard the same voice of fear from inside when what you needed most was bravery.

The funny thing is, if someone talked to you like you talk to you, you’d never get coffee with that person.

You’d never spend time with them for their rhetoric would be too mean. You’d call them out on their nonsense.

But when the fear is in our own voice, we tend to listen.

Not anymore.

Today I took a picture of my worst critic. I caught him when he least expected it. I did it to let him know “I see you! I know what you’re about! I know that you’re not angry, you’re just afraid. I forgive you, but I can’t listen any longer. The world is too bright, too fun, too unexplored to worry about the mirror.”

Maybe you need to have the same conversation with your mirror today.

I dare you to take a photo of your worst critic.

Hashtag it with #MyWorstCritic and share it for all the world to see. Fear hates the light of day. Critics can’t stand community.

They had their run, but life is waiting.

It’s time to stop listening.