Recently I took a doll making class in which I decided to make a 3D version of my inner critic, otherwise known as my personal gremlin. You know, this is the voice you hear that tells you that you aren’t “good enough”. I had previously made a 2D version of my critic as seen here but I decided to bring this voice more to life so then I could really figure out how to deal with it.
Making this doll was very cathartic for me. Not only did I have to really think about this gremlin and how it appeared to me but I also had to spend time with his awful messages. I knew in representing my gremlin these messages needed to illustrate just how sly and crafty there are. In making this doll, boy! did I ever experience many of these messages about not knowing what I was doing, that the doll was horrible looking, and that I would be laughed at when I became brave enough to share it.
Here is my gremlin, also known as Desmond. If you notice, Desmond is holding a scroll with all the devious messages he says to me when I am facing a challenge or an opportunity. When the situation faces me, Desmond will scroll through his messages and find just the right zinger that will keep me small, prevent me from taking risks, and reminding me that I am really not good enough, talented enough, or smart enough to do what I think I can.
I know from my career as a professional creativity coach, that these messages Desmond delivers have been crafted over many years, from various people and places in my life, and are deeply individualized for me.
For now, I have put Desmond on my shelf in my studio right near where I work. Every time I start to get that thought of “this sucks” or “you don’t know what you are doing…“, I glance to Desmond and say,
“Oh there you are Desmond. I hear you trying to keep me from being the confident, talented, authentic artist I am. I know you want me to fail, but I am going to persevere and create another success.”
I find myself talking back to Desmond in the studio, and in other places in my life when I start the negative self talk. I find this to be a powerful experience in choosing in how I want to talk to myself and how I want to counter negativity.