My Worst Critic

by Shauna Denis

They say you’re your own worst critic. Sometimes I wonder if that’s worse than someone else criticizing you… I think it’s easier to ignore negativity when it’s coming from others than it is coming from within yourself. 

I was anxious for the show to air. I knew my performance wasn’t where I wanted it to be, but it all happened so quickly that I couldn’t really remember how far off it was from my scale of “acceptability”. Well, it was off. Way off. And no matter how much the people around me cheered me on, I couldn’t get past it. 

I received tons of emails and notifications about my appearance on the show… I was so happy and thankful to have so many people supporting me… but the side of me that was still kicking myself wasn’t allowing me to enjoy the experience to it’s fullest. 

Not one person had a negative comment. No one except for me. 

You know that Taylor Swift song called “Mean”? The one she wrote about that critic who was a complete jerk and belittled her for her performance at the Grammy’s? I was that guy last night—to myself. I can’t be that guy. I had the opportunity of a lifetime and there I was, getting upset about one measly performance. The exposure that I got from this experience is the biggest shot I’ll ever get at making this a bigger part of my life. 

I am so thankful for everything this show has brought to my life. It helped me learn who I was as an artist and grow into a stronger vocalist and grow my confidence. I mean, I gotta give myself a break here. I hid away my passion for this for years, and the first time I sing my own material was on a CMT show. That’s pretty freaking awesome.

I think one day I’ll look back at this and laugh.


“Someday, I’ll be living in a big ol’ city, and all you’re ever gonna be is mean.

Why you gotta be so mean?”