Whining vs. Winning
If there was a critic-meter, I think I would drive the dial to the far right. The nitpicking force can be very strong with me. I can have strong opinions and expectations at times and word on the street my disappointment is a heavy cross to bear.
I can be especially hard on myself. And I can be very hard on those closest to me. Like all natural forces, it's useful when used for good - and a pain when otherwise engaged.
One of the main things that the leaders at my last job told me upon my departure was to use my voice - to exercise my power and agency in useful ways. Expressing my needs/thoughts/opinions/concerns to those with power to make a change or have effect has been particularly difficult for me. I can talk to people in power, but I always get nervous about giving them feedback. I find myself feeling inadequate to put into useful, effective words the nudgings that I feel. I find myself questioning if I have the right to be annoyed/upset/uncomfortable about things and whether or not they are big/relevant/concerning enough to broach with those in power.
That hesitation usually leads to me swallowing the big stuff and nudging with the small stuff in indirect conversations, aka diluting the message and being super (worse) ineffective than I would have been had I come out with it.
Someone I cared about in the past once told me "You don't know the power you have". I think of him every time that I don't step into the arena.
I do not grow from having sideways conversations about the things that aren't working. Any grandeur felt is ephemeral. Growth comes from having those awkward, badly phrased, poorly worded interactions with those who can make a difference. Their feedback on my feedback will polish me for the next round. Our conversation will show my engagement and let them know that I can be part of a conversation that needs my imperfect voice. Whining doesn't get me anywhere but discontent. Winning is starting the conversation and moving the needle on the things that matter - aka not the critic-meter.