Get over yourself...
Literally. Imagine that you're looking down over yourself. Imagine you can see yourself struggling with your inner critic...
You can hear the internal negotiation...
- "This isn't good enough."
- "You're not doing it right."
- "You should give up."
Now ask yourself, "What does my inner critic want?"
For most of us, it wants to protect us from failure and harm to our ego. The inner critic has a positive intention.
Keep digging until you have several positive intentions of your inner critic.
Now ask yourself, "What do I want?"
You probably want to express yourself and move people emotionally. You might even have professional songwriting goals that you need to meet.
Uncover all the positive intentions of both your inner critic and yourself.
Now ask yourself, "Where do we agree?"
Your inner critic is valuable and deserves to get what it wants. It shouldn't have to give anything up to give you what you want.
The conflict between the two means that neither is getting what they want at the moment. And that's the secret to making friends with your inner critic...
The inner critic needs to come out at the right moment. The right moment is never during the creative process. The creative process is YOUR time to create and generate ideas.
The right moment for the inner critic is the editing process.
So how will things be different next time your inner critic creates a conflict?
Simple. Remind your inner critic that it's valuable and will get what it wants at the right time. It can come out after you've finished creating and collecting all the ideas for your song.
Treating your inner critic as a separate self is the key to "getting over yourself" and getting back to work. Give your inner critic a job to do when the time is right and it will get what it wants and give you what you want.
Try it out next time you're doing battle with your inner critic. For even more tips on working with your inner critic, check out this list.
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Here you are, minding your own business.
When I first started writing seriously, I burned everything I wrote because I was afraid of anyone reading it.