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Crushing Your Inner Critic

Sarah Chana Radcliffe

After seven weeks of self-growth we are poised to accept the Torah anew. Yet deep within us there’s a voice seeking to undo our work and sabotage our best efforts. To fight the inner critic we need to learn to recognize its voice — and replace its messages. Here’s how to do so.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Chaya wants to write a children’s book. She looks at the books she brings home for her kids and she thinks, “I could write that! I could even write better than that! I should definitely write a children’s book.”

Every once in awhile, Chaya takes this sentiment to the computer and starts to work on a manuscript. She’s been playing around with a particular idea for quite awhile now so she knows just what to write. However, as soon as she’s typed up a sentence or two, she is stopped in her tracks by an inner voice:

“What do you think you are doing? You can’t write a book! You don’t have a writing degree. You think because you once got an A on a creative writing assignment that this makes you an author? What about all the B’s that you got? You’re very average, you know. No one is going to be interested in your book.”

Chaya gives a big sigh and shuts off the computer. That voice is probably right.

Who is talking to Chaya? Whoever it is must be very powerful, because it stops Chaya in her tracks every time. Chaya has tried to start the book on dozens of occasions already and each time the same thing happens: this voice appears out of nowhere and insists that she can’t do it. Why? Where does it come from?


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