"When other people don’t meet my most critical standards—when something about their personality or their work triggers my negative judgment—it sets off a chain effect that goes something like this:
“That person is sooooo unoriginal. Why do they even bother putting stuff out if it’s just going to look like everything else out there? And why does anyone like their stuff, anyway?”
(Cut to a few hours later, as I’m trying to write a blog post…)
“Ugh, this is sooooo unoriginal. I should just scrap the whole thing and come back when I have something interesting to say. No one’s going to find this useful.”
My inner critic, it turns out, applies the same nigh-impossible standards to my own efforts that it does to someone else’s. It bluntly rejects anything that smacks of “unoriginality” (or whatever the quality is that’s currently sticking in my craw), whether it’s my creative output or someone else’s, and shuts it down. Which means I’m shut down, on some level, no matter how many times I repeat my Anne Lamott mantra or remind myself that failure won’t kill me."
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