“If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent van Gogh
Silencing your inner critic can be the most liberating way to get writing productively and in a routine. As creatives and writers we often lack confidence and a million other attributes. That inner critic just seems to get in the way. Its a minefield to write something or anything. The odds seem stacked up against us or are they? This is my inner critic talking of course. He’s always a little negative but I just push him aside most of the time. So if your inner critic always seems to be switched on here are 5 simple steps you can silence it.
Step 1. Awareness
Becoming aware that the voice in your head is not you and you are not your thoughts is the first step. In meditation we are taught to let thoughts come and go with no judgement. Listen to the inner critic but don’t take the words you hear to heart. Why do you have to listen? What we resist persists!
Step 2. Put them in a little box
Those negative thoughts you say about yourself and put them in a tiny box. Visualise them going out and in that box. Now they don’t seem so big after all do they?
Step 3. Prove Larry wrong.
Give that critic a name and when he surfaces say ‘Here’s Larry to give his two cents.’ and roll your eyes at him. Then use that critic as motivation instead of holding you back and refuse to accept its truth. Once you start challenging the voice, you realise you are not as bad as you think you are.
4. What would your best friend say?
Pretend you are going to make a phone call and your tell your bestie how your feeling. You know the reaction will be ‘Come on thats not true.’ or ‘What bull****’. Be your own ally or better yet pick up the phone and tell someone how you are feeling and what you are thinking. Once you say it out loud and talk it out, you realise how silly it all is.
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” ~William Shakespeare