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To My Inner Critic

I have something to tell you, my inner critic -I have given you a name. I call you Cassius – after the character in Shakespeare’s, Julius Caesar. Why? Because Cassius had a major role in getting Brutus to kill Caesar. That’s exactly the role you’ve been playing in my life. You keep encouraging me to kill my creativity.

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You, Cassius, are insidious, subtle and wily. You find various ways of telling me that I’m not good enough a writer. You creep into my mind and make me compare myself to others.

Over the years, it’s not just my writing you’ve attacked, but my choices, my personality and my self-esteem. You’ve got your ever-willing workers who are happy to convey your messages to me. Someone subtly questioning my behaviour, another one questioning my choices, the third telling me to get my head out of the clouds.

But your biggest weapon, that works almost every time with someone like me, is to get another person to say they need me. Off I go to ‘rescue’ them, always putting their need before my own. Putting their gifts, before mine. To paraphrase Julia Cameron, I have ‘squandered my own creative energies by investing disproportionately in the lives, hopes, dreams and plans of others’.

Not anymore, Cassius. You can kick and scream, throw a tantrum and tell me I’m selfish. I’ll just cock a snook at you and go on my merry creative way.  I’ve given into you and your vassals for too long.

It’s time to claim my mojo back.  It’s time for me to nurture my creative spirit.

I have something to tell you, Cassius: Be gone!

 

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda
Photo Credit: TheTruthAbout via Compfight cc

49 Comments

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  7. Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg July 21, 2013

    Wow! That’s awesome that you shooed Cassius away and have decided to take charge of your creative spirit!
    Cheers 🙂 And Congratulations! This is truly a WOW! post 🙂
    Shilpa Garg recently posted..UBC Day 21 : And I Blushed…My Profile

  8. Susan Deborah Susan Deborah July 19, 2013

    And Caesar was right is saying,
    “Let me have men about me that are fat;
    Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o’ nights:
    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
    He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.”

    When Caesar himself was wary of Cassius, how much more should we be!

    Corinne, I had taught this play and so couldn’t resist the quote. Loved the analogy. And you’re wise in saying that Cassius has to be eliminated if he is contriving against out positive growth.

    Joy always,
    Susan
    Susan Deborah recently posted..A post on a commentMy Profile

  9. […] I mentioned in this post, for too long I have allowed other people to dictate my words and actions – no […]

  10. Deepa Deepa July 3, 2013

    Good decision Corinne! I have seen myself give in to all those guilt trips and in the end realised that they sap out all my energy and well being! So adios to them, I say too!
    Deepa recently posted..To Sisters And The SisterhoodMy Profile

  11. Bhavya Bhavya July 2, 2013

    Corinne, this is a WOW post. And I missed reading this and had to come over here from BlogAdda.

  12. Pixie Pixie July 2, 2013

    Yea.. I need to chase away my inner demons too!
    Some, I have succeeded, but some still keep coming back!! 🙁
    Very strongly written and I’m bookmarking this to read each time a demon comes knocking on my door!
    Pixie recently posted..I’m crazy!My Profile

  13. ohio graphic designer ohio graphic designer June 28, 2013

    Once I personified that self doubting part of myself, I found it easier to focus on eliminating it.

  14. Diana Pinto Diana Pinto June 27, 2013

    Fighting with our inner demons is challenging. You’ve shown us the way how to do it. Great post Corinne.

  15. melissa melissa June 26, 2013

    Wow! That was very powerful BS. That’s the way to do it…and you’ve given it a name…

    I’m learning to choose my thoughts day by day too.

    Your words inspire me.
    melissa recently posted..Noli Foras Ire: Journey InwardsMy Profile

  16. Meena Menon Meena Menon June 25, 2013

    I have ‘squandered my own creative energies by investing disproportionately in the lives, hopes, dreams and plans of others’. – Such a food for thot this line is!

  17. Michelle Liew Michelle Liew June 25, 2013

    If we let it, our inner critic can really destroy us. Thanks for sharing!!!

