Banish Your Inner Critic - UX Munich 2015

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Banish Your Inner Critic Denise R. Jacobs UX Munich Munich, Germany 20 March 2015

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  • Banish Your Inner CriticDenise R. JacobsUX Munich Munich, Germany 20 March 2015

  • @denisejacobs



  • Photo by Derek Kearney


  • Upon a time

  • 29 June

  • Instead of creativityPhoto from

  • Destructivity

  • The voices in my head were merciless

  • I totally freaked out

  • I shouldn't be writing thisI misrepresented myself

    I don't know enoughThis should be someone elses book

    Im going to look stupidEveryone will see that Im a fakeWhat if it's not good enough?What if I'm not good enough?


  • 2 days

  • Worked non-stop[email protected]/5827849044/

  • Pushed myself to burn-out[email protected]/4052943367/

  • My internal critical voices

  • Made this happen[email protected]/8230432077

  • Physical evidence of fear

  • A different kind of fearPhoto: Denise Jacobs

  • Internalized criticisms + fears

  • = The Inner Critic

  • aka The Troll Under the Bridge

  • F.E.A.R. =

  • Or

  • The enemy of creativity

  • Creative brainwaves

  • Know your Brainwaves

  • Stress & frustration

  • Suppress generative impulses in the brain

  • Dampens creative expression

  • How to ID your Inner Critic

  • Not that hard, right?

  • OMG, Im SO busy!

  • I should have done more by now

  • Theyll find out Im a fraud

  • I dont know enough

  • vs. NAILED IT!

  • Impostor Syndrome Paradox

  • It needs to be FLAWLESS

  • Ill do it tomorrow

  • Really, Ill do it tomorrow.

  • I will do it tomorrow!

  • Feed each other

  • In order for

  • You need brain management

  • The goal is to manage anxiety so that our energies are used for the productive and satisfying art of creating

  • rather than the destructive and debilitating art of self-torture. - Clare Warmke, Idea Revolution

  • How do we

  • Banish the Inner Critic?[email protected]/4691019168/

  • Eliminate Should/Must/Ought/Have to

  • Say NO to Comparisons

  • Ask it questions

  • Be compassionate

  • Reassign duty

  • Remember your successes

  • (My personal version)Photo: Denise Jacobs

  • Maintain perspective


  • Cop a Power Pose

  • Breaking the loop

  • Perfectionism

  • Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order. Anne Wilson Schaef

  • The real problem

  • Perfectionists focus on the finished product

  • Rather than the process

  • The Best vs The most

  • Remember egocentricity

  • You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.

    Dr. Maya Angelou

  • Decouple your performance from who you are

  • Fear of failure

  • Fear is not real. It is a product of the thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.- character of Cypher Raige (played by Will Smith), After Earth

  • Reframe failure

  • And mistakez

  • (maybe even embrace them)

  • Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.- Henry Ford

  • Humble beginningsTwitter, circa 2006

  • Copy the #fail mastersPhoto: Denise Jacobs

  • Take steps

  • #Fail

  • Go again

  • Satisfice

  • Be bad/make it ugly

  • Being right keeps us in place. Being wrong forces us to explore. Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From

  • Perfection Excellence

  • Procrastination

  • The trick is not determining which you are

  • Nor administering a dose of[email protected]/13178367583

  • Increase the meaning/value

  • Mind Tricks[email protected]/5325454434/

  • Dont do it, just get ready toPhoto: Denise Jacobs

  • Structured procrastination

  • Time & Space Tricks

  • Eliminate distractions

    From Shit Black Girls Say,

  • Ignore to focus

  • Tools

    Browser Extensions Firefox: LeechBlock Idderall Google Chrome: Strict Workflow StayFocusd Website Blocker

    Aids for digital blocking

  • Added

  • Airplane mode

  • Make it a Sprint

  • Fill a Quota

  • Remember this:

    Photo: Denise Jacobs

  • My storys end?

  • February

  • #FAIL


  • I wrote a book!Photo: Denise Jacobs


    Which created AMAZING things for me

  • Bad dreams

  • The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterdaybut never jam to-day.

    It MUST come sometimes to jam to-day, Alice objected.

    No, it cant, said the Queen. Its jam every OTHER day: to-day isnt any OTHER day, you know.

    from Through the Looking Glass & What Alice Found There, by Lewis Carroll

  • Jam = Reward / Satisfaction


  • By sharing my experiencePhoto: Deloria Jacobs

  • Show you there is an alternative

  • By understanding that

  • Youll look at yourself differently

  • Let yourself create those imperfect, yet amazing ideas

  • Because, after all

  • The End

    Photo: Denise Jacobs

  • Four Secrets to Enhancing Creative Productivity

    Banishing Your Inner Critic

    Reigniting Your Creative Spark

    Breaking the Perfectionism-Procrastination Infinite Loop

    My articles for further reading

  • Sign up on my mailing list here!

    [email protected]

    Connect with me!

    Photo used with permission:

  • THE CREATIVE DOSE A Creativity + Innovation Collective

    Work Better. Create More. Create Betterness.

    Creative Thinking & Problem-solving Applying an Innovation Mindset

    Creative Collaboration Team Communication & Cohesion

    [email protected]

    Untitled by Americo Morales

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  • Thank you!