QUNN’S NOTE: This is Day 5 of a 7-day Write Yourself Whole journaling class to discover your Inner Heroes and name them. It’s free, but if you want to donate something because you like that idea, there is a donate button on my website. You can read Day 1 Getting Started details here. Day 2–Distort and Shrink Inner Critic. Day 3–Perfectionist Inner Critic. Day 4: You Are Not Enough Inner Critic.
The Scene: Everyone has a “story.” Your story is the belief you build your life around. “I’m the organized one.” “I was always the class clown.” Sometimes the story it stuck onto something that happened in the past. “Of course I can’t trust anyone. My father abandoned the family by drinking.”
Stories can be interesting, tragic, bold, brave, or amazing. What makes them tragic is our own belief that other people’s decisions still guide our life.
Here’s what that sounds like: “Well, no wonder I can’t ever get to work on time. My Dad was so undependable, it is all I know.” Or, “You can’t blame me for not getting this book started, I’m a perfectionist from birth, and we have trouble getting started.”
The Tactic: When your story begins to run your life, when you make other people bear the burden for your own shortcomings, your life runs off the tracks. Your Inner Critic is quick to help you find blame with others. This is tricky, as your Inner Critic often directs blame that isn’t yours to you. So when you don’t take control of your life, because of others, it feels natural.
Write Yourself Whole Journaling Prompts:
1. What is your Story? This is rarely a fast answer. Spend some time making lists of how you see yourself. Look for big, sweeping explanations that pin the past to the future.
2. What part of the story is holding you back? How do you blame yourself for this? How do you blame others? Your Inner Critic will help you with both of those answers. This is also tricky. Your Inner Critic is not always wrong. Watch for two part sentences with logic flaws. “You can’t blame me for not getting this book started, I”m a perfectionist from birth,” is an example. So is the same sentence with someone else “turning you into a perfectionist.”
Even if you are a perfectionist now, you can become a recovering perfectionist. See who you are blaming for your story.
3. Re-write your story with the ending you want. It’s OK to want (and write) a happy ending. Look at the characteristics you need. Those characteristics are the ones your Inner Hero (and you) have. Maybe you are “Discernment” or “Positive Attitude.” Or maybe it’s more complex, like, “One who does not let me confuse the past with the present.” Or, “One who is authentic, even if that means losing friends.”
Moving Ahead: Your Story may have been started in your past, but you get to write the ending you want. Your authentic self is not who you are right now, it is your best self, which may need some dusting off and a quick rinse. Take a look at the way you want your story to end. Call on your Inner Hero to boost you up when you begin to slip into old ways.
—Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach and writer. She knows it is hard to re-write your story. But you are the only one who can. Quinn is a writer, trainer, creativity coach and author of The Inner Hero Creative Art Journal.