Tired of running in the mental hampster wheel of criticizing everything in sight? Here are five ways to take your critical energy and transmogrify it into being naturally creative:
1. ZONE IN ON YOUR INNER VOICE
What is your critical mind really saying? Let yourself spend a little time listening to that inner voice we all have. Maybe you don’t especially like what your subconscious is screaming about these days. I know that when this happens to me, I shut it down. I try really hard to stop listening to myself.
And other times I’m so tired, frustrated, misunderstood, or just hungry, that I don’t have the energy to listen to myself.
But you know what I’ve learned? The nagging feelings only go away when I listen to them.
The nagging feelings only go away when I listen to them.
So the first thing to do if you want to turn that inner anger into something that feels good, is to hear what it has to say.
In my experience, my angry inner voice actually has creative ideas for me! It is only angry because that’s how loud it has to shout to get my attention. So zoning in on the voice is the best thing to do. And the negative part doesn’t last that long. Letting your ideas flow actually feels good. Once you listen in, the natural thing that will happen next is you will…
2. START THINKING CONSTRUCTIVELY
How would I wear that outfit? What would I do if I were in charge? What if this system wasn’t broken?
This is the part where you gently force yourself to create constructive ideas.
Constructive ideas already exist deep in your mind. They’re trying to pop up! So uncork that fizzy bottle which is your subconscious and let the creative ideas come to mind. Give yourself permission to think about what you want to think about.
Here are some easy ways to listen in. When the ideas start to come up, just let them through. You’ll be surprised by how quickly they might begin to flow:
- Journal (Be sure to check out my favorite journal, pen, and pencil case picks!)
- Work out alone
- Go for a walk
- Take a shower
Give it a try!
FRESH PHILOSOPHER FREEBIE:
3. SPEAK YOUR IDEAS
Speak and be heard! Another way to stop being critical is to talk about your creative ideas with everyone you meet.
- Post a little blurb on your social media.
- Call your mom and talk about it.
- Actually say it out loud to the chatty cashier you see every week.
OMG speak to other humans? Yeah. People do it all the time. Think about all the people who just say random shit to you! You can do that too.
“So the other day I saw someone wearing cowboy boots with a super classy look and it drove me nuts! I guess that means there are tons of styles out there I don’t like. But you know what I really DO like about women’s fashion these days? That there are no rules. Well, you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to take that same mindset and let myself get dressed without caring about the rules! I’ll create my own rules. For me, I like to keep it crisp! Maybe I’ll wear a classy look with military-inspired accessories…. That would be cool! Hm, what do you think, friend?”
Wow. Look. A totally constructive conversation based on something everyone can relate to.
No I don’t mean fashion.
I mean criticizing! You could have the exact same conversation about lunch choices. Or your co-workers’ desk. Or that field of weeds you see every single flippin’ day!
Here’s the formula:
- Start with what you don’t like.
- Say what could be better.
- State what you’re going to do about it.
- Ask your listener for their opinion.
You get brownie points for listening to the other person and engaging in a genuine conversation.
4. JUST IMMEDIATELY DO SOMETHING
Next is to let yourself just immediately do something creative. Even if it is only a small step, it will feel great and help alleviate some of the tension.
- Use the note-taking app on your phone and write some ideas.
- Or pull out that little notebook and pen that you take everywhere and scribble down a thought.
- Wear something you save for special occasions.
- Compliment someone.
- Draw something on a foggy window, in the dirt, on the back of your hand, on your phone, etc.
- Treat yourself to a new food.
The point is to do anything out-of-the-ordinary that is a bit impulsive but in line with who you are and how you’re feeling right this moment. It really doesn’t matter if you follow through with that project. It matters that you let yourself be alive.
5. PLAN OUT YOUR NEXT CREATIVE TIME
This part gets me excited the most. Carve out just 15 mins in your schedule tomorrow to do something constructive or creative for yourself.
- Maybe right before you work out.
- Or after you commute.
- Or as soon as you wake up.
Call it creative time. Maybe you have mind-blowing ideas when you go for a run. Or when you drink hot tea. Pop that into your schedule.
Let those creative ideas out so you stop freaking out. Remember this is your inner voice putting YOU on blast. So tune in and ask that inner voice, what do you want me to do?
Dr. Erienne Weine
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