Whose voice is that in the back of your mind? That voice that always says that you just won’t be good enough! That voice that when you start begins to nag at you. This is your critical voice and it’s holding you back. By the end of reading this you’re going to have some strategies to overcome this voice.
Writing is something that I do in life, and it’s one of the hardest things for me to do. Every time I put my pen to paper, hand to keyboard, my mind begins to race with the thought, “what have you got to talk about?” “You have absolutely nothing to write.” “There’s no one in existence that will benefit from what you have to offer.” Think about all of this holding me back. But I’ve learned how to move through this inner critical voice.
What needs to be done is that your critical voice needs to be background noise only, so insignificant that it becomes only white noise in your life. Here are a few things I’ve learned that have been really helpful in getting me going.
Get Your Confident Voice out of Your Head
You need to make your confident voice louder than your critical voice. This means that you can’t keep you confident voice in your head. This means that you need to write your affirmation out, or record your affirmations. I choose to write them down, that way I can post them where I need to put them in order to keep going.
Take down your confident voice, write it out when you feel most confident, things that you know are true about you, and place them places where they can be seen very easily. I have written “Damion, you’re called to create impact through your writing. Do this one word at a time, what you write is something that has benefited you so you know it works; others may benefit as well.”
Pretty much anything that will be of confidence, write it down, make it something external that screams at you, that way even when you feel your critical voice coming on, you can overpower it with that physical and tangible affirmation of your confident voice.
Reward Yourself for Small Achievements
Not many of us reward ourselves. I got this idea from those addicting games. There is one thing that is common to all addicting games from facebook or as an app game, they send you on these little missions to accomplish, and as you do a few then the mission set is done, then you get a reward, and you do it over again. What keeps it addicting is the fact that you get constant confirmation. The funny thing is that the rewards that they give that motivate millions to keep playing, are not even real things!
Do this for yourself as well. For me I try to give myself a pat on my back for every hundred words that I write. This is an achievement so I recognize it as such. Then for every 500 words I give myself a bigger pat on the back. Then for completion I give myself a huge pat on the back. I guess you can substitute a pat on the back for just about anything (and I don’t literally pat myself on the back, I’m not even flexible enough to do this).
The point is: reward yourself for small achievements.
Value “Done” over “Stupendous”
One of the worst things that come as a result of your critical voice is “you suck.” Most creative people have this issue big time! In another blog post, I’ll talk about why this happens and how this is perhaps one of the best feelings you can have but shouldn’t let it hold you back. In short I’m just going to say, that those who accomplish things, learn from their experience. The issue is that once you do something, you’re better right now than what you just did. For example, when I’m done posting this blog, I’m going to be a better blogger and writer as a result of this blog, I gained some experience and I’m apt to go back over this and see things I could do better because I’m better when it’s done than when it was in the process. But the temptation is to look back at it and think, “I suck.”
No you don’t suck! You’re awesome, you’re just growing. Sure what you do might be flawed, but that doesn’t have to hold you back! When you value done over stupendous, then you’re always going to apply what you grow in rather than letting the fact that you’re growing hold you back.
Keep Track of Your Accomplishments
This is so motivational and will keep you going. More than anything this will silence your critical voice. Your critical voice is always saying things like, “who are you to accomplish anything.” You get to look back at where you came from, and what you’ve accomplished. This may be different for everyone, and don’t focus on what you didn’t accomplish, focus on what you did.
Some examples may include: finishing high school, previous products, past events, books read, academic degrees, people helped, performance done, challenges met, or solutions found.
For me, sometimes my critical voice tells me that I don’t know enough to do what I do, for this reason I keep a record of the books that I’ve read and the input that I invested in myself. I also keep that list nearby. Whatever you have accomplished, keep record of it and use it to silence your critical voice
Okay so this isn’t everything that you can do, but I’m sure that if you were to do this, you can overcome this critical obstacle called your critical voice.
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