Do you ever feel like your own worst enemy?
Are there times when you are bursting with inspiration, bursting with ideas to write about, but struggle to get started or bring them fully to form?
You struggle because you start over thinking and planning—picking apart the idea and wondering if it will ever work. You may worry what people will think. Doubt if you are good enough, and you start finding things to distract yourself with.
The words remain unexpressed. The page remains blank, or half finished. You have given power to doubt, worry and fear.
When this happens, your creativity is not in the drivers seat. Instead, the inner critic is.
Luckily, you can overcome your inner critic by transforming your relationship so it triggers encouragement and confidence, rather than negativity and stagnation.
What is the Inner Critic?
The “I” voice that worries and is full of doubt, is not the real you, it is not the “I” that speaks from creativity, light, or inspiration.
Rather it is a protective defense that takes over when you are doing something important, when you are stretching to express yourself creatively and authentically.
This critical voice comes with the territory of creative expression and we must learn how to write and create regardless. Here's how to transform your inner critic into your personal writing cheerleader.
Notice How Your Critic Shows Up
The inner critic pops up when we are writing but it also has a tendency to follow us in other parts of our lives.
To transform our relationship with the inner critic, we must become more conscious of it.
Does it show up at times when you are alone, when you are social? Does your critic pop up when you are trying to do something new, creative or share an idea that is uniquely your own?
Activate a witnessing stance.
Notice your body when you experience your critic. Notice how your body shifts, holds tension or reacts.
This process starts empowering us to be a witness to these feelings and sensations. We begin to gain distance from them, which creates space to interact with them differently.
We begin to stand more confident in ourselves because when we are aware of our patterns, we can then make more loving and empowered choices about how we interact with them.
Choose to Feel Your Creative Power
Take a moment to picture yourself fully in your creativity. Fully in your power. How does it feel to have written?
Knowing this feeling on a conscious level puts our critical voice in perspective.
We are much more vibrant and creative than this critical inner voice wants us to believe.
Even though the critical voice can feel overwhelming and has the power to stop us in our tracks, we can take a moment to gain our footing and to experience it differently.
Remind yourself of how much bigger and more vibrant you are when it starts to get in your way.
Use Positive Self-Talk
The negative voice exists because there is a positive one as well. They are two sides of the same coin.
When you start experiencing negative thinking, retort with positive self-talk. Take a deep breath and remind yourself why you want to write in the first place, feel into your creative spark, tell yourself that you can do and that you will, no matter what.
The more we engage in positive self-talk the stronger this positive voice becomes.
The negativity loses its charge because it activates positive thinking.
Your Inner Critic Can Be a Great Editor
One of the best ways to transform our inner critic into an ally is to use it to the advantage of your creative work.
Our critics are great editors. Harness its power to help you edit and see your work through an editor’s lens.
However, use the tools above to keep the critic in perspective and from coming into your creative process too early.
Love the Tension
Often we experience the inner critic so frequently that engaging with it positively can be uncomfortable and often difficult.
Be gentle with yourself.
Recognize that when you experience doubt and fear, it is a signal that you are touching onto something important and necessary for your personal growth and for the growth of your writing.
Write your way through discomfort. Write through the negative feelings. Write with confidence, love and heart. (Tweet that?) Trust that the writing practice will take you and your work exactly where you need to be.
How about you? Do you struggle with an inner critic who often keeps you from writing? Share in the comments section.
Write a letter to your inner critic. Share with this voice how you feel when it comes into your experience and why you want things to change. Share why you hold the intention to express yourself creativity, and how you would like it to support you in the process.
When you're finished with your letter, share it with us in the comments section.