Thursday, June 05, 2008

Self defeating talk

Today I battle self-defeating inner thoughts. On the brink of writing about creativity, I feel I don’t have one ounce of creativity now, never have had, never will have. I feel like such a fake. Why? I’ve been creative all my life. I earned a doctorate studying creativity. I teach creativity and support others on their creative journey. Why do I feel like I have no right to write about this?

I’m currently reading Eric Maisel’s Coaching the Artist Within, in preparation for taking his coaching course. He talks about noticing anxious self talk. Ok, I’m noticing it, big time. Here are some of the ways I muddy up my mind:

I’m not ready. I don’t have enough data. I haven’t read enough books. I haven’t talked to enough people about the creative process. I haven’t yet taken this coaching for creativity course.

I don’t feel like it. Today I don’t feel like writing. So I’m writing this blog. And reading another book.

I don’t feel well. Having just had minor outpatient surgery two days ago, I am allowed to say I’m not yet at full speed. Yet, yesterday, the morning after my surgery, I wrote a wonderful outline for the book!

I can’t think straight. No, I can’t use this excuse because the anesthesia has worn off and I’m thinking clearly right now.

I can’t do it. Today I don’t feel like I can do it. Yesterday I did. Hopefully tomorrow I will know I can do it.

I don’t know what to say. I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to start.

I can’t see the point. Who will want to read this anyway? Isn’t this just to amuse myself?

It feels too difficult. Much easier to write this blog about this stuff than do the real work.

What’s happening here? It’s summer break … I’m supposed to be ready to write.

I do better with … summarizing other people’s work than writing my own stuff.

Yes, but … I should just sit and write today but there’s always tomorrow.

Next step is to dispute these self-sabotaging thoughts. And substitute new, useful thought. Maisel offers these affirmations as thought substitutes.

I am fine just as I am.
I am off to create.
I trust my resources.
I am not worried.
I am perfectly okay.
I can handle this.
First things first.
I accept myself.
I am capable and courageous.
I have everything I need.
One step at a time.
I am ready.

He suggests we create two or three affirmations of our own to use when we have these self-defeating thoughts. I’ll let you know what mine are? What are yours?

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