  18. Vidya Sury Vidya Sury June 24, 2013

    That Cassisu! Needs a very strong kick in his derriere and you’ve delivered it perfectly, Corinne! Shine forth! 🙂

    Forget Cassius. We all know you’re an excellent writer and a very creative one. There is solid proof.
    Vidya Sury recently posted..Happiness HotspotsMy Profile

  19. Sulekha Sulekha June 24, 2013

    I second you. Thanks for introducing me to this awesome book. You aee an artist through and through. Loved this post.

  20. Vishnu Vishnu June 24, 2013

    Hi Corinne – yes, the inner critic has got to go. Sometimes, my inner critic feels so much at home that he starts taking his show on the road and introducing himself to others! Yikes – in the form of external criticism and judgment. He’s a pesky house-guest but trying to let more love in and show Cassius the way out.

  21. patrick patrick June 23, 2013

    Very nice jeer at the personal demon. Although I’m not sure how you “cock a snook,” I get the point…Put self doubt in its place! Great post.

  22. Dangerous Linda Dangerous Linda June 23, 2013

    Dear Corinne,

    Wonderful & Inspiring!

    My mind is on Native American teachings this morning as I prepare for my Celestial Visioning ‘Super Moon’ Event here in the Twin Cities — the Spirit Keeper for this moon is Shawnodese the Coyote. Like your Cassius, Shawnodese is wily, but I think of him in a more altruistic way.

    To the Native American people the coyote is a trickster who can force people to learn even when they don’t want to. We humans can sometimes be stubborn and tricks may be necessary for growth. By appreciating his wily ways I’m able to work with him and appreciate him instead of fighting against him.

    It seems like your Cassius may also be a useful teacher as long as he is appreciated for the Truth of who he is. Now, I’m wondering if you have a name for the Spirit within you who represents the opposite of the Inner Critic?

    Thank you for your growth and sharing — The world is a BRIGHTER place because of YOU! XOXOX

  23. Irene Irene June 23, 2013

    “You find various ways of telling me that I’m not good enough a writer. You creep into my mind and make me compare myself to others.” — oh Cassius, you are so stupid 😉

    I have my own Cassius who screams at me incessantly. And with a megaphone. I guess I should give my own inner critic a name, too, and learn how to better deal with her! 🙂
    Irene recently posted..Let The He(Art) SpeakMy Profile

  24. sharmila sharmila June 23, 2013

    What an idea ,to be able to recognise and address ,warn and instruct your inner Cassius …! It is important to learn to have a dialogue with your inner self and I realise even as I read this, that I have a long way to go on this learning path.
    sharmila recently posted..A letter to my WordsMy Profile

  25. Amy Morgan Amy Morgan June 23, 2013

    Well done Corinne. I think we all have a Cassius in our lives and I love how you rolled many entities into one with this one. Good luck on the banishment and in returning to your creative growth!

  26. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando June 23, 2013

    Give Cassius the boot and show him the door, Corinne! You are vastly talented, my friend, and you do not need that negative demon in your life. Praying for you!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Seeking Shelter from the StormMy Profile

  27. So that’s who I saw. He went off slinking away, with a totally abject look on his face. And his T-shirt said, “Sorry, Corinne, won’t mess with you again.”
    Super post, Corinne. These guys need this kind of talking-to once in a while. You’ve shown us all the right way to do it.
    Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar recently posted..Book Review: 14My Profile

  28. Diwakar Narayan Diwakar Narayan June 23, 2013

    This is brilliant. Talking to the inner critic is always hard and kicking it away is even harder 🙂
    Diwakar Narayan recently posted..Lord Rama, Let Me Save You – 2My Profile

  29. Alka Gurha Alka Gurha June 23, 2013

    Nothing wrong in having an inner critic, as long as it helps you to introspect and does not muzzle your creative spirit.

