3 Ways Creative People Outsmart the Inner Critic
The inner critic is highly skilled at saying harsh comments that will make you lose confidence in your creative ideas before they get a chance to grow big.
He means well. He wants to protect you from the public embarrassment that sometimes happens when you try something new.
But creative people need to chase crazy ideas, so they have to outsmart the inner critic so he doesn’t interrupt when they are in the creative zone.
So how do they do it?
- Mental doodling: Have you ever sat in a café waiting for a friend to show up for a medium decaf latte? So to kill time you start playing with some idea on the back of an envelope and quickly get in the zone. The inner critic is silent, because he doesn’t think it’s serious work. I mean if you’re doing serious work you would sit in your office, right?
- Bulldoze your way forward: Bulldoze your way towards your first sketch (or draft or prototype). Focus on moving forward at all cost, and postpone all thoughts of revision until later. The final product won’t look like the first sketch anyway, so there’s no reason to try to make it perfect.
- Make your work invisible: Some writers turn off their monitor when they write. This means that they cannot see what they have written and the inner critic will have less material to evaluate.
These are my three favorite techniques for silencing the inner critic. I left out the evergreen technique of getting tipsy to inspire creativity (i.e. alcohol numbs the left-side of the brain where the inner critic lives).
This is because I like to think there are healthier ways to outsmart the inner critic. It doesn’t strike me as a sustainable solution to start copying Dylan Thomas’ excessive drinking habits to kick-start your creativity.
What do you think? How do you outsmart your inner critic?
Read related posts:
- 5 Ways to Double Your Creative Output
- Why Tolerance Attracts Creative People
- Are Deadlines Bad for Creative Work?
- Why Picasso Made Tons of Sketches