Here's another excerpt from Bright Ideas: Light Up Your Creativity (now available on Amazon!!). We're pulling from Chapter Two: It's All In Your Head which addresses our thought life and mindsets. One of our favorite sections of the book is about the Naysayers, the mean voices in our heads that try to keep us from being creative. One of the chief Naysayers is Colonel Criticism and you're going to meet him today!
If we want to grow into our identity, creativity, and potential then we cannot allow any unsafe thoughts to have access to our Creative Mind House. All of our creative genius starts off like little creative embryos in our minds. We need to create a safe environment for them to be born, grow, and mature. Just as new parents must “baby-proof” their home, we must do the same to our minds to protect our creative brainchildren. We cannot expect our creativity to make it very far if its home is full of toxic thoughts.
Now that you’re learning to protect your growing creativity, it’s important to know what dangers may lurk outside your door. To help you defend yourself, we have compiled the following list of “most wanted” creativity killers.
First up: Colonel Criticism, who rushes in with his long, condescending finger ready to point out any and all perceived problems with your fledgling creative projects. A stickler for rules, regulations, and the status quo, the Colonel is intolerant of even the slightest deviation from standard procedure. Often disguising himself as “constructive input,” Criticism steps in at the beginning stages of your creative efforts and uses his disparaging remarks to belittle you into abandoning your brainchild. Harmless as his commentary may seem, it is insidious and toxic to your creative growth.”
We must pause to note here that Colonel Criticism has a cousin named Critique, and Critique is an essential part of the creative process. Critique is less interested in pointing out your failures and more into showing the places where you can grow. She is important, especially once your creative project is up and running, in helping you to move from producing a good result to an excellent one. Where the Colonel delights in cataloging every flaw, Critique prefers to highlight your strengths and utilize them to make the rest of your work stronger.
Click here to purchase your own copy of the Bright Ideas Book on Amazon! Have you ever met Colonel Criticism or spent time with Critique? We'd love to hear your experiences, feel free to share in the comments below.