  30. janu janu June 23, 2013

    Corinne, I am sure there are others like me who agree that you are a great motivator. You helped open up a whole lot of avenues. With your gentle, yet firm nudging, I have been able to venture into this world of blogging. You have helped me overcome my self-doubt. We all are humane and we all have something to fight for. Cheers to the new you.

  31. Mary Stephenson Mary Stephenson June 23, 2013

    Hi Corinne

    So that is the guy I am supposed to blame for my lack luster life! No wonder why I am still floundering around for all these years. I can see where “he” has taken me and left me out to dry. The struggle has been fighting “will” against “reason” and never really knew who I should believe or follow. Too bad I didn’t label him years ago and then I could have used logic to go down a more productive path. Lot less frustration would be transpiring now if only I would have seen that years ago. As they say “we our own worst enemy”. You are right, we do get suckered in by other peoples needs and wants, all the while neglecting our own. I am trying not to rally around other peoples purpose and aspirations, at least not until they have proven to be correct. I have wasted so much time in the past doing just that, instead of following on a path I should have taken…would be so much further ahead by now.
    Great post and I shall have to figure out a name for my inner critic, may be with a name I can recognize it a lot better when it raises its’ ugly head.

    Mary
    Mary Stephenson recently posted..The Roaring of ThunderMy Profile

  32. Kalpana Solsi Kalpana Solsi June 22, 2013

    loved your post for WOW. We have to kick out our inner demons to nurture ourselves.

  33. Ruchira Ruchira June 22, 2013

    I have ‘squandered my own creative energies by investing disproportionately in the lives, hopes, dreams and plans of others’. – I want to read the book just because of this sentence – It struck a chord with me !
    Too much self criticism/doubt is so bad … and takes the fun out of the simply joy of writing !
    Ruchira recently posted..The ReleaseMy Profile

  34. Dagny Dagny June 22, 2013

    I simply LOVED this Corinne. It time to shut the fool up. He isn’t worthy of being listened to all the time.

    Way to go girl…
    Hugs.
    Dagny recently posted..Your Best-Case ScenarioMy Profile

  35. Cathy Graham Cathy Graham June 22, 2013

    I love it, Corinne and can totally relate. I call my inner critic, Mr. ICK and I’ve often written about him and how he tries to sabotage my creativity by telling me I’m not good enough and why bother, you’ll just fail anyhow?

    I can’t stand him and how he tries to spoil my fun. On good days, I can tell him to take a hike. On bad “POOR ME” days, it’s not so easy. I guess the main thing is to be aware that what he says isn’t true and try not to listen. He should never have that power to limit us that way. He is telling lies, lies and more lies!

    Interesting about how you spread yourself thin going to help others achieve dreams while ignoring your own. You are a kind and giving person. We do need more folks like you in the world. But while you’re out there giving and encouraging, don’t forget to give and encourage yourself, too as you’re worth it! We women do tend to put others’ needs ahead of our own but our needs are just as important.
    Cathy Graham recently posted..When did you know you were a writer?My Profile

  36. Kathy Kathy June 22, 2013

    I think he has visited me often too. Awesome post. Thank you Corinne. It is the kick start I need when I think I can not write and I can not do this or that. When I feel that way, I will come back and read your words and be inspired and put back on track. I am bookmarking this post now so I always have it at my fingertips.

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com
    Kathy recently posted..Finding Inner PeaceMy Profile

  37. Shail Shail June 22, 2013

    Whoa! Loved it Corinne. I can so relate to this. I will now on always remember this: “I have something to tell you, Cassius: Be gone!”
    Shail recently posted..Foto Friday 53: Oh no!My Profile

  38. Ron Ron June 22, 2013

    I loved this post Corinne!

    Your perspective in identifying the inner “demons” and humanizing them to have this conversation is cathartic, and healing.

    To help others, in a perfect world is good and human nature, but if we sacrifice ourselves in the process…we really haven’t helped anyone.

    Carpe Diem…and grow your mojo 🙂

  39. vasudha vasudha June 22, 2013

    Very strong post….too well written ! Your words are so very apt.

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