I know this is a blog faux pas, but I apologize for slacking on posting.
Why have I been slacking? Good question.
I could list several reasons “why” that will impress you since I’m the big cheese over here: I’ve been asked to guest blog on so many sites I can’t keep up with my own, I’ve been practicing Vipassana mediation two hours daily, or I’m taking the Tim Ferris approach to doing as little as possible and still making oodles of money.
Unfortunately, none of those are true.
So, why haven’t I been writing? It’s pretty cut and dry. I was letting Negative Nellie talk me down.
She was all up in my face with her “Why are you wasting so much effort on your silly company?” and “No one cares what you have to say.” She was whispering in my ear, “F.A.I.L.U.R.E” and “Who are you to think you can create something out of nothing?”
The sad part? I was listening. In spite of myself, I was listening.
Now, I know tricks to separate myself from my inner critic. I mean, I teach them to others for god’s sake.
- Writing down the criticisms Nellie speaks to me helps me realize they are not the truth. Simply seeing “Someone unsubscribed from your newsletter—You are doomed to fail” written in my own handwriting with my trusty Pilot G-2 allows me laugh at the ridiculousness of it.
- Saying Nellie’s chants out loud to a trusted source (like the Big Man or my sister) helps because they objectively point out I have no solid evidence that I am doomed to fail. ”Didn’t you just have two new women sign up for April?” they chuckle. “Well, yes … Ummm …” I reply.
- Snapping a rubber band on my wrist every time I hear Nellie and simply telling her to stop brings the negative chatter to a halt for a moment. It also hurts and is not such a fashion statement, but it’s a simple way to become conscious to the thoughts running through my head. And when the band snaps, I come up with a new, positive, hopeful phrase to tell myself instead.
Point is: I know a few of the tricks that can help silence your inner critic. But these last few weeks, I have let NN run a steamroller right over me, in spite of cognitively knowing what to do. I wallowed, I whined, I lost some of the sparkle.
I’m done. Today is the turning point and my return to an optimistic, productive state.
This morning I gave Nellie a mental hug for trying to protect me from unknown change and rejection and then told her to “Shut the f&*k up.”
Originally published on Stratejoy.com