Where Were You When the Page Was Blank?
So great. I’ve had a funny day.
I was not on my own schedule in the morning, and kind of tired or something weird today after having a 100% week last week, so this afternoon I was really distracted. I couldn’t settle, and not wanting to lose the afternoon, I messed around on FB trying to get jiggy with it. I was definitely successful, and felt amazing as a way of continuing the momentum of last week, but I still felt off. I didn’t even make my bed and I never never do that! It’s a thing! It’s also an indication that I’m getting behind the 8 ball…
Not true at all. But I did pause and take a look at what was going on in there. To spite all the success of last week, and even the success of the impromptu FB mission – which wasn’t wasted time at all, but not the task I set out to do today! – I was calling myself a few horrible names. THEN at the end of the day, I went to get my hair cut, and in the last 5 minutes of my appointment, all the weird, out of line self-criticisms came tumbling out. It was SO weird! I couldn’t seem to stop myself, and it came out as self-deprecating humour, but the look on her face was absolute disbelief. She even stopped everything she was doing and just stared at me. The woman in the waiting chair looked up from her book, also in disbelief.
I just kept it cheery, thanked her, and walked out, but I knew I had literally just shattered their image of me. It was so very obvious.
I’ve had a couple of moments like this over the past few weeks as we have been working on boundaries against negativity, but in this context, it is SO clear how my inner critic is totally off her mark. My dear friend and mentor – a writer and he had a market research company in NY – used to say to me that HIS favourite question to ask when people criticised him was:
Where were you when the page was blank?
This really resonates with me, and will be a great default statement for my inner critic. She’s only there because I’m succeeding and it’s all coming together, classic self-sabotage!
Feels awesome. A year ago, I was working on noticing the external invalidation as a self-sabotage pattern. Having my inner critic show up so clearly helps me to address her clearly also… with default statements. Ohhh. Yeeahh.
I mean, where was I when the page was blank? I was holding the pen.