Nigel is my inner critic, my pointy finger, my ‘crapulator’, my perfectionist. Nigel means well. He wants to protect me from criticism, from being hurt by others, but the problem is, he does it by saying:
‘Nothing you do is ever good enough, so why try?’
Nigel wants to stop me getting my creative work ‘out there’ where other people can see it. He is afraid that it will never be GOOD ENOUGH. Nigel is the king of SHOULDS and OUGHTS. He always knows how best to do something, and its never the way I would do it. Nigel makes me believe the bad comments I get, and dismisses the praise. He is really good at batting away compliments, and he is always telling me that people will only like me if I’m a GOOD GIRL.
Like I said, he means well, but he’s such a Nazi.
Sometimes, I allow Nigel to harrass me.
But other times I lock him in the garden shed, and transcend the fears he whispers in my ear every time I put pen to paper, or type out a blog post. And when I shut him away, I soar on wings of light.
The Nigel Exercise:
Do you have a ‘Nigel’? Does s/he/it have a name, a personification? Could you conjure up an image of this inner critic, looking down his pointy nose at everything you do? Imagine him peering over your shoulder, whispering in your ear. Remember he means well, but what he is doing is stopping you from being your fully brilliant self!
Once you have an idea of what s/he/it looks like, you can visualise giving him a good boot up the backside. Imagine him flying through the air and into the distant undergrowth with a satisfying SPLAT!, so you can get on with your unique creative brilliance!
You might even want to make an image of your Nigel, write out what s/he/it says about your work, and then burn the piece of paper to release all that self-judgement.