Wreck This Journal: Inner Critic

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Sometimes completing a page in Wreck This Journal can be a very emotional experience.  A page towards the back is reserved as a space “for negative thoughts,” or essentially a dialogue for your inner critic. I’ve had some pretty serious battles with my inner critic as noted in My Inner Critic Is Trying to Kill Me.  It’s a war that continues to rage, even though I’ve gained a bit more control over those savage negative thoughts.  I debated whether to post this page because it showcases some of my most crippling vulnerabilities, but then I realized I’m not the only one who has an inner critic.  If anything, by exposing her I stand a better chance of defeating her and maybe that would inspire others who are fighting the same battle.

I completed the right hand side of the page a while ago after a particularly bad day of writing.  In about five minutes, I had this massive list and I would’ve kept going had I not run out of space.  The inner critic was quite cruel and very loud, but it was interesting experience to give those thoughts an outlet.  Once I wrote something down, it no longer repeated in my head.  The experience was strangely cathartic, despite the overall negative feelings it provoked.  I colored the page in a drab shad of gray and highlighted with pink as that’s a color I don’t always like. Then I closed the journal and did my best to let go of everything on that list.

The left side of the page came to me after paging through my journal this weekend.  I didn’t like how all the negativity stood alone with nothing to counteract the poison.  The phrase “the light at the end of the tunnel” came to mind, so I drew a candle with a bright flame.  It represents my “spark” and the need to keep it burning bright.  Then, along the side I added a strong reminder that my inner critic is full of hot air, (except for the grammar thing – I really am a moron when it comes to commas and such).  Finally, I found two stamps in my craft box that pretty much say it all: Life is beautiful and I must believe in everything . . . including myself.

– – –

Previous Wreck This Journal posts:

Letting Go

Keep Reaching

Ignite the Spark

Be Unpredictable

Embrace Imperfection

Mess

Insomniac

Time Flies

c.b. 2011

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41 thoughts on “Wreck This Journal: Inner Critic

    • Thanks! 🙂

      Sometimes weeks can can go by and I don’t hear a peep and then all of the sudden . . . she’s screaming in my ear! Maybe I need to keep an inner critic journal just to have a place to get it out of my system!

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  1. I’m really glad i found your thru freshly pressed, coz i enjoy reading this column on ur blog! My inner is very pessimistic and sooo not constructive, especially when I sit down to write a post or article for school.

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  2. Ahhh! Get out of my head! But in all seriousness, we must expose the critic and her hot air (love it), for she is not the truth. But pretty darn deceptive at times. Thank you for the earnest post.

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    • So true. Exposure is the only way to truly defeat her. I can’t tell you how much better I feel after posting this. It felt good to write the list, but that release is nothing compared to putting it out into the public sphere. Today has been an interesting and liberating experience. 🙂

      Thanks so much for reading!

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  3. Condemn the D_ _ N inner critic. Such a waste of time, energy spent on the wrong thoughts. Instead, use that energy to propel, push yourself forward, who really knows for sure all that is inside wanting to be expressed, don’t let that D_ _ N inner critic stiffle, block, obstruct. OK, I feel better for venting.

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    • Well said. There are moments when the inner critic is necessary (no one is perfect and it is necessary to be able to see that), but what we can’t do is let the inner critic control our entire perspective. Even when she’s being really loud.

      I love the phrase “house training” for the inner critic! 😀

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  4. Oh and… this part of what you said?
    “I debated whether to post this page because it showcases some of my most crippling vulnerabilities, but then I realized I’m not the only one who has an inner critic. If anything, by exposing her I stand a better chance of defeating her and maybe that would inspire others who are fighting the same battle.”
    I have had so many similar battles lately… so thank you for sharing your journal, and also THANK YOU for being honest about your debate about whether to share it! And I think you are so right… you will inspire others, and I hope that critic flees!

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  5. Great post! It’s scary to make yourself so vulnerable, but it’s also a point of connection with others who can all relate in their own ways, so thank you! i’m not much of a writer anymore, but this inner critic can be present in the general sense as well (of course). Mine has been chattering up a storm in my brain today! I’ll admit, I have given in to it today, but if it’s still hanging around tomorrow, i’m telling it off and shaking my fist! 🙂 I love your determination (and writing, as usual)

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  6. Inner critics can be a beast. You’re inner critic is a lot nicer than mine can be at times and your inner critic also doesn’t know what it’s talking about! 😉 Love how you put it into words! Seriously, you’re amazingly talented and you always put words together beautifully!

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  7. Kudos to you for posting this for us to read. If that’s not a kick in your Inner Critic’s pants then I don’t know what is. You’re not alone; my IC says all those things but it’s favourite is “This is crap” and “What were you thinking?! No one would ever want to read this drivel.” It’s so bad I’m constantly apologizing to my friends and family who WANT to read what I write.

    Maybe you’ve found the key to taking away the IC’s power- give it time and energy to vent then move on. I’ve named mine Pascal and he has his own whiteboard in my room. When I feel him stirring, I write whatever his complaint is, use it as motivation to prove him wrong then wipe it off and forget about it.

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    • My inner critic loves the phrase “This is crap.” They must have a manual or something. 😉

      I love it that your inner critic has a name and a whiteboard. You method is a lot like Wreck This Journal, except muss less permanent which is probably a good thing. Make sure Pascal gets a good kick in the butt today so he leaves you alone.

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    • Absolutely! What sounds so crippling in my head isn’t nearly as threatening once spoken aloud or written on paper. Once those thoughts are out there its easier to discredit them and yes, even laugh a little. 😉

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  8. Let that inner critic have it! It is so interesting that you were afraid to share your vulnerabilities. We all have an inner critic but our inner critic tells us we are the only one who has one. Liar! I have had a hit out on mine for years. She is elusive and still in hiding. This was a powerful piece about taking control over negative thoughts and spearing them. So true about once they are on paper they are gone.
    Great blog post. What other kinds of journals do you write in?

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    • Thanks for giving me more ammo to use against my inner critic. She’s been whispering lately, so thanks for the kind words!

      I have a number of journals for poetry, random thoughts, travel, reading/books, artistic expression, collage, and larger notebooks for my novel projects. I’m sure there are more, but they are as scattered as my muse! A lot of what ends up here on my blog are writings that come from my various journals. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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  9. In my journal there lives a cartoon duck. In his speech balloon I find all kind of bad words that I never use in public. He tells me how hopeless I am, how loony my goals are, and how much he hates what I write. Whenever a real person criticizes my work, I have the consolation that they are NEVER as cruel as the duck has been. But I don’t have to take the duck seriously, because, after all, how serious can a criticism be if you hear it in your head in Donald Duck’s voice?

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  10. Marcin Noemi Rzeczkowski

    Hi,
    I’m just a stranger and blogger from another country who found those pages of your Journal in Google. I feel very touched by them and I came on your blog to say you:
    Don’t give up.
    You can have it.
    Your grammar is fine.
    You can touch people, so you can achieve everything in writing.
    Stay honest with yourself and brave about sharing your feelings and don’t let others to cover and kill your inner light.
    And when you’ll be famous, tell me about it 🙂

    Like

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