Everyone has an inner monologue that lives inside their head 24/7. Sometimes it can be a strong motivator that helps you accomplish great things and summon up the courage to make things happen.
But, like all things in the world, there’s a dark side to this voice. The critical side. The side that talks you out of doing things. The side that tells you that you can’t do it. You aren’t good enough, smart enough, or creative enough.
I hate that side of my inner voice, and I’m sure you do, too.
The exterior world can seem like a constant assault of negativity, pessimism, hate, and evil. We are inundated by it in the news, on social media, on TV shows, and by people we encounter daily. So it’s no surprise that this inner voice turns against us when the world seems determined to take us down and make us give up.
It’s time to turn that around.
I’m not a psychologist, but I do believe we can take steps to silence this inner critic and accomplish our creative goals.
Your inner critic has one goal: to create doubts in your head that prevent you from being creative. It’s an insidious creature with zero regards for you or your well-being.
Fight against it by writing about it. Fight fire with fire.
Have a journal, pen and paper, a Notes page on your phone ready to use when that evil inner voice comes a-callin’.
Write down what it’s telling you, then write something positive that contradicts what it’s saying. Keep writing, and writing, doing the opposite of what it’s trying to prevent you from doing.
Then close the journal, turn over the paper, close the Notes app, and return to work.
By writing about your inner critic, you take away some of its power. As you continue this practice, the intention is for the inner critic to pop up less. In turn, the journaling should diminish over time so that when you begin to create, your mind is open and free to do so.
Make the inner voice afraid of you and your power over it.
If you don’t want to journal but still want that voice to shut itself up, don’t let it get to you. Ignore it by continuing to write, perform, or create, giving it no power or control over your mind.
Its goal is to get you to stop your creative endeavor, so whatever you can do to fight through that temptation, do so. It may be a challenge at first, but your creativity will strengthen daily, and your inner critic will weaken as you ignore its taunts. Keep moving forward on whatever creative project you’re working on, and don’t stop.
Talk Over It
If you’re a writer, you have the power of words at your fingertips. Your words. Your story or poetry. Start talking when that critical demon rears its ugly head, luring you toward the rocks of pessimism and negativity.
Read your work out loud. Talk and talk and talk until you’ve exorcised that inner critic and sent it back to the depths of darkness where it rightfully belongs.
As you read, if you get to the end of your writing, start writing more and reading it aloud. Keep that momentum until that inner critic has disappeared, and you can return to writing with a clear, unobstructed imagination.
You have something to say. Your inner critic doesn’t, and shouldn’t, have the power to stop you. By taking active steps to silence it, you will see your creativity and productivity increase, and you’ll get more accomplished in the long run.
Happy Writing, and I’ll see you next time!