Tuesday, June 7, 2016

inner critics and your comfort zone

Whether it's as big as Alaska, or as small as a teaspoon, we all have comfort zones. Places, people, activities, habits, feelings that we are comfortable with. And we all seem to have a safety mechanism that goes off when we stretch outside of that zone. When we play at our edge. Inner critics get stirred up then and may scream, cajole, shame, coddle or soothe you into staying right where you are. No jumping off into the unknown please. Of course some people go anyway. Thank god, or we would have no works of art, scientific discoveries, adventure in the world. And some people are more naturally primed to be able to do it. But everyone has an inner critic they have to navigate at some point. One that wants to limit in the name of safety. Being able to recognize that voice can help you not fall into the pit it wants to drag you down into. Instead you can take it a little less seriously, and at least, sometimes, step right around that thing. Taking my writing into class, like I'm doing this morning, or putting my writing out into the world in any way, can set my inner critics off. Some experience I've put into writing I was formerly looking favourably on can turn into something my inner critics will call pathetic or boring. Of course writing something out can help you see it in a new light. Maybe it's not so good out on the page. There's a different feel to discernment compared to critical attack fuelled by fear. It can be hard to tell them apart since one may quickly morph into the other. Taking some time away from the writing can help. Come back to it later. Look again with fresh eyes. Read it out loud. To yourself or others. Get some honest feedback. It's all a learning process anyway. Here's another place you can learn more about your inner critics: https://dannygregorysblog.com/category/books/shut-your-monkey/

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