I just graciously accept compliments and move a long. I know where my weaknesses are better than anyone.
Well, I hate to say it, but you weren’t supposed to believe them. For me, as a player, I compare myself to the masters. I may tell myself I did a great job and that I was “on”, but I always know I’m not at the level of the masters (insert favorite genre professional here). And I’ll say “thank you” for the compliments, but I never believe them because it’s impossible to know what the average audience member liked or what they even know. In fact, saying “thank you” is the quickest way to get them to stop.
Your self-talk is very important to your mental health. As I know I will never be Vinnie or Jeff, they will also never be me. They inspire me to practice and play. Some people get discouraged and quit. You gotta find your own light. Every working musician I know KNOWS there’s always greatness to aspire to. You never really arrive. You just do it.It sounds like you’re able to balance telling yourself that you did a good job while comparing yourself to a level that you will never achieve. When I do the comparison part (which I do) I fail at telling myself I did a good job, even if I did a reasonably good job. I don’t know how to balance those two things well enough to avoid getting discouraged. Currently the comparison moves me forward but it also steals some of the joy and I fear that one day it will tell me to quit trying.