Well-Being//

How Negative Self-Talk Holds Us Back From Succeeding

Research tells us that coming down hard on ourselves after facing a setback reduces our creativity and chances of success.

GaudiLab / Shutterstock
GaudiLab / Shutterstock

All of us have an inner monster — that kick-butt voice inside that bludgeons us with criticism and tells us how worthless, selfish, dumb, or bad we are. It never rests and garners more airplay than the inner voice that tells us how great we really are.

But we don’t have to let the monster’s judgment sabotage our literary success. When a life event disturbs us, it is not the event itself but our judgment of it that causes our suffering. We can’t help forming judgments; that’s how we make sense of the world. In its own ironic way, the judge tries to help us weather literary storms with its kick-butt treatment. Much like the hard-ass drill sergeant who doesn’t want to see a soldier’s head blown off in combat, the judge pumps up the volume when we stumble, concerned that too much leeway will turn us into slackers and prevent us from finishing a writing project.

Studies show that coming down hard on ourselves after a mistake or failure reduces creativity and chances of publishing success. Substituting self-kindness for self-judgment each step of the way is a powerful resilient tool, more likely to lead to writing success.

Today’s Takeaway

Put away your gavel and amp up your kinder, more compassionate side when your inner judge overshadows you, and let it airlift you to untold heights of literary success.

Excerpt from Daily Writing Resilience by Bryan E. Robinson, PhD, with permission from the author and publisher.

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