Why are some of us so self-critical?  I mean we all know the phrase about being our own worst critic but why does it seem so hard to turn that part of ourselves off?  A while back I was going through my studio and came across a small bin of some things I made when I first started in polymer clay.  I stared at them thinking how awful they were and headed towards the garbage when I thought of something a teacher once told me.  I was in a class when the teacher noticed I was getting upset with how my piece was turning out, which happens frequently when you’re a perfectionist, and she told me to remember that the first piece is never the masterpiece.  That was one of the best pieces of advice I was ever given and when I recalled that I decided to keep that bin of my first pieces.  That bin now resides in a drawer in my workbench.  I’ve decided that each time I make a piece that I look over and scrunch my face at I’ll pull out my bin of pieces and use them as a reminder of how far I’ve come and that the only way to go from here is up.