Locus of Evaluation Part 1

Perhaps the most fundamental condition of creativity is that the source or locus of evaluative judgement is internal.

Carl Rogers (1998)

When I was thirteen my art teacher told me I wasn’t good enough to do art at ‘O’ Level and I believed him. Perhaps what he actually meant was, “you enjoy making art too much. You don’t take it seriously.” I used to sing and make noises and talk during my mark making. I once drew a still life that had the words, “ahhh, shit!” in it (I drew what I saw). Perhaps he disliked my enthusiasm because he’d lost his own. I didn’t take art seriously. It was fun. Until he told me I wasn’t good enough. I stopped making art and began journalling instead.

Using a journal is a great way of externalising what’s in your head and helping you move forward in your thinking. I invite my coaching clients to keep a journal during their coaching journey as it can help them reflect on various aspects of themselves and their relationships to people, events, things… It can also be used for creative writing and drawing. There are many ways of journalling and it can be as unique as you are.
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How to Stop Beating Yourself Up and Feel Happier

I’m late writing this blog post because I had writer’s block. When I delved deeper into why I couldn’t begin writing I found a critical inner voice saying, “no point in writing because people will be like, ugh! Oh shut up!” I asked myself what it was protecting me from and I realised I didn’t want to feel disappointment that people might not read or comment on my blog post. Now I know this I can accept that fear: yes, maybe they will not read or comment, and I will have learnt a bit more by writing, and now I can write. My example highlights one of the purposes of self-criticism: to avoid potentially painful feelings. In this post I’ll share more about why we self-criticise, how self-criticism is linked to the fight/flight system, and how we can stop beating ourselves up and feel happier.

I drew this image in 2018 as a way of externalising that critical voice that beats me up. This is just one of the forms I’ve given it over the years.
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