While reading some books on writing, the inner critic came up and got me thinking about whether I had one or not.
I don’t believe I do, and never did.
I certainly don’t hear any of the words being stated from many an inner critic that authors talk about.
In fact, mine is incredibly encouraging, or helps me figure things out. This thought led me to dissecting the whole “inner critic” a bit more and I had these thoughts.
Your inner critic could be one of these things.
1 – Your insecurities.
2 – Other people’s narratives that became your own.
3 – Your brain simply trying to figure everything out.
So 1 – If you’re suffering from an insecurity or two, as many, if not all humans do, figure out what it is, deal with it, and then kick it to the curb. You don’t need that rubbish in your life, and more often than not, you can actually do something about them.
And 2 – If other people’s narratives have become your own, the question becomes why? Why have you allowed yourself to listen to, or become enmeshed with, someone else’s opinion of you? Why has someone else’s idea of you become your own? Whatever the reason, this is on you to sort out with yourself. Whatever you need to do to deal with it, therapy, a talk line, counselling, other ways, then do it. To finally be free of other people’s narratives will be so freeing and you’ll finally get to be you.
But it could be 3 – And then there’s your brain trying to figure stuff out. I wonder if others realize there is no actual other person in their head. It’s just your brain in your body. It’s all you. So, it’s all on you. You are literally speaking to yourself in your own head, which I think is hilarious because I, and we, do it all the time. That’s how things are figured out. It’s just parts of your brain having a conversation about how to get shit done. Talking out loud is also incredibly helpful because it changes the thought and solidifies it, makes you see things differently. The old lines of “people who talk to themselves are crazy”, or “it’s the first sign of crazy”, are wrong.
In thinking about all of this, I came up with the idea that it’s actually the creative part of my brain arguing with the logical part of my brain, and this is a conversation that may happen between these two parts…
Creativity (throwing a tantrum and stomping its feet) – “why isn’t this working. I want to do all of these amazing things I came up with but just can’t seem to do them because there is no time and no money and no energy…”
(of course, another potential conversation could start with creativity whining about how much they suck and they’re just no good, and everything they do is crap. The usual inner critic garbage people say they hear. But again, it’s only you inside your head.)
Logic (rolling its eyes, shaking its head, and sighing) – “let’s take this step by step and try and figure it out, shall we. And stop being a whiny little child, you’re the one who came up with all of these ideas that I now have to put into some semblance of order in the vain hope of getting them started and completed. We need to do this methodically, together, and plan, plan, plan!”
What if these conversations happened instead?
What if, instead of the usual “you’re shit and can’t write” (or whatever dull, insulting conversation you have with yourself, because, again, it’s only you in your head) you chose to change the actual conversation? You chose to get excited about what you’re doing, or want to do, and coming up with a combat plan to execute them?
YOU can change your inner critic. Make it work for you, not against you. Use your inner critic as a driving force to move forward, think new things, think new ways, get every idea you want to do done and to generally figure it all out.
In order to be more productive your brain has to work as a whole to start, work on, and complete tasks. Just as it does with everything else in your life, don’t let the non-existent inner critic, which is actually you, run your life. Change it around and learn to run it instead.