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Banish Your Inner Critic
Denise R. Jacobs
Design/Content  Vancouver, BC  7 August 2015
@denisejacobs
@dcontentconf / #dcc15
#banishyourcritic
Want the slides? Go here: 
creativedo.se/dcc15-ic
Photo by Derek Kearney
Wait…What?!
Upon a time…
http://www.behance.net/gallery/Once-Upon-a-Time/2918365
29 June
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jblndl/3154255478/
I was going to be a writer!
Photo: Denise Jacobs
Instead of creativity
Photo from Flickr.com
Destructivity
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevygee/3265941065/
The voices in my head were merciless
http://www.flickr.com/photos/epsos/4887528060/
I totally freaked out
I shouldn't be writing this
I misrepresented myself
I don't know enough
This should be someone else’s book
I’m going to lo...
2 days
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fiery-phoenix/8428079916/
Worked non-stop
https://www.flickr.com/photos/53611153@N00/5827849044/
Pushed myself to burn-out
http://www.flickr.com/photos/44085287@N05/4052943367/
My internal critical voices
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeapalooza/553545517/
Made this happen
https://www.flickr.com/photos/70938871@N05/8230432077
Physical evidence of fear
http://www.flickr.com/photos/grumpyfeline/4626401443/
A different kind of fear
Photo: Denise Jacobs
Internalized criticisms + fears
https://www.flickr.com/photos/remoto/5313967682
= The Inner Critic
https://www.flickr.com/photos/acerriteno/3484093889/
F.E.A.R. =
http://cdnpix.com/show/imgs/7a361666e107cd36656d5a66ea2e4e80.jpg
Or…
https://twitter.com/Phishtitz/status/474661495935365120
The enemy of creativity
http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardwinchell/130344669/
Creative brainwaves
http://uniteunderfreedom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Brain-waves.jpg
Know your brainwaves
Stress & frustration
https://www.flickr.com/photos/corneveaux/3248566797/
Suppress generative impulses in the brain
https://www.flickr.com/photos/birthintobeing/11841180046
Dampens creative expression
http://www.flickr.com/photos/anieto2k/8156999698/
How to ID your Inner Critic
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lambdachialpha/203904103/
Not that hard, right?
http://brenebrown.com/2014/04/08/daring-interview-series-meet-gavin-aung/
“OMG, I’m SO busy!”
“I should have done more by now…”
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kharied/3315558702/
“They’ll find out I’m a fraud”
“I don’t know enough”
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/66/Einstein_1921_by_F_Schmutzer.jpg
(or intimidated into this)
vs. “NAILED IT!”
https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul-drummond/3946893897
Impostor Syndrome Paradox
http://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/2279939232/
You will only experience impostor
syndrome when you are
competent and skilled.
(re-read this as many times as necessary.)
“It needs to be FLAWLESS”
http://www.flickr.com/photos/diepuppenstubensammlerin/7648792510/
“I’ll do it tomorrow…”
http://www.flickr.com/photos/irrezolut/2311904560/
“Really, I’ll do it tomorrow.”
http://www.flickr.com/photos/irrezolut/2311904560/
“I will do it tomorrow!”
http://www.flickr.com/photos/irrezolut/2311904560/
Feed each other
In order for
http://www.flickr.com/photos/designandtechnologydepartment/4771136128/
You need brain management
“The goal is to manage
anxiety so that our energies
are used for the productive
and satisfying art of
creating…
…rather than the destructive
and debilitating art of self-
torture. “
- Clare Warmke, Idea Revolution
How do we…
http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/5445602998/
Banish the Inner Critic?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/31505964@N08/4691019168/
Eliminate “Have to/Should/Must/Ought”
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mythoto/3822942678/
Replace with “I choose/ I decide/ I will”
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mstry-2525-gst/3312199285/
Say NO to Comparisons
http://www.flickr.com/photos/suvodeb/2559017400/
Ask it questions
http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4749432145/
Be compassionate
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wrote/2646295354/
Reassign duty
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shavawnmarie/1326123397/
Remember your successes
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pocait/2847866615/
(My personal version)
Photo: Denise Jacobs
Maintain perspective
http://www.flickr.com/photos/daikrieg/1294053038/
*WHATEVER*
http://cdn.makeagif.com/media/1-23-2013/quhKj3.gif
Cop a Power Pose
“Our bodies change our minds,
our minds change our behavior,
and our behavior changes our
outcomes.”	
- Amy Cuddy, Your Bo...
Breaking the loop
Perfectionism
http://www.flickr.com/photos/diepuppenstubensammlerin/7648792510/
“Perfectionism is self-abuse
of the highest order.”	
