In our driven, ambitious, goal-oriented world, many of us are taught that the only way to get things done is to push.
That might mean forcing ourselves to do things we don't want to do, propelling ourselves towards goals, or talking to ourselves in an unkind way.
Because of what we've been taught, we may believe that this is the way forward. That without pushing, or forceful self-talk, nothing will ever get done.
But when it comes to creativity, this strategy simply doesn't work in the long run.
When we try it, especially when we talk to ourselves in unkind ways, we might find that it works for short blasts of intense shame-fueled action. But before long, we find ourselves coming up against procrastination, overwhelm, apprehension, or other creative blocks.
In short, we hit a wall.
And then, when the inner critic pipes up and tells us what we should be doing, instead of jumping into action, we're dazed and stalled. Unsure of what to do.
Hitting that wall is not evidence of a problem. It's evidence of an unworkable strategy. Namely, the strategy of berating ourselves into action.
What if, instead, we took a moment to notice how we speak to ourselves?
What kinds of things does your inner critic say when you're not doing what you "should"? How does it feel to be on the receiving end of those comments?
What if we had a gentle, curiosity-fueled conversation with our inner critic, and listened to it? Might it have some interesting things to say?
Once we get quiet and pay attention, we often find that our inner critics are there for real, understandable reasons--even if their methods need some work.
And once we understand the reasons behind our inner critic's behavior, and show compassion for them, a lot of our resistance begins to soften naturally.
No pushing or forcing necessary in the least.
What's your inner critic saying to you? And how might you show it that you're listening?
If you'd like some help learning how to converse with your inner critic constructively, this month's workshop can help. In this hourlong session, I'll teach you practical, actionable skills to work with your inner critic rather than against it. By the end, you'll have made changes in your relationship to this formidable inner opponent.
If you're looking for ways to jumpstart your writing, I've got just the thing for you. Practice Makes Progress is a monthly online writing
group that incorporates prompts, writing together, and sharing our work in a supportive, friendly community.
This session meets on the first Friday of every month, at 7:30 pm Japan time.
Come join us!
Have you tried Co-Creation Time yet? This free weekly online meeting gathers creatives from around the world to support each other as we each work independently on our own projects. Knowing that others are working alongside you helps to fuel your creative progress, and before you know it, you're sharing what you've done at the end of the hour.
It's super fun, and always creatively rejuvenating.
We'd love to see you there!
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