What if I gave you a technique to free yourself from the part of you mind that holds you back when you practice? Would you try it?
Mastering the Social Matrix can be a painful journey; one that requires facing rejection. Each rejection holds the possibility of sending you spiraling into self-doubt; causing you to quit practicing.
For most of us, this doubt comes in the form self-criticisms like “you suck” or “I’ll never be good at this.” As students we know criticism is important, it helps us get better, but this inner critic who tells us that we suck; he’s no use to anyone. Here’s one way you can train yourself to transform him from a inner-critic to a personal guru.
When it comes to practice, don’t accept criticism from yourself that you wouldn’t accept from someone else.
Let’s imagine you were in a critique class for social dynamics and you received the comment, “you suck” from a classmate. You wouldn’t tolerate that kind of worthless criticism, because it’s not helpful. It doesn’t tell you where you went wrong or offer any advice for improvement.
Helpful critique might be, “you need to work on making people more comfortable when you’re starting a conversation.” This criticism is helpful because you can choose to accept it, and make changes based on it — it leads to improvement.
When it comes to self-criticism, you need to recognize that same difference. Telling yourself that you suck won’t help you, but giving yourself specific advice will. If you have problems with a bad critic living in your head, then it’s time to start training him.
Carry a note card on you for the next few weeks. Every time you tell yourself “I suck,” “This is too hard,” or “I’m unattractive” take out the notecard.
On it you’re going to write down a helpful tip for yourself; one or more things you can do to improve your practice. You can be harsh, pointing out your own flaws, just make sure that you’re writing down ideas you can experiment with in an effort to solve the problem. The goal is to train yourself to replace worthless critiques with helpful ones.
Practice this and you’ll find that every mistake leads to opportunity rather than doubt.