Listen To Yourself

December 1, 2018 | Leave a Comment |

Glory I

You can learn a lot just by listening to yourself. Listen not only to the words you actually say, usually to others, but also to the words you use in your inner dialog. When you speak about yourself, your creative life, and the works you produce, the words you use can be very revealing. They mean something to you. You chose them. Often you do this without realizing it and once you do new depths become open to you.

Ask yourself …

Do you keep repeating specific words?

Do you use different words that all point to similar meanings, orientations, or attitudes?

Do the words you use share common concerns?

Do you tend to use more nouns (things), verbs (actions), or adjectives and adverbs (qualities)?

Do you tend to speak actively or passively?

Do you tend to speak in the past, present, or future tense?

It’s best if your observations about the words you use are made without judgment. Simply make observations. It can be helpful to expand your statements; say more to describe it better and find its connections to other things. After that, it can help to distill it all back down to what’s most important. If you do this you’ll feel freer, clearer, and more energized.

Becoming more aware of your concerns and attitudes will ultimately help you make more considered choices about your actions, reactions, emotional responses, and even self-image.

This newfound awareness can be used to inform the images you make, how you make them, the images you select, how you sequence them, how you process them, and how you present them.

Thinking too much about the words you use while you’re using them can get in the way. When this happens, record yourself and listen to it later.

It only takes one important observation to make the practice of observing how you speak extremely worthwhile – sometimes it leads to breakthroughs.

I recommend you make this a constant practice to savor the qualities of your everyday experiences that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

 

Read more in my Creativity Resources.

Learn more in my Creativity Workshops.

Engage Your Inner Coach

September 10, 2010 | Leave a Comment |

Inner_Coach

“If someone in your life talked to you the way you talk to yourself, you would have left them long ago.” – Carla Gordon

We’re told that to improve and reach our full potential that we have to be our own worst critics. There is a time and a place for this – but it’s limited. Don’t make it a full time occupation. If you do, you may never get there.

Professional athletes have coaches who not only train them but also encourage and inspire them as well. When was the last time you coached yourself? Even if you’re lucky enough to find a creative coach (they’re in extremely short supply), they can’t do all the work, you too have to do some of it. You can’t afford to wait and find your perfect creative coach. Instead, become that person.

Energize yourself. Affirm your abilities. Set tangible goals. Provide yourself incentives. Reward yourself. Celebrate your accomplishments. It will help if you give yourself specific feedback and focus on concrete results. If you don’t have any accomplishments to speak of yet, frequently use positive affirmations until you do – and continue doing so afterward.

When you talk about yourself or your work, do you use positive or negative words? Many times, when we speak about ourselves as artists and our work, we downplay our abilities and accomplishments. It’s true that no one likes a raving egomaniac. But, there’s a real difference between arrogance and confidence. Confidence is attractive and inspiring; arrogance isn’t; neither is insecurity. Don’t let your insecurities get the best of you. Be careful not to talk yourself down, cut yourself off short, or fall completely silent. Instead, learn to speak simply and directly about yourself and your work, sharing your enthusiasm for your subjects and your medium.

Not feeling it? Act as if you do. With just a little practice you will begin to feel it. Practice makes perfect. And the right coach can help guide you to perfect practice.

Find more inspiration in my Creativity Lessons.

Learn more in my Digital Photography Workshops.


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