Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Increase Your Creative Flow: Manage Your Inner Critic

Sit down, pour a cup of tea, and have a conversation with your Critic.

Your Critic is that inner alarm that rings--or yells or whines--every time you step out of its shifting safety zone. It zaps your energy with twisted logic, persistent arguments, inner sabotage,a option overload, and dread of fear and disapproval.

Needless to say, the Critic puts a damper on the flow of your creativity.

Which doesn't mean you get rid of the Critic. The Critic is useful when it points out problems to correct--later on in the germination of your ideas. As your idea takes flight, though, you need to put the Critic aside until you're ready to hear its view.

As a writer, teacher, and promoter of my materials, I've learned few tricks that helped me balance the Critic. Whenever I appear on TV, I first push the Critic out of my body and tell it to stay at home until later that night when I agree to ask for its opinion. I am much more relaxed on TV while I don't have to fight that inner voice. The Critic has given me useful feedback when I'm ready to hear it--at the end, for next time. Here are some ways to free yourself of your Critic's hold--right now.

Change Your Mind

Remind yourself of how far you've come.
Remember that the Critic is only thoughts, not reality.
Focus on Your Body
See if the Critic "lives" in a certain part of your body--maybe your shoulders. Do some yoga or counter movements to loosen that hold
Push the Critic out of your body. Feel yourself without that energy inside you.
Tell the Critic to leave the room, stay in the car, go to the coffee shop. You'll check in with it later.
Reduce Emotional Charge
Notice the sensations of emotional intensity in your body. Stay with those sensations as you notice any sounds or images that go with them. This helps disconnect thoughts spurring on feelings.

Present Moment
Be grateful for the present moment.
Notice your body in the present moment. Feel your skin: the air, clothing, gravity and sensations. (Thanks to Rick Carson of Taming Your Gremlin [Collins 2003] for that idea.)

Give your Critic a funny name or appearance--and laugh at it.

Change Your Habits
Write long-hand for 20 minutes. The computer screen brings out the evil editor.

Draw a picture.
While your Critic won't disappear, you can change your relationship to it. Instead of being an inescapable wall, you learn to see your Critic as boulders (rocks? stones?) in a field. You can move around on climb over them! Your true self finds its flow. © Creative Insomnia, Sondra Kornblatt 2003-2006

Sondra Kornblatt developed ways to help insomniacs renew when they can’t sleep in her program, Creative Insomnia. Do you feel stressed when you can't sleep? If you're still awake after alternative cures--or a visit to the doctor--you can still mimic the benefits of sleep. Creative Insomnia helps you renew at night, develop your inner creativity, and greet the day refreshed.

Sondra is also a seasoned freelance writer focusing on wellness and health. Get a free E-book on Creative and Restful Insomnia when you sign up for the newsletter at

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