That little voice inside your head that says, "you can't do that...it's a bad idea." Yes, the Internal Critic, perhaps the harshest critic there is. For some of us.
What helps squash that critic?
Conversation. Idea sharing. Dialogue. Constructive feedback. Empathy.
Earlier this week we gathered to share space and work together at the United Church of Hinesburg's Osborne Parish House. It was a warm Tuesday, and, like any other day, cars streamed northbound on VT Route 116. Ah, the wasted time represented by that stream of cars, but that's a thought to explore another day.
I arrived early to meet the CVU High School senior helping me with this project. We set up chairs, grabbed the coffee and treats from the Bristol Bakery, and improvised internet access until the password was found (whew!), and waited.
A few people arrived. It was less than I'd hoped.
That set off the Internal Critic. This idea's dumb. You don't have the time to do this right. No one's interested in this project. Quit deluding yourself. Stop, and go home.
Well, that's not helpful.
Then, after most folks had departed for the day, someone I've known for a while strolled in to share the space. We have a certain rapport, a kind of frankness that's welcomed. So, I shared my frustrations, my concerns, my vision. We talked.
Wow. Things changed.
The simple act conversation powerfully shifted my perspective. It presented me with a new option and a new path forward. Something I had not thought of, something practically impossible to think of with the Internal Critic in control. With someone listening, empathizing, offering other options. He recognized the goal, the vision, could see the potential, understood the challenges. The longer we chatted, the more optimism and energy returned.
That's renewal. That's the power of connection.
There is it, writ large in my personal experience, one of the reasons to create this space and bring people together. Connections. Chance conversations that reinvigorate. Planned conversations that invigorate an idea. Let's do that.