I recently spent two days at a Gateless writing retreat that was part garden party, part creative brainstorm, part coven. It was wickedly fun.
I’m also trained in the Gateless Method, the goal of which is to slap a muzzle on the critical mind so that you can get dig deep down into the richest, loamiest soil where all the good stuff grows: Your best ideas, your best content, your best writing.
This method has been pivotal, not only for my own growth as a writer and creative, but in the many contexts in which I’ve used it—for speakers, creatives, even wealth managers.
So early in the retreat, a very bright woman who’s new to the group, piped up early on (being the brave soul she is), to voice her own insecurity around the fact that she was feeling cowed by some of the excellent writing she was hearing.
Suzanne, Gateless creator and retreat leader, said that it’s normal for the critic’s mind to surface when you hear others read.
And that’s why the method works: When you can train your mind to focus on what’s powerful in someone else’s work, you will automatically up-level your own craft, as well as start to see the power in your work.
How often does the critical mind muzzle YOU? Probably a lot.
It can keep you from saying anything, flashing an uncomfortable light on your insecurities until they crawl away, back into the cracks of your consciousness, where they do far more damage.
It’s worth pointing out, today, any day really, that self criticism, insecurity, the comparing mind, does not go away when you’re “good” at something.
It doesn’t go away when you’ve won awards and accolades. Or how many times someone tells you you’re amazing.
Until you turn the light of your attention in another direction, it’s hard to alter that shadow across your thoughts, your work, your life.
The inner critic is a miserable muppet pulling reverse ventriloquism on you, making you say words that aren’t yours and aren’t true.
Trust me, I hated and loathed myself for many years, and didn’t even look for a job because I couldn’t imagine anyone was looking for me. I thought I’d do the world a favor and just stay out of its way.
The critical mind had a FIELD DAY with me. And for a long time, I let it.
In it, I talk about how I learned to raise my hand, how I landed my TEDx talk, and how Gateless changed my life (and Cass’s!).
>>Check out the interview I did with Cass on her podcast “Real Women in Business”
I’ve known Cass for years, and I adore her. Hard not to love her, as you’ll find out yourself.
And while I can’t give you the FULL Gateless experience in a blog post, I can come give you the Gateless experience at your company or organization or group.
And if you like the idea of coming on an exclusive Gateless retreat that I’m leading in the fall, let’s set up a time to talk about whether it’s a fit for you!