This post is inspired by a video I watched the other morning which I adored. Please watch it to get more of a creative idea of this concept that I wanted to explore further.
Self doubt…what a bitch!
It holds us back in life and yet, it’s not even real! It’s not even based on facts half of the time; even if it is, it’s still not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!
As a creative writer, self-doubt is kryptonite. It’s poison. Not other people or critics, not time, not ideas, nothing but self-doubt…
“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath
If you don’t check your inner critic and put it in its place, it will guide your life. Your decisions, your art, your relationships, your achievements and what you generally think is possible. This will determine who you are and what you do.
Are you okay with that?
Instead, do as Cinzia said in her video: think of your inner critic, your self-doubt, as another person. Even give it a name if you want to! It is not you. It’s a voice inside of your head, speaking it’s own thoughts (okay, that sounds crazy, but we’re just imagining here!).
So when you think bad things about yourself, distance yourself from that voice. It isn’t you. It’s a thought inside your head, but it’s not really about you. You can pick and choose whether to take any notes from what was said, or to leave it and say, “No thanks, I think you’re wrong!”
Treat your inner voice, your inner critic, your self-doubt as an Unreliable Narrator. It might be telling your story, but don’t trust that its’ actually telling the truth the whole time. It might be picking up on influences from society, your childhood, your peers, TV, whatever that have it saying things that aren’t true to and for you personally.
It’s about having the ability and awareness to catch it when it speaks, and to analyse and criticise what it says.
As if it were a novel you were tasked to study at school, question the narrator in your mind and gather evidence to its truth or lies. At first, this will feel like a hard task. But overtime, you will become more mindful and skilled at recognising the truth versus the Unreliable Narrator’s lies.
Doing so can change your life and save your art!