|Self Portrait of My Inner Critic|
Ink and Wash
We get excited about a new adventure and out of no where, or so it seems, comes this voice to tell us how we're not good enough or smart enough.
It questions who we think we are to think that we could ever undertake such a feat, let alone be successful at it!
Self doubt creeps in and after a while that voice starts to say reasonable things like, "Why don't you wait until you know more, go back to school and get a degree, have more experience, let someone who is smarter than you handle it."
And we listen and we give up our adventure.
And so we stay stuck.
Not to mention frustrated.
Our inner critic has struck again.
Self doubt has killed more creative endeavors than failure ever will.
While the inner critic is simply doing its job, it gets a little overzealous sometimes. It reminds us of all the failures, mistakes, and embarrassments we have ever made in our lives.
If you're like me and my IC, then yours has plenty of ammo too.
And that's fine because that's my IC's job—to keep me safe by whatever means necessary and it has learned over time that I am not easily dissuaded from a course of action.
And it's taken a long time for me to learn how to work in tandem with my IC rather than fight with it or to just ignore it.
Most of the time, I've learned to listen when my IC starts up with its claims of imminent doom or complete mortification because on occasion, its right. My actions are about to lead me off the cliffs of stupidity.
But most of the time, my IC is just being its usual neurotic self and I go ahead with my adventure.
And gosh, what do you know? Everything turns out fine!
Inner Critics aren't the enemy unless they hold us and our endeavors hostage. Their primary tool is fear.
Learn to recognize it for what it is. It's fear that masquerades as reason, as logic, as common sense and when wielded by the ever present critic it is a killer of dreams, hopes, creative efforts and happiness.
Don't be a victim. Find neutral ground and then move forward.
Even should we fail, failure is seldom fatal.