‘Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.’ – Leonard Cohen
I love how this quote shows the power of metaphors. We use them all the time to liken one thing to another. A task we’re not looking forward to is heavy, a rock to push up a hill. Anticipating something wonderful puts wings on our feet. These are tiny but mighty versions of story. If you find yourself dragging your feet on something, check the story you’re telling yourself about it. How real does it feel? Could the story be bigger? Could you create a different framing, a different metaphor that helps you move forward in a better way? Could you take baby steps on that intimidating project? What if you saw that you were filling a hole, planting a seed, giving a jumpstart, lifting a spirit? Would that make it easier? Or, seeing the chaos you feel overwhelming you like a riotous day of spring bloom instead of something you have to stomp out. Play with this and see what happens. When I give my mind free rein on a creative task like this it can be amazing how much buzzing the busy little bees get into. Mix those metaphors!
This by Seth Godin–
There’s no more important criticism than self criticism.
There’s no amount of external validation that can undo the constant drone of internal criticism.
And negative self talk is hungry for external corroboration. One little voice in the ether that agrees with your internal critic is enough to put you in a tailspin.
The remedy for negative self talk, then, is not the search for unanimous praise from the outside world. It’s a hopeless journey, and one that destroys the work, because you will water it down in fear of that outside critic that amplifies your internal one.
The remedy is accurate and positive self talk. Endless amounts of it.
Not delusional affirmations or silly metaphysical pronouncements about the universe. No, merely the reassertion of obvious truths, a mantra that drives away the nonsense the lizard brain is selling as truth.
You cannot reason with negative self talk or somehow persuade it that the world disagrees. All you can do is surround it with positive self talk, drown it out and overwhelm it with concrete building blocks of great work, the combination of expectation, obligation and possibility.
When in doubt, tell yourself the truth.