Welcome back! As I write this, I’m having a moment. I open up a word document. I poise my fingers over the home keys as I stare at the blinking cursor on the blank page, and I stop dead. A little voice comes into my head as I stare at the computer screen.
What are you doing? You aren’t seriously thinking of doing any writing right now! You have laundry to finish. You have television to watch. You have cover letters to write. You have Hootsuite posts to create. You can’t even write, can you?
Ah. Sally. That inner critic I have named Sally has come back to haunt me once again. I tend to name things. Go with it.
Sally always pops up when I’m stressed or concerned about something. I go to write something that has been bouncing around my head and Sally appears. I become frozen. I listen as I let Sally take me down my list and then take me down internally.
Why do I allow Sally to continue to do this to me? Considering if Sally was a fully formed human sitting in front of me, would I let her talk to me like that? No. If anything her words would annoy me and want me to write every hour of every day.
So, what is the difference between that inner critic and hearing criticism from someone else?
I struggle with that question even as I write this. My guess? That inner critic knows you better than anyone. She or He is in your head. Coming back to me, Sally is inside your head at all times. She knows all my thoughts and how I felt about different experiences. Meanwhile, criticism from another human being is easier to shake off. They don’t know you personally. They don’t know what you think about at 1 am while you watch another episode of Friends on Netflix.
They don’t know you. Your inner critic knows too much.
Even as I write this, Sally is quietly listening. I guess I will hear her opinion soon, but I pray that I will learn to tune her out and just do what I have to do.