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Firing Your Inner Critic

How often do we hold back from making a suggestion, expressing an opinion, writing a blog post, or sharing our work, all because of our inner critic? The voice that says, ‘That’s a dumb idea’, ‘You’re about to make a fool of yourself’, That’s just not good enough’.

Our inner critic can be a real bitch. I wrestle with her every day. Every time I submit a piece of work to a client, the inner voice in my head tells me it’s not good enough. When it comes to maintaining a regular posting schedule for my blogs (and I’ve started quite a number!), my inner critic gets in my way of putting up content. Because. That’s just what she does.

I took up the challenge of writing 500 Google Glass app ideas for my former startup, a feat that took me 6 whole months, and I struggled with my inner critic pretty much every step of the way. It did get easier at a certain point to ignore those discouraging thoughts, but it took discipline. That was last year.

Evidently, I’m once again in need of a refresher course on ‘Firing Your Inner Critic’. #365shadesofcreativity is my training ground to keep that wily bitch at bay (grins). She ain’t getting the better of me! And of course, I wouldn’t be doing this if not for the inspiring #yearofcreativehabits community.

I had an epiphany yesterday.

It suddenly hit me that this (#365shadesofcreativity) is a personal project. I’m not doing this to impress anyone. It’s a personal exercise to develop creative habits that make me a better writer. There’s no pressure here. Not every single post is going to be amazing, but that’s what creating art is about.

Seth Godin talks about this at great length in ‘The Icarus Deception’:

“Art isn’t pretty.

Art might scare you.

Art is what we do when we’re truly alive.

Art isn’t a result; it’s a journey. The challenge of our time is to find a journey worthy of your heart and your soul.”

– Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception

It’s not a walk in the park, but it’s certainly much more fulfilling than doing work that means nothing to us, that’s superficial at best. And it finally sunk in for me:

It’s okay to allow myself to write without judgement.

Try firing your inner critic (if you haven’t)! You’ll feel a ton off your shoulders. Perfection is but an illusion. Only by doing can we improve.

Update: I didn’t get very far (at all!) with #365shadesofcreativity, but I liked this post so I decided to put it up here.

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LindySiuFiring Your Inner Critic
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