Real and imaginary critics abound.
If you’re trying to reach a challenging goal, you’re likely to hear a few voices in your head telling you that you can’t do it. Depending on how much attention you give those voices, the resounding echoes of their negativity can be overwhelming.
One of my clients described the criticism she hears while writing to be an enormous wall of criticism that simply will not allow progress to occur. Instead, she suffers, and thinks a lot about the criticism. Any words she writes appear to be pale echoes of what could be.
We’re working on blasting through that wall. Here are a couple of techniques we’ve found that actually work. Try them!
1. Forget about your audience.
My English 101 teacher would probably cringe if he heard that. One of the first things we hear when we learn about writing is to write with the audience in mind. That makes sense. But maybe not at first.
If you forget about your audience at first, you get to start. You don’t sit there paralyzed, worried how your imaginary, and likely very critical audience, will react. You can revise later. Just start.
Do this, and the wall of criticism will start to crumble.
2. Cut the damned thing down to size.
If you’re intimidated by an idea, you’re likely letting your inner critics boss you around. You’re in a corner cowering.
At this point, you must ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I letting these critics prevent me from doing a project that will benefit me?
- Who in the hell are they to tell me what to do or not do?
Get rebellious. And yes, use a few swear words. The wall of criticism will crumble even more as the words begin to appear on the page, one imperfect thought after another.
Now, I’d like to hear from you: what techniques do you have for blasting through that wall of criticism? Share your insights in the comments below. I read every one.
Until then, go blow up a few walls, will ya?