#17: Banish Your Inner Critic with Denise Jacobs
On this episode of the Software World, I welcomed Denise Jacobs, speaker, author, and creativity evangelist. We talked about the inner critic that we all have and how it impacts our creativity. Denise gave answers to my questions regarding how to understand our inner critic and approach it in a better way.
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Candost Dagdeviren: [00:00:00] Denise, welcome.
Denise Jacobs: [00:00:01] Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:00:04] It's great to have you here because when I joined the workshop that you did, and I was quite, amazed and it's really resonated with me, the topics that you mentioned in the workshop was about banishing our inner critic that are today's topic as well. And I really enjoyed this.
And thank you for, for the workshop. Again,
Denise Jacobs: [00:00:25] My pleasure. I mean, you know, one of the things I love about teaching or, you know, doing workshops and, and keynotes and everything on this subject is that it's so relatable and almost everybody will come back and say, gosh, you know, I didn't even, I didn't even know there was a name for this, or I feel like this all the time.
And I thought I was the only one. And. I just love being able to give people. Tools and, and resources and methods for overcoming that voice, that so many of us, so many of us have,
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:01:00] how can we define that voice? Like you mentioned, like this is, I didn't know, it has a name as well. Like if there was something that I always said, yes, there's someone inside me talking all the time and I have no idea how to shut it up. That's like saying, Hey, shut up. I mean, I. Sometimes I was not able to do that sometimes I was, but can we talk a little bit about what is inner critic actually?
Denise Jacobs: [00:01:22] Well, so the way I typically describe it as the inner critic is this kind of psychological construct that develops when we're young and it develops as a self protection mechanism.
So anytime you get criticisms from parents or teachers or. You know, anybody in authority or even peers and siblings, whatever that goes and you know, gets internalized. And then there's a part of your psyche that says, well, I don't want that to happen again. And. [00:02:00] So it kind of builds itself up to do that proactively, but kind of like try to control you and manage you so that you won't get those criticisms.
Again, a problem is, is that you really can't, you really can't foresee when or where those criticisms are going to come from. And, and so then it ends up being the kind of situation where you're kind of constantly holding yourself back in a lot of ways, you know, that that voice, that psychological construct is like holding you back from.
Doing things that could possibly be beneficial for you, you know, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, trying new things, learning new things, you know, realizing that you don't have to be perfect all the time. That's the,
that's the case. I think for me, at least like, I mean, not trying to perfect everything it's like, because like inside me, I think I'm a little bit turning this session into my own case, but, yeah, I think I can take this shot for that.
So for me, at [00:03:00] least, Always saying that whatever I do, I, I, it can be better. I always said that I don't know why, but most probably because of my childhood impact or some other people who had a big effect on my life previously, but I still do that. And in any way, even though I get a lot of appreciation or positive feedback, Right.
The things that I do, I still cannot get in my head to tell myself that yes, I have done a good thing. I always say it can be better.
Well, you know, I feel like there's, there's kind of, there's a couple of things that, that happen. I think there's, you know, there's a part of you that, you know, I, I like to talk about the difference between the inner critic and what I call the inner evaluator and the inner valuators kind of like a coach.
And it. Kind of helps to push you to kind of realize your potential and all those. But I feel like what, what you're talking about really [00:04:00] actually is more inner critic because it's what you do is never good enough. Right. And, and that just, that can be, I mean, I'm sure you experienced this it's exhausting, right?
It's exhausting to, yeah. Be like, I just gave this my all, and there's this part of my brain saying, oh, what you can do, you know, that's not enough. You need to do more. And there's actually a really great resource that I've been reading a lot of, especially given that with my second vaccine shot, I've been really, really tired.
And so I haven't been able to do as much as I am used to doing. And there's this great account on Instagram called the nap ministry. And one of the things that she talks about a lot is how we've internalized capitalism and that there's this kind of constant drive to do more, to be more, to produce more [00:05:00] in everything.
And so I really like this idea of questioning. The whole process of being productive, like, what does that mean? Why do I have to be productive? Why do I have to, why do I have to do better? Who says I have to do better? Like. To like really challenge that on a fundamental level. And I think that that might help you where it's just like, well, what good is like me doing better?
What is that going to serve? Like, why do I need to be better? And who am I doing better for? Right. And I love kind of taking, like, looking at things and then like really turning them around and questioning. The whole why of them in the first place. I mean, it's one thing to like, do the kind of internal work and to question your own motives.
