Friday, August 9, 2013

How to Sabotage one easy step

I'm beginning to think that my brain hates me. Or perhaps that I'm just my own worst enemy. Thinking, and particularly overthinking, has been the bane of my existence. I've done more to sabotage me than anyone could ever do. The moment I decide on something, there is a tiny voice in the back of my mind that starts to ask questions like, "do you really think that's a good idea", or "do you even know how to do that", or even "why do you think anyone would be interested in that". 

This has affected my social interactions, my writing, my work life, and recently my blogging. I spend so much time thinking about doing something, and whether it's a good idea, that I do nothing. I sit paralyzed, listening to the voices in my head tear down my ideas. A decent story idea suddenly seems hackneyed. Then completely cliche. And then the voice likes to tell me that I'll never have any original ideas. That I'm not a good writer, friend, person. It's a horrible type of paralysis.  

After years of this I understand why so many writers and painters were alcoholics. They are drowning out those little voices. They are keeping them busy. I haven't gone that route yet, don't worry. I've found music instead. If I can listen to music (as I'm doing now) I can keep that little voice busy listening to lyrics while I type away. Of course this doesn't work well for social interactions but I'm working on that. 

I've read hundreds of self-help articles on how to get rid of these voices, or at least how to quiet them. They've suggested meditation, self-hypnosis, segmentation, even the music treatment I use. I've used free writing, self encouragement, and even mantras. One day I will learn a perfect solution to tune them out. Until then I have to do as Nike suggests and "just do it". Just do what you want to do and let time determine if something is good or not. More often then not, a bit of time and distance, makes things look clearer. 

"Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they're deciding, make even more art." --Andy Warhol


jm's greenspace said...

Hey Cat! I completely understand what you mean; I've been there myself. My suggestion...sit Self-Doubt beside you, embrace him (or her) and have a pow wow, "Here, let me show you what I've been writing." Then keep writing. Your inner critique will always be there...give it a voice, let him rant and rave and be angry all he wants, essentially, clear your throat (sort of speak). Then, continue writing. Pretty soon, Self-Doubt will be joined by Acceptance (who is wonderful at parties), Creativity (who enjoys listening to a story) and Assurance (who will calm Self-Doubt putting him in his place). Keep writing, my love. You make this world a beautiful place.

Skem said...

This is the the riddle of the ages. The comment above me is much more eloquent but giving these thoughts credence rather than pushing them away, is the answer. The harder you try to ignore these things the bigger they get. The most important thing to remember is that you. are. amazing. True story.

Cat B said...

Thank you both, my beautiful friends! Both of your comments brought tears to my eyes. I know that we are all our hardest critics but sometimes I feel alone in my concern. Thank you for not only reminding me that others have this issue but that there are ways around these voices. You are both wonderful, beautiful people!. I'm fortunate to know you!