blogging about creativity

attack of the killer inner critic

attack of the killer inner critic

It’s absolutely amazing how foul a mood I can get into when I’m about to put myself “out there”.

Last night, I decided I need to take a picture of myself, a “selfie”, to use as avatar for a particular service I was interested in. I’ve avoided putting pictures of myself online for a few years now, something to do with privacy but more to do with lack of self-esteem. It hasn’t really mattered before, but the more I read about developing a successful brand online, the more important it appears to be to let people know what one looks like.

So I made the decision late last night. On the way to bed, I crashed into a chair that has been in the same room in the same place for about ten years. I really bruised my toe, but thought I had just been hurrying too much, and that once more, the clutter issue was making itself felt. I went to sleep still smarting and grumpy but not really getting it.

This morning, I found myself kicking things viciously out of the way, clattering dishes while I tried to make my tea, spilling water, dropping lemons and positively hurling spoons. I felt so venomous towards the world I could hardly bear it. By the time I escaped the kitchen, with, amazingly, no broken crockery, I sat myself and my sore toe down before the computer and wondered what on earth had triggered such an intense bad mood.

And I remembered my project of the selfie. Rage and despair loomed up, black and impenetrable. How dare I think that the world would be interested in me or in what I have to offer? How could I possibly believe there was a need for what I can do? Don’t I realize that no one cares? Worse, how much longer is it going to take me to learn that I have absolutely no right to express myself when my elders and betters could not? How dare I think there was room in the world for me? How dare I think things could be different for me? On top of being ugly and untalented, unneeded and unwanted, I think I could try something positive and public anyway? I should be ashamed of myself, and finally, I recognize my poisonous inner critic demanding I crawl back instantly into mute subservience.


As my toe still throbs I begin to come back to myself. I can feel the house return from quivering anticipation back to its normal quiet comfort.

I sip my tea in relief that I’ve figured out why I’ve been so angry. I’ve triggered some old dramas, old dynamics that stand in the way of my creative expression. Unveiling them is good, yes. Hooray for revealing the truth.

But I wonder what will happen if and when I try to actually take a photograph.

#inner critic #selfie #creative block #bad mood

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *