Think that ignoring your inner critic will work? Think again. In this video, speaker and creativity consultant Denise Jacobs shows how “not thinking” about a subject isn’t as effective as choosing to think something different. Learn that you have more power to manage your thoughts than you may have thought, and how your natural ability to learn, mindfulness, and self-compassion—in combination—can quiet the inner critic.
- The inner critic is a product of habitual thinking. And thinking is the firing of neurons in a particular pattern. In neuroscience, there's a postulate called Hebb's Law, which has been distilled down into the statement, neurons that fire together, wire together. When we make an effort to change a pattern of habitual thinking, by thinking new and different thoughts, we alter the old pattern of firing neurons, which effectively creates a whole new mind-frame. However, this process isn't the result of not thinking unwanted thoughts. Here's what I want you to do. Don't think about otters. Seriously. I do not want you to think about how cute and furry otters are. Don't think about how well they swim or how, oh my God, so adorably they hold hands while they're sleeping so that they won't float away from each other. Have you got otters and their urchin-cracking ways out of your head yet? (laughs) I didn't think so. Clearly, not thinking doesn't work. However, choosing different thoughts does. How about we try this. Rather than thinking about otters, what I'd like you to think about instead is baby ducks. Think about how adorably small and yellow and fluffy they are. Isn't the way they waddle along the cutest thing? And isn't it cool that they can swim so quickly after hatching? Were you thinking about otters while you were thinking about baby ducks? I suspect that you weren't. Why? Because you chose to think about something else. As sentient beings, we don't run solely on instinct and habit. We can willfully choose where we direct our brain power. And thus, we can kickstart the process of changing our brains for the better. And as social beings, we can choose where to direct our innate thoughts and actions of kindness and caring. Thus, we can change how we relate to ourselves as well as we relate to others. Do you see where I'm going here? By mindfully and deliberately choosing different thoughts that involve self-compassion, we put the brain's neuroplasticity to work to create a whole new mind-frame. One where the inner critic is less active and thus silenced. This is how the mental power tools of neuroplasticity, mindfulness, and self-compassion can work together to banish your inner critic. Let's start learning how to use them for good.
- Removing creative blocks
- Silencing the negative voice in your head
- Breaking the cycle of self-doubt
- Unlocking idea flow
- Kick-starting idea generation
- Conquering the fear of judgment
- Transforming self-talk
- Stopping the comparison cycle
- Acknowledging your achievements
- Sharing your brilliance with the world