It’s true what they say. We’re our own worst enemies. Unless, of course, you’ve done something to create actual enemies, most of us are simply battling the self-sabotaging voice in our heads.
Especially when it comes to being creative, that’s when your inner critic can be the most powerful.
Too many people succumb to that nagging voice and never create–never write that book or start that business or take that art class. You don’t want to be one of those people.
Each of us has something to share, and you deserve to let your gifts free into the world. From my own experience, I’ve come up with 4 steps to combat your inner critic.
Forget the Endgame
Sometimes we stop creating before we even start because we don’t know what the end product will look like or what’s going to happen.
Well, hello fuzzy! We never know what’s going to happen! That doesn’t stop us from living each day.
Any time anyone starts a creative project, they don’t really know what they will have made in the end. Sure, artists have ideas and visions and plans, but things change along the way.
The key is to be curious.
Be curious about what you’re making. Let it come out of you and be excited to discover it. You aren’t meant to control what is born. You are meant to give birth to it and enjoy it.
Trust the Spark
When you feel the spark of inspiration, trust that it is yours for a reason and let it guide you to your path.
Your inner critic will love to tell you that your idea is stupid, that it will never work, that you are stupid. But you know better. Inspiration comes from something bigger than ourselves.
The point isn’t necessarily the object of the inspiration, but rather the fact that you are inspired.
If you get an idea for a novel, you don’t have to quit your job and dedicate your whole life to writing this book that you hope will turn into a bestseller and change your life forever….
The spark is meant to move you to set your foot on a path. Trusting the spark is about putting one foot in front of the other. The way becomes clear as you walk it.
So, take one step. Then take one more…
Ask Yourself Your Questions
We all have questions. About everything from life, work, and relationships to the latest health trend and TV series. Whether we recognize them consciously or not, our questions are what drive a lot of our actions.
What am I supposed to do?
Why do we keep fighting?
Is Kado a real thing?
Why is it so fun to watch people buy tiny houses?
What we don’t usually realize is that we already have the answers to our questions, or at least the resources to find them. The problem is we tend to direct our big questions to our inner critics.
Your inner critic doesn’t want you to find peace because then it’s out of a job. So stop feeding the monster. Don’t ask your questions to the nagging voice in your head. Ask them to your heart.
How do you know which is which?
Your inner critic will always speak with negativity. If the answers you get sound bitter or angry or pitiful, then you know you’ve called the wrong number. Your heart, although it won’t always speak sunshine and rainbows, will give you useful answers.
After a conversation with your real self, you will feel better, comforted even. The truth is, you’re your own best friend. Your real self likes who you are and knows that you deserve the best life. Who else can you turn to if not your best friend?
Write/Speak As If To Someone Else
Would you ever dream of speaking to another person the way you speak to yourself? Or rather, the way your inner critic speaks to you?
Do you find yourself able to give great advice and do nice things for other people, but not yourself?
If this sounds like you, then pretend it isn’t.
Take a look at your situation as if someone else was living it. Pretend you’re a friend whom you care about deeply. Write or speak the thoughts your inner critic is poisoning your mind with, then tell yourself exactly what you would tell someone you love.
What does your inner critic have to say about that, huh?
If you take away anything from this, let it be the joy of curiosity. Your inner critic thinks it knows everything. It wants to keep you in the same box, running on the same hamster wheel. The truth is, you don’t know everything, and you don’t really want to, because that would take the fun out of living.
Stay curious about your life and yourself. You are interesting and vibrant. Tell yourself that.