Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Inner Critic

The vile little creature is at it again…whispering ugly insults into my ear. Telling me I’m an inadequate, talentless piece of you know what. I’m serious. That’s what my inner critic is telling me. Nice, huh? She’s been here before but she was gone for awhile. Now she’s back. Making up for lost time, I suppose. Doing some serious damage with all the name-calling, but I’m fighting the good fight. Trying desperately not to listen to her--I even got some ear plugs, but the problem is I can hear her anyway.  Loud and clear she sings her mind-numbing song.

I used to talk to my students about the inner critic. Everyone has one, and I know they all had their share of evil murmurings from their own personal Diablo. I even wrote her into one of my plays as a major character! You’d think she would leave me alone after that, but no…she still shows up from time to time to wreak a little havoc. She likes to play games with my brain that leave me exhausted and emotionally drained.

I would tell my students they needed to do everything they could to ignore the negative ramblings of their inner critic. I told them to flick the pesky little imp off their shoulder and demand it to “shut up!” I need to take my own advice today.  I'm flicking like crazy, but she will not be deterred.  She's like an annoying little mosquito buzzing around my head and nothing seems to detract her.

If you have battles with your personal inner critic, I'd love to know what you do to tell her to shove off.  I took a brisk walk in the lovely sunshine today and during the walk she left me alone.  But now...back at the keyboard, she has firmly ensconced herself on my shoulder and I feel her digging in her heels as she readies herself to strike a blow.  "Go to hell, Inner Critic.  Leave me alone today!"

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  I muddle through.  I suppose today isn't turning out to be a good writing day...I shall try again tomorrow.  Maybe tomorrow Ms. Inner Critic will have flown the coop.  Temporarily perhaps, but nevertheless, any relief from her would be welcome.


Lisa said...

Love that you posted about this today. In my Mat. Leave year, I have decided to do yet another round of counselling to get over my anxiety, and I have found a great psychologist this time around. She is sharing with me all the latest neuroscience finding on self-talk and anxiety, and recommending fabulous books. For the first time in ten years, I am starting to feel like there may be a future without anxiety out there for me.

The first book that I have been reading is "What Happy People Know" in which the author points out that most fears are related to one of two things: not having enough or not being enough. The latter is definitely true for me, and that is what gives that inner critic so much clout.

I have never been much good at silencing the inner critic, but hopefully by the end of this year, with lots of practice, I'll be a champ at it!

Debbie Lamedman said...

Oh Lisa! Thanks for sharing this. I should pick up a copy of that book too! I wish you all the best battling the demons...we all have them and we need to fight the good fight! Stay strong and thanks again for reading my blog!

YogaSavy said...

Debbie you know about my inner voices! Instead of ignoring them and pushing them aside or surprising them (you see if you do this these voices will erupt again)
Acknowledge them ask yourself why it is there. There is no labeling or judgment here just simple questions. When you have answered them then just let them be.
We are ready to acknowledge the brighter side and words but why not the critic? After all both encourage our growth......

Debbie Lamedman said...

Thank you Savira! You are so right...ignoring my inner voice is a sign of reluctance to deal with the very thing I am struggling with...namely fear. Thank you for your wise and kind words, and for your guidance. I am truly thankful to know you!

MikeB said...

Hey, you pesky inner critic. -- Get out and stay out. And if you insist on bothering Debbie again, you will have to answer to a higher authority.

Debbie, you have more power than the inner critic. Just write her out of your life.

This will be my last blog reading for a while. I will check on your posts in the future when things are back to normal here.

Man-Man said...

I second guess myself all the time.