Have you ever started work on a big creative project and found yourself paralysed by listening to the voice of your Inner Critic, giving you all the reasons you should give up?
Who do you think you are?
Don’t you know this has all been done before?
You’ve never done anything special before. What makes you think you’ll succeed this time?
Why are you setting yourself up for disaster?
And so on.
How can you fight this kind of negativity?
Well, you could spend a long time trying to get to the root of your psychological issues.
Or you could try learning some big new motivational method or productivity system to help you overcome it.
Or maybe you could try fighting fire with fire and using a mantra:
I am creative! I am strong! I am powerful! I will do this!
Or maybe you’ve already tried all of this, and none of it worked.
If you’d like to try another approach, I have two small words that have got me (and my clients) unstuck and back to work many times.
They aren’t much to look at. You could hear them many times a day, or pass them in the street without noticing. But they are surprisingly powerful.
Here are the words I’m thinking of:
No, they don’t look much. But try them out and you might be surprised.
All you have to do is add these words to any negative statement from your Inner Critic, and they take the sting out of them:
Even though I’m just a nobody…
Even though it’s all been done before…
Even though I’ve failed before…
Even though this is bound to be a disaster…
And here’s the punchline:
…I’m going to do it anyway!
Try doing this for a week, each time you hear the Critic’s voice, and notice what happens.
And if you’re sceptical that something so simple could make a difference for you… then do it anyway!
You can hear an audio version of this article in this episode of The 21st Century Creative podcast, starting at 2’55”.