Go Write Past it! : The Power of Journaling
“Keeping your Inner Critic under wraps
does not keep him under control,
it keeps him in control!”—Captain Creative
Your Inner Critic loves nothing more than to keep your fears larger than life and stuck in your head. That’s because keeping you ignorant of your dreams, desires, and inner power keeps him comfortably in control of your life.
Go Write Past it! is the Kryptonite that ousts your Inner Critic and restores sovereignty to your Inner Hero–first and foremost by getting to know that amazing person–the one you’ve forgotten you are!
Not every day of your journaling practice will be earth-shattering or even memorable. In fact, most of them won’t be. However, simply by stopping to do your pages each day, you create space for that possibility. I’m talking about the possibility of passion, joy, forgiveness, creativity, laughter and all the other fruits of a deeply loving and authentic relationship–the one you have with yourself!
It’s no accident that the people who know you the best and love you the most are the ones that you see everyday. Simply put, if you want to have more than just a long-distance relationship with yourself, you’ve got to start showing up regularly. A daily journaling practice is one of the easiest and most effective ways to simultaneously spark your creativity, put you back into your life, and kick your Inner Critic out!
Don’t Repress, Express!
Like a child wanting the attention of his mother, your thoughts and emotions won’t stop tugging at you until they are heard. Ignore them at your peril!
Repressed inner voices don’t disappear–oh no! Instead, they throw tantrums and, if regularly shunned, turn into self-sabotaging Inner Critics!
Writing down your wants, needs and doubts–whatever is demanding your attention–simultaneously does two critical things: it acknowledges them and relives them of the burden of trying to get your attention.
So quit berating yourself for eating ice cream in front of the TV rather than painting–instead pull out your journal and write down the voices you’ve been ignoring. Simply validating the committee in your head is often all it takes to get them shut up long enough for you to set down the spoon, get off the couch, and get back to your easel!
Objectify Your Fears
Getting what’s in your head down on paper objectifies it–literally pulling it out of the ether and into an object you can look at–more, well, objectively! Writing down your fears, no matter how terrifying they feel, inevitably makes them smaller. Whatever you’re afraid to feel, express or do, write it down, let it out, and you can begin to let it go–along with of the vice-grip your Inner Critic holds on your heart!
Expanding your journaling practice beyond just writing opens up incredible avenues for fun, expression, and self discovery.
Inner Critic Alert: you’ll need to give yourself permission to play! Without your snooty Inner Art Critic peering over your shoulder, you can doodle, color, finger-paint, or do whatever strikes your inner hero’s fancy.
Unlock the PlayroomGive yourself a little kindergarten every day and your creativity will get stronger, braver, and more present in your life. Visual journaling gives you back what we usually only afford young children: an unconditionally loving playroom for your creativity to emerge.
Come as You Are
There is huge value in just doing “your pages” even when you think you don’t have time, don’t feel inspired, and think you have nothing to say.
Resist the urge to make your journaling a big deal. Ask yourself instead “What you can I do in five or ten minutes that’s meaningful to me?”
If nothing else, you can brainstorm ways to give yourself more time tomorrow. Or you can take 10 minutes to do the Mindfulness Journal exercise below. It’s short, sweet, and has the power to change your whole day!
Just Do It!
Get yourself a blank book today (or dust one off from the shelf) and fill three pages–in any way you want. Come back tomorrow and do it again. Rinse and Repeat!
How has journaling helped you outwit your Inner Critc? share your succees stories by commenting below.