I am noticing something quite interesting as I begin to try to do something new in my life. I am fascinated that the very attempt to write my story is meeting me with some seemingly old challenges. These old challenges are related to self-talk and some very core beliefs that I had hoped to have moved beyond, or had shifted enough for them to be a non-issue at this point in my life.
Interestingly enough, I find myself sitting there with pen in hand, ample time to write, fewer distractions and I am judging what I am writing before it is even written. The flow seems disrupted by my inner critic, who apparently likes it when I do new things because otherwise she is not audible. Working toward sharing my story has already proved to be more of an emotional endeavor than I had thought it would be, but I do not view that as a negative thing. Clearly, the part of my story I wish to focus on was a very emotional time in my life and even though I continue to move forward from there, I think it makes sense that looking back would stir up some feelings.
I do not think that is what has awakened the inner critic. This inner critic seems to find its voice at the very times I am trying to find my own. I counter her with all of the affirmative self talk I have come to believe over the years, but she continues to point out old beliefs that I have apparently not let go of from long ago. When we grow up and experience life, we accumulate a good deal of beliefs based on what others have told us about our lives, the world, our abilities, and ourselves. I spent a lot of time in my life accumulating evidence from experience that has rendered most of these vicariously adopted beliefs invalid. It is interesting that these beliefs surface in times of great stress and in times of change. I am not sure that this is not a common occurrence for everyone, but I am sure that I would rather not buy into what the critic has to say. Bringing up the emotionality of the time I am writing about is apparently leaving me more vulnerable to her suggestions, however.
I wonder if I am afraid to share my story because of what I believe others will think. I am not sure I care what others think at this point in my life and it is my story, my perception of the events that took place, and purely my experience. I am sure I am not scared to be candid about that time, although I am not sure the critic is convinced of that just yet. I am working on disputing her and have short successes so far in doing so.
I can see how limiting these old beliefs are at this point in my life, but how they continue to have some control over my ability to express myself on the pages of paper before me. I wonder how many stories aren’t told for this very reason? How many songs are never sang in a public venue as a result? How many pieces of art are not shared with others because of the inner critic that lives within us all?
Awareness and insight are certainly assets with the inner critic, but silencing or changing the critic’s mind seems to be quite a challenge for most. I am certainly no exception.