Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The inner judge and censor

with one comment

Occasionally you may detect the inner voice of your normally hidden judge/censor: the internal put-downs that undermine your confidence. I recall when I was making a 45-minute commute on a lightly-trafficked road in the morning, I could detect internal negative comments. I used to shout (alone in the car), “Shut up!” to that little voice—and to my surprise, it tended to work. Lately, I’ve not had the problem—it may have been a symptom or cause of depression, from which I no longer suffer (so far as I can tell).

I thought of that on reading this post in Probably “Oh, really?” is a better response to the voice (though “Shut up!” worked pretty well). They have a good list, which begins:

To bring choice, openness, and inquiry back into your reality try adding the challenge “oh really?” to these 29 worn out perspectives (or your own) and turn up the heat on those victim-making, life-killing, soul-sucking, war-making phrases that have been sapping your fulfillment.

1. I don’t have the time.
2. Everything on my to-do list is important and essential.
3. I can’t quit. If I do, everything will fall apart.
4. If I take time off, I’ll lose my game.
5. Nobody will hire me, I’m too old.
6. You’re supposed to get married and then have the baby.
7. Get your diploma, go to college, get a master’s, get married, get a career, have a family, grow old, die.
8. I need an MFA to get published.

(Click the link for the full post of undermining phrases.)

I will again mention the excellent book by Joanna Field, A Life of One’s Own, about her own development as a person and how she detected the internal voices, along with various techniques she used to stay open to daily experience. It’s such an excellent book—give it a go.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 April 2008 at 8:43 am

Posted in Books, Daily life

One Response

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  1. Some of those undermining phrases don’t seem so undermining to me… I think artists (at least fine art artists) do need to consider how they are going to support themselves financially. The question is whether inner-voice is copping out or whether it is helping guide.

    A lot of artists say things like, “You have to know someone to get ahead as an artist.” I always respond, well yeah, of course… you think someone is going to just stop you on the street and say, “Hey, you look like an artist… let me give you a show.”

    For me, the network/connection aspect of an art career is reasonably in the realm of meritocracy. What I tell my students is that if thinking that you need to know people motivates them to network, then keep telling themselves that. If it demotivates them, then stop thinking about it (but still network).


    5 April 2008 at 6:48 am

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