One sentiment I have experienced over and over again in the past few months is feeling embarrassed by thoughts imprinted in my journals, or things I said in conversations. They usually come in the form of big, fancy statements with gross generalization, or ignorance of contexts disguised as bold insights.
Some examples are:
"Very few contemporary artists today have real skills or techniques. I can't respect people who disguise their lack of commitment to the craft with abstraction and intellectual contexts."
"I believe in innovation in adherence to the classics"
"I hate people who are overly comfortable with comfort. People should have dreams and chase after them."
A mere few weeks devoted to reading art history and several good conversations are adequate to make me feel embarrassed about having made the above statements. Whenever I was reminded of this sentiment, I feel a strong hesitancy to say or write anything in public, or even among my friends.
I can think of two solutions to this:
1. Balance your statements out. Alway consider different points of view. Intuitively, this makes sense. But it is also true that an overly balanced statement lack real insights or convictions that matter. Very often, it's rooted from a cowardly desire to hide from accountability. You become the David Brooks of whichever field you are in.
2. Learn to appreciate the beauty of growth trajectory. I recently hopped on skype calls with several people I really respect, a question I asked was, "What is something you wish you had known when you were my age?". They unanimously referred to growth trajectory, and the importance of surrounding yourself with people who do not judge the stage you're at, and can steepen your trajectory. The upside (and perhaps the only upside) of writing down your thoughts is that you can literally track your growth.
It is, perhaps, the only thing worth being proud of.