Internal saboteurs

The self critic has been my lifelong nemesis. Its the first thing to close down my creativity, a shape-shifting monster that’s always lurking in the shadows, watching and judging. Those inner voices that terrorise me and keep my curiosity captive. The ‘war on terror’ is in fact an internal battle, afterall nobody speaks this harshly to me, judges and undermines or shames me like my own super ego.


Actively keeping my heart open and creativity alive is to deal with the internal saboteurs. Seeing that it’s craziness to listen to that voice in my head – never mind projecting it out onto the world. The terror is internal, imagined, recognising that is half the battle won….
A great resource for dealing with the judge can be found here: Soul without Shame by Byron Brown

"A Sense of Security" oil on board, 20 x 30cm, 1993
“A Sense of Security” oil on board, 20 x 30cm, 1993

AH Almaas is the co founder of the Ridhwan School of the Diamond Approach

26 thoughts on “Internal saboteurs

  1. Oh, that inner saboteur…sounds so familiar. The curse of the Creatives. I can keep up with him when I think that the alternative is not to be a creative person πŸ™‚ Fight on!


  2. Words as beautifully and thoughtfully rendered as the painting accompanying them, and with which I heartily agree. The wisest insight I have ever had was the realization that 99% of what I perceive people doing to me is not about me at all. The perception that it is about me? That is my problem. My fear, my insecurity, my longing for the approval of others.

    That was decades ago. It is still often difficult to keep that in mind all the time. Nonetheless, that one insight has fundamentally altered my relationships with people.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Children are great like that – a wonderful tonic with their “unedited” comments, performances and creative energy – I love working with them and listening to their insights and perspectives.


  4. I think this is the post I have “enjoyed” the most Ian because it’s so honest and in allowing yourself to be “vulnerable” (I prefer “real”) it shines the way for others to open up and realise they are not alone – no matter how successful or confident the world may perceive them to be. I think it’s especially difficult for men who face so much pressure to never portray any fear which is an indictment on our society. I like your changing headers too! Thanks for a great post. Deborah


    1. Thank you so much Deborah, it is common to everyone and can be very tricky to deal with. I’m reminded of Robin Williams and the tragedy of his success. I’m glad you liked the post – I must admit to some trepidation but the kids at Roseneath really inspired me with their courageous freedom!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As an observer of the amazing gift you have been given through art, it always surprises me too, how powerful our inner critic can be. How it can lead us out of the truth of who we really are and limits our immense potential. Great post and looks like a great book to read.


    1. Thank you so much! It is always a surprise to me too how much power I still allow it to have, constant vigilance is required as it gets more subtle and changes forms. I think its especially hard on creativity which requires an open heart to really flourish.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree Ian. After completing my first book, what I found really worked was to allow some time before I wrote, to call upon my higher self and guides to help me write from my heart. Whenever my head was busy with “I need to” Or “I better write this” it didn’t have the same flow. The best pieces come from our heartspace.


      2. That is so true, and wise.
        We can’t abandon our heads of course, but breathing into the belly opens the heart to the present, it gives me some space…..


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