DAY 3: #NAJOWRIMOPROMPT: Write to your mental critic

Continuing on the theme of “Unleashing Your Creative Mind Through Journal Writing” write a letter to your inner critic, that voice that whispers to you when you think about wanting to do something creative or different. Think about when you heard the voice before and what it said to you. Talk back to it the form of a letter or a dialogue between you and the critic.

Oh. That voice. I am lucky that the voice of my inner critic today is much less harsh than just five years ago. When I talk to clients about their inner voice/mental critic, I usually tell them that I used to have a combo of Hitler/Mao/Stalin living inside my head. Not so today though.

So. A letter. To my mental critic. Ok.
Here goes:

Hi there.

You know. I kind of like you nowadays. I used to really really dislike you, because you made me feel soooo bad about myself. Now, you’re more polite than before, and have a much nicer tone. I thank you for that change. It’s done wonders with my self-esteem.

Sometimes you do have a point, dear mental critic, but honestly, quite often you don’t. It’s like you are more like the echo of my Ego speaking, stuck in the ways of my personality, insisting I stick to the limits you put upon me, and don’t you dare venture outside those boundaries, dear self… 

But I do. Sometimes. Venture outside the boundaries placed there by you, Mental Critic. I actually pay so much less attention to you today than ever before. And perhaps that’s why you’ve actually changed your language of communication from being predominantly verbal to being much more physical, something which I noticed quite recently

In a sense that just makes it more interesting though, since I am a very verbal person, and much less of a physical person. But it’s good for me that you’ve changed your form of communication, because I am on a journey of discovery of me, all of me, all parts of me, and most definitely the physical part of me is a huge part of that. 

wickedAnyway. Sometimes you might be making a valid point, and sometimes you’re just trying to wield your power over me, and the challenge for me is to be able to tell the difference. The easiest way for me to discern whether or not your message can be in service to me or not, is to ask myself just that: Is this serving me right now? 

That has two effects for me. First it can actually help me escape from underneath your spell, I become not only the person experiencing your communication, but I also become an observer of said conversation. And secondly, it opens up for a choice, a neutral choice, providing me with an opportunity to actively chose my next action, with less of a story attached to it. That question ”Is this serving me?” has probably been the most helpful prompt I’ve been able to give myself over these past 4-5 years or so. 

Perhaps you, Mental Critic, should start to ask yourself that very same question once in a while?

Kind regards,

I just love this:
Here’s an assignment that when I first read it, it really didn’t tickle me in any way… but once I started, I was really happy I did. And in a sense, isn’t that perhaps the perfect illustration to what the assignment centered around?

Vision and the inner voice

The importance of a vision, closely linked to the soul of the country, or company, is one of the thoughts reverberating in my head after my meeting with Richard Gerver yesterday afternoon, together with Susanne, Ann and Therese from #skolvåren back office. I only missed Ninna, who was with us in spirit, not being able to get away to join us.

Meetup with Gerver

Richard shared the story of his meeting with Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, who said, the real failures of Google, have come about when they tried to act based on the fear of what someone else is doing – Facebook are launching X, we must have something similar! – rather than go deep within to find what they, Google, want to do, regardless of what others are doing.

And that’s what Richard asks Sweden:
Find your vision, believe in you path ahead, and stick to it. Don’t copy cat Finland (now slipping in the ranks of PISA), to move on to copy cat Singapore (latest fad school system everyone want’s to learn from), to move on to….


No, stop right then and there. Ask instead:
What do we want?
Where are we?
Where do we want to go?
What are the needs of Swedes and Sweden, for a school system?

Discover our Why, find that vision, and stick to it, Richard passionately asks of the hundred or so of teachers, principals, school developers and #skolvårare, in the audience in Huddinge.

I have more thoughts to sit with, after an hour listening to Richard, but this one is top of mind at the moment. But I’m fairly happy to just sit with it, not really doing much at all to act upon this, at this very moment. I’m on a school break, with my kids, enjoying them and their company immensely.

And you know what, the message Richard wants to get across is extremely relevant here as well. So I’ll do what I can to make sure my children know how to listen to their own voice, to find their passion, rather than believing life is about going after someone elses dreams. Because it’s not. Listen within, and there is a voice somewhere, sometimes whispering, other times shouting loudly.

What might happen in the world, when more of us wake up to that inner voice?