But then I think too, in this last year there's been so many things that have happened in the world that are making us question a larger societal and cultural context. And [00:06:00] so I think that's actually a really interesting approach, like, you know, forget about the inner critic. Like where did even some of these messages come from beyond.
The people who were critical, you know, beyond the authority figures. Like, you know what I mean?
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:06:16] Yeah. I think so. Like, not always the authority figures, but the environment we are in, it can be either social media is also an environment or pandemic the impact of the pandemic on us. There are like many authorities that's.
Just came out of nowhere and we even don't know most of the authorities. I think that's what you are talking about. If I understood correctly, it's like the, for example, if you take into the social media into account, then there are many accounts. We see the people on social media and they are, they have a huge impact on me.
Like for example, I blog a [00:07:00] lot and yeah. The case for me is that when I see some very good bloggers, it impacts my creativity sometimes encourages me, sometimes discourages me because when I see them, I again, turned into myself. I am not going to be there in a way. In any time.
Denise Jacobs: [00:07:20] Right? Right. Well then you start comparing yourself to them and, and again, you know, you have to, I mean, this is, I think it's just, it's important to realize is that we, we kind of, we need to question everything when you start to compare yourself to another blogger, it's like, how long have they been blogging?
Is this their full-time job? Like, do they get more practice at blogging than you do? Like, is it an accurate comparison? Are you comparing apples to apples? Are you pre comparing to apples to pineapples? Right. Like not even apples to oranges, but like, this is like completely different [00:08:00] kind of fruit, you know?
And so are you comparing pineapples to durian? Like. I mean, I, it's just a totally different thing. So I always like the process of that moment of, of clarity and insight where you can stop and like really be like, wait a minute. What's actually going on here. Like, it's one thing to have an automatic thought.
Right. An automatic negative spot, which also people refer to with ants. It's one thing to have that. And then it's another thing to just be like, where does that come from? Why do we even have that? Why do I believe that? Right. Why is this something that's like so important to me that it's going to affect the way that I think and feel about myself and how I operate in the world.
And that's what I think when we do that process, that's when we start to take our power back,
Yea, for taking the power back. I [00:09:00] remember from your book, you were saying that I have a quote that I took a note here in your book. You say took reclaim our creativity. We must rebuild. We must reveal the mind frame in which we are so accustomed to the inner critics messages that we have become complacent and feel helpless at the prospect of changing our own minds and believing.
This is just the way I am. So this is from your book. And when we, when I turn around, turn back to myself and yes, I need to understand myself. I need to ask what the hell is going on here. But when I read this, I it to say, Okay, then I need to repeat what I have found because to me at this, I have the inner critic and it's, it's not working for me.
I mean, I have some problems with it and I need to rebuild and I need to first understand to see what's going on there. Then I need to reboot. And for understanding part, I do meditation every day, [00:10:00] which brings me a lot of awareness of the tasks, but in the meditation and the practice of meditation, it's actually just.
Right now at this, for the last year, it's creating awareness, mindfulness, and being aware of nothing is in the direction of changing something. It's just accepting who you are. And when I read your discord in my mind, I asked myself, then if I do the practice of meditation, why do I need to rebuild?
Because I ex I try to accept who I am, but I asked myself. Why do I have to reveal isn't there another way, because I'm already feeling that I won't be able to do it this rebuilt, you know, because my inner critic kicks in and says, yeah, maybe you are not going to rebuild fully. Yeah. You know, it's like
Well, I mean, I, you know, I think there is. So there, I think there, there are several things going on. The first one is, is, I don't know what kind of [00:11:00] meditation you practice, but I do a form of Metta meditation called the Pasana. And one of the things about Vipassana is, or one of the tenants is, is observing. And so, and it really also is a very visceral thing.
So it's like observing. What your body's doing in the moment, like what you're feeling in the moment. And one of the things I learned from this practice, at least this was the early insight that I got when I was learning. The technique was through the process of observing something that thing can change.
That thing can transform and it can transform into something else or it can transform slightly. So for example, one of the kind of big insights I had when I was doing my meditation, my first meditation retreat was, you know, we have to sit in, try to sit in a comfortable position, but you have to basically sit in the same position and not move.
