Stop judging every brushstroke of your life

The image above is a painting done by yours truly. I'm no Picasso, Dali, or Michaelangelo. I'm a just a Fisch (married name y'all). 

Imagine you're standing over my shoulder as I dip my brush in the acrylic, then tentatively add some color to my blank canvas. After a sip of red wine. 

You HATE that brush stroke. 

"STOP!" You yell.

"That color is repulsive!" "You didn't make a long enough brush stroke." "You didn't have enough paint on your brush!" "What are you even doing?" "It's ugly." "I hate it." "You suck."


Could you imagine doing that to a painter?

For the love of all things full of wine, I hope not. 

Then, why, on earth would you do this to yourself? Or to your work? Or your kid?

It’s hockey season. This means I’ll be spending more hours than usual writing under an oversized fleece blanket and hoodie in the cold stands.

It mostly means that I’ll be sharing more life and business lessons with you. Who knew that sports would have more lessons for the parents than for the kids?

I can tell you this for sure - there is very little crying in hockey. Unlike baseball. If a kid is crying on the ice, they probably busted something. I’m exaggerating a little for emphasis.

I can’t take full credit for today’s lesson. I read it on a goaltending blog. As I started thinking about it though, I realized it applies to so much more than hockey.

You don't criticize a painter for every brushstrokeyou just admire the painting when it’s finished.

Hockey parent definition: Don’t criticize your kid for every move, every play, every save, every wipe out, or every goal.

And that entire painting isn’t complete at the end of a game, it’s complete after the end of a season, after 5 years, or 10.

This important lesson has me acting like much less of a crazy hockey mom. In my head anyway, I’m thinking, What are you doing? Get up! Why are you so slow? Are you even watching the puck? In my head, I’m judging every movement. This is stupid.

It applies to life and business too. Don’t criticize yourself (or anyone else for that matter) based on every blog post, every botched introduction, every awkward interaction, or the time you opened your mouth way too soon.

Judging a book by its cover is one thing. Would you judge a book by a single page, a sentence, or even a word?

Your work is a painting.

Your life is a painting.

Hopefully, you’ll look at it them more like a masterpiece and less like a hot mess.

Every move you make is a brushstroke. It’s all part of your body of work, your life’s work.

When you do this, you’ll be less critical of yourself. That little voice in your head telling you that you suck? You’ll be able to tell it to shut up.

You’ve got painting to do. 

Besides, you’ve got a masterpiece to create.


Happy painting.


Jacqueline Fisch