― Anne Wilson Schaef
The real problem
http://cuttingthecheese.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/26810560251953842_ede18tng_f.jpg
Perfectionists focus on the finished
product…
https://www.flickr.com/photos/phatcontroller/3667889959/
Rather than the process
http://www.flickr.com/photos/spyndle/474122586/
“The Best” vs “The most”
https://www.flickr.com/photos/villify/10871945326
Wise words
Amen!
https://twitter.com/dickelippe/status/581204005013078016/photo/1
Remember egocentricity
“You alone are enough. You have
nothing to prove to anybody.” 
― Dr. Maya Angelou
Decouple your performance from who
you are
https://www.flickr.com/photos/krissen/6824608878
Fear of failure
http://www.flickr.com/photos/laughingsquid/2717325940/
“Fear is not real. It is a product of
the thoughts you create.
Do not misunderstand me. Danger
is very real. But fear is a...
Reframe failure
http://www.flickr.com/photos/laughingsquid/2717326642/
And mistakez
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/4498817330/
(maybe even embrace them)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielagama_fotografando/4029208908/
“Failure is only the
opportunity to begin again
more intelligently.”
- Henry Ford
Humble beginnings
Twitter, circa 2006
Copy the #fail masters
Photo: Denise Jacobs
Take steps
http://www.flickr.com/photos/seandreilinger/959864706/
#Fail
http://www.flickr.com/photos/seandreilinger/959867550/
Go again
http://www.flickr.com/photos/seandreilinger/959864706/
Satisfice
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sleepyvalley/3650673328
Be bad/make it ugly
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kpwerker/6051104684
“Being right keeps us in
place. Being wrong forces us
to explore.” 
– Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From
Perfection ≠ Excellence
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kaldoche/4771465356
Procrastination
http://www.flickr.com/photos/irrezolut/2311904560/
The trick is not determining which you
are…
http://20px.com/blog/2013/09/06/a-field-guide-to-procrastinators/
Nor administering a dose of
https://www.flickr.com/photos/116357579@N08/13178367583
Increase the meaning/value
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eyeliam/2460475510/
Mind Tricks
https://www.flickr.com/photos/32135758@N02/5325454434/
Don’t do it, just get ready to
Photo: Denise Jacobs
“Structured procrastination”
https://www.flickr.com/photos/superamit/1043379069
Time & Space Tricks
http://www.flickr.com/photos/indraw/4857101224/
Eliminate distractions
From “Shit Black Girls Say”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXDpfhehb6I
Ignore to focus
Tools
RescueTime.com
GetConcentrating.com
HeyFocus.com
Browser Extensions
Firefox:
LeechBlock
Idderall
Google Chrome:
Stri...
Added bonus
HeyFocus.com
Airplane/Do Not Disturb mode
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pieterouwerkerk/699475144/
Make it a Sprint
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucamascaro/4975166968/
Fill a Quota
https://www.flickr.com/photos/teosaurio/3392883329/
Remember this:
Photo: Denise Jacobs
My story’s end?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sonialuna/2942020058/
February
http://www.flickr.com/photos/doug88888/3709856898/
#FAIL
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dafnecholet/5374200948
#WINNING!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/clappstar/6297835482/
I wrote a book!
Photo: Denise Jacobs
https://www.flickr.com/photos/thatconference/9532425040/
Which created AMAZING
things for me
Bad dreams
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agroffman/4613265988
“The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday—but
never jam to-day.”
“It MUST come sometimes to ‘jam to-day’,” Alice
objec...
“Jam” = Reward / Satisfaction
https://www.flickr.com/photos/macati/2180421766
YOU NEVER GET JAM
http://www.alice-in-wonderland.net/alicepic/through-the-looking-glass/2book42.jpg
By sharing my experience
Photo: Deloria Jacobs
Show you there is an alternative
https://www.flickr.com/photos/buttersponge/4955768144
“The creative
adult is the
child who
survived after
the world tried
killing them,
making them
‘grown up’….
…The creative adult is the child who survived the
blandness of schooling, the unhelpful words of bad
teachers, and the nay...
By understanding this
You’ll look at yourself differently
https://www.flickr.com/photos/edenpictures/3460562429
Let yourself create those imperfect,
yet amazing ideas
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcymet/3564484236/
Because, after all…
https://www.flickr.com/photos/aoberg/9652158212
The End
Photo: Denise Jacobs
Get the slides! 
creativedo.se/dcc15-ic
My upcoming book!
Banish Your Inner
Critic
DeniseJacobs.com/InnerCritic
26 Effective Techniques for
Unleashing Productive
...
Please take the Creative Blocks Survey
Creativedo.se/creative-blocks-survey
THE CREATIVE DOSE
A Creativity + Innovation Collective
Work Better. Create More. Create Betterness.
Creative Thinking & Pr...
DeniseJacobs.com
 Sign up on my mailing list here!
denise@denisejacobs.com
twitter.com/denisejacobs
facebook.com/deniseja...
Thank you!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/theredproject/3302110152/
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The trick is not determining which you
are…
http://20px.com/blog/2013/09/06/a-field-guide-to-procrastinators/

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