And [00:12:00] one of the times I did this, my. Muscles, my thigh muscles were just like lit up like fireworks. And what I did was I observed the sensation and as I observed the sensation, it changed. And at first it was like fireworks. And then if you want to take the fireworks analogy, it was like really, really rapid.
And then it kind of slowed down until it was just like a few things. And then. My muscles calmed down and they stopped feeling like they were lit up and I didn't do anything. I just watched it habit. I just observed it as it was happening. Right. I just observed the sensations. And so similarly with thoughts, if you're meditating and you're like, I'm just being aware of my thoughts.
Just the practice of becoming aware of your thoughts, [00:13:00] I think can transform them. You're not trying to, but your awareness of what you're thinking, your awareness of what you're feeling and perceiving and stuff over time, just by you, all of a sudden tuning into it can transform it. Because you have different levels of insight, you have a different way, potentially you have an expanded way of seeing something.
And, and so, you know, when you're like, well, I'm just meditating and how does that help me rebuild? And I'm like meditating and being aware of your thoughts is rebuilding. You actually are rebuilding. You're doing it. It's the lack of awareness and the lack of insight and stuff. I think that is what keeps us stuck and what keeps us in place, but acting like it's not there, they acting ignoring something that only [00:14:00] keeps it in place and often makes it worse.
It's when you pay attention to something that it starts to transform.
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:14:09] Yes. Meditation has a big impact. Yes. For the awareness. And I want to go so inner critic part at other bit, because I think there's an important concept you're talking about in the book, which I really liked also in the workshop. I remembered that you.
Talked a little bit about is the neuroplasticity, because this made me convince myself more, that it's not something that you are only talking about spiritual or just psychological impact, but there's a biological side of it. When I read the part that we must rebuild, I just caught it from your book. I direct it to them.
Believe that I can do it. Because my inner critic is very high, but when I read this and I ask, yeah, maybe is rebuilding possible. Could you a little bit talk about what this neuroplasticity [00:15:00] is?
Denise Jacobs: [00:15:00] So that's the other thing too, is, so neuroplasticity is kind of our brain's ability to change and adapt. In the face of new stimulus.
So whenever kind of stimulus changes for us, or we change the stimulus that we're kind of surrounded by, or that we're in, we learn new things and our brains change and adapt accordingly. And that's the other reason why I say. We're saying, you know, meditation and mindfulness and awareness is one of the things that actually contributes to neuroplasticity because neuroplasticity is largely directed by attention and focus and what you put your attention on and what you focus on.
Actually. Can informs like how your, what your what's going on in your brain, like actual than actual neuro activity and the building of neurons [00:16:00] and neural connections and everything. So, so, yeah, so I mean, the, and the nice thing too about neuroplasticity is that everybody has the capacity. Everybody does it.
Everybody has it. Everybody does it. Everybody has the capacity to learn. Everybody has the capacity to, for their brains to change and to adapt and do something different. And then we all have the ability to focus our attention on one thing or another right. Very willingly. So, you know, given those two things again, rebuilding is something that is totally within your.
That's something that's totally achievable. Right?
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:16:40] I mean, I hope so at least.
Denise Jacobs: [00:16:42] Yeah, of course. Of course your, your, your brain is changing and, and developing and adapting all the time. Right. It's just that a lot of the times, again, like, like you were kind of intimating before the level of awareness that we have [00:17:00] about that a lot of times is pretty low.
Yeah. Right. But once we kind of start really tuning in to what's happening around us, our own thoughts, our own feelings, you know, paying attention to situations that we're in and how we respond to them. That's when we're able to grow. That's when we're able to develop and change. And sure,
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:17:22] exactly. I mean, for me in the book, when you say top-down nerd plasticity, Which is basically convincing ourselves that, or a little bit saying that you need to know that your mind is changeable and you need to tell yourself, yes, you are changeable and you are going to change at the end, even if I do nothing, because.
It's we are adapting to our environment. Anyway. I'm not the person that I was five years ago. Definitely. And not even 10 years ago. Is that too far? And this for me, the goal is first the knowledging that [00:18:00] saying that, yes. Okay. We can do it. And now I know my thoughts. I know that they are there because when I don't know, I got lost him in them and I realize, and I am not, and all the stem, so that it's time for a change.
But not always I acknowledge or I realized them because inner critic has many forms, many different phase. I, I might know one or two ways saying that, for example, maybe I'm comparing myself with others as we talked before. And then this is one of the ways of inner critic, but there are other ways. And. Do you have like a couple of ways that you can talk a little bit about, because I'm really curious to hear all of them.
If you have something on top of your mind,
Denise Jacobs: [00:18:46] do you mean a ways that the inner critic shows up?
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:18:49] Yeah, exactly. Because I want to learn like how, how specific we can get and how much, how many different phase that I can take a look at my inner critic and say that [00:19:00] I, yeah, this is my inner critic.
Denise Jacobs: [00:19:02] Definitely comparing yourself to other people, I think is a way that the inner critic shows up being highly.
Self-critical kind of like you were saying before where you're just like, oh, well you did this thing, but you know, it needs to be better. Definitely a way the inner critic shows up being afraid of being judged by other people. That's a way that the inner critic shows up also feeling like whatever you're doing, isn't good enough.
And feeling like you're somehow lacking in some ways. I think that's the way the inner critic shows up. Imposter syndrome, I believe as a form of the inner critic as is perfectionism as is procrastination, all different ways that the inner critic shows up.
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:19:45] I didn't think about procrastination before. That's interesting.
Denise Jacobs: [00:19:49] Yeah. And then, you know, kind of one of the things I think that people experience a lot of times is moving the goal goal post. So, you know, you're like, oh, [00:20:00] when I, when I have a job that pays, you know, $60,000 a year or something, then I'll be set and then you get the job to pay $60,000 a year.
Like, oh no, no. What I really need is a job that pays a hundred thousand dollars a year. And then you have a job and they're like, no, no, no. What a really need. And it's like, you're constantly moving the goalpost, you know, you're constantly making it. So that the thing that you say that you want, that you want to achieve, that everything's going to be fine.
It's never fun. You get there and it's never fine. And you're in, you're trying to. You know, achieve another benchmark
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:20:35] I wanna put a little bit finger on the comparison part, because I think this is one of two common forms of inner critic because of couple things. First, we get a lot of feedback from many other people at FERC most often.
And, I'm a software engineer and we get a lot of negative feedback in idunno. If I do something I got criticized, maybe I got feedback, five different feedback, [00:21:00] VIT, very, very detailed form. Although they are all focusing on improvements. And how can I improve myself there? I mean, constructive feedback, not distracted ones, but still whenever we do something at this, whenever we do something very, very good.
You just get. Good job or some people come here and tell just, yeah, thank you for all the things that you have done. That was great. It's not specific, you know, whenever you receive something negative, it's very, very specific. Whenever you receive something positive, it's always broad. And I start by myself and I think this is more common as well.
Unconsciously comparing ourselves with others while this negative feedback. They are receiving. And also of course, in other places, like whenever someone achieves something, we are comparing ourselves with them saying, oh, okay. Yeah, that's a great achievement. We are. I mean, for like at this, we are happy for them.
That's for sure. But still [00:22:00] in insight we compare like, ah, yeah, maybe I will be also a knowledge to like that. You know, some point because no one comes and says, yeah, you, you did a great job. Maybe they are telling you, but not in the way that you want to hear. That's also different. So it pushes us to compare ourselves with other people who are, maybe can be in social media.
They are in front of other people. Maybe it's getting thousands of followers. It doesn't matter which format work or in life or. In social media or in other place. And I want to talk a little bit about the comparison part and you talk about a bit deficiency anxieties. Can you talk a little bit, explain what are the deficiency, anxieties and how they can appear?
Denise Jacobs: [00:22:47] It's really interesting because when I was writing this book, one of the things that I used kind of. As my data source for this were, was the, results of this exercise [00:23:00] that I like to do during my keynotes, where I had people write down their top fear around creativity and write it down on a piece of paper, crumple it in a ball and throw it across the room.
And then people would pick up whatever one was near them and they would see it. And so it was totally anonymous if people could kind of bare their souls and it was completely anonymous. And then so people really shared what was present for them. I kept as many as I could and then I started to categorize them.
And what I found was that there was a really big pile of I'm not blank enough, so I'm not. Smart enough. I'm not talented enough. I'm not creative enough. My ideas aren't unique enough. I'm not, you know, I mean, name it, you know, I'm not accomplished enough. I'm not old enough. I'm whatever. And that's when I kind of keyed in to this.
Term, which [00:24:00] I coined the term myself of deficiency, anxieties, just being anxious about not being enough in some way, shape or form. And so, you know, I think that that is one of those things that's so pervasive. And so many people have that feeling of feeling like they're somehow not enough of something and that it can really, it can really affect.
Kind of how you show up in the world. If you're always feeling like, I mean a lot of people then, because they feel like they're not enough, is they overcompensate. And not only that, but you know, one of the things I feel like, I've seen more of, or that I've gotten more in touch with myself with the kind of the black lives matter movement and everything is how much.
Like women and people of color [00:25:00] and, you know, people from other marginalized groups and up having to overcompensate because other people perceive us as not having enough or not being enough, even if we are right. And so there's this kind of constant struggle of either feeling like you need to prove it.
Because you're trying to prove it to yourself, like an overdoing something, because you're trying to prove it to yourself for overdoing things, because you feel like you need to prove it to other people because they're already coming with a preconceived notion that you somehow are lacking in deficient.
So, yeah. I mean, that's kind of deficiency, anxiety, not in a nutshell at all, but it's a lengthy drawn out explanation. Yeah.
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:25:59] Yeah. [00:26:00] Also like, I saw. Try to understand why do I keep comparing myself with others? Because for example, even if we get rid of social media or something, because social media has a huge impact on this about comparison.
Denise Jacobs: [00:26:21] Absolutely.
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:26:22] and I deleted my Instagram and Facebook just because of this thing, but I still have the Twitter, which I'm considering in these days. It's just at least evaluating. Okay. Even if it gets rid of the social media, the comparison is still there. We can not get rid of it in any way. And how can we turn the comparison into something better and useful so that when you compare us, then we get the benefits of it instead of the harm?
Denise Jacobs: [00:26:56] Well, one of the things I recommend in the [00:27:00] book is instead of having the focus be outward, To turn your focus inward and to compare yourself to yourself. Right? So, I mean, when you start to compare yourself to yourself, then I think what you end up doing is you end up seeing growth and improvement and change and transformation instead of.
Showing, you know, instead of seeing where you're not enough or we're not as good as somebody else. Right. I mean, kind of the same thing, you know, if you, I mean, just as a very extreme example, if you compare yourself to where you were, when you were eight months old, it's like, now you're like, I can walk.
I can talk. I am, you know, [00:28:00] self-sufficient, I, you know, I started my own family. Like I'm a totally different person than I was when I was eight months old. And, and even like you were saying, if you go back five years or if you go back 10 years, or even if you go back a year, I mean, even, I mean, so many people have had such profound insight and change and everything, since the pandemic started.
Yeah. And have had so many realizations about themselves and about what they want and how they wanna move forward in their lives. And, you know, some people have started, I mean, there's so many, it's some people, even if you haven't done anything major, just like, you know, some people are just like, my kids are still alive and, we still live in our house and it's like, great, that's great.
You know, like you, you did it. And so. I think when you start to compare yourself from where you were, however, you know, X amount of time ago, [00:29:00] then it starts to, again, it's you stop being other referential and you start being self-referential and it's a just, I feel like it just takes the pressure away, you know, when you're so focused on other people.
I mean, that's the thing is that people. I think that like other people, stuff is so important and everybody is so focused. Like they're so self absorbed and so self focused that what they're doing, that's very like outwardly focused and a lot of ways is just another way. To do things for other people and not necessarily for themselves.
Do you know what I mean? Like these people that we're comparing ourselves to on social media, it's just like, don't you have, I mean, I keep thinking don't you have something else to do? Then to be like, I, you know, I know people who like just post, like they just [00:30:00] post selfies all the time. And I was like, don't you have something other to do than to take pictures of yourself and write what is supposed to be like some insightful post about like nothing.
Like don't you. Do you have something else to do? I feel like you probably have some, like I was like, because I know I've got other things that I'd rather do than that. That's just, I mean, Like I got like 10 other things. Like, I don't even know why I'm on Instagram right now. So yeah. So I feel like there's that.
And then basically why we compare ourselves in the first place and, you know, it's one of those things where it's like, we learn this as a way to kind of manage ourselves and kind of check ourselves. But I think there's a point in time where it stops being helpful and it starts, starts being more harmful.
You know? Yeah. The mind is predisposed to compare is what I say. [00:31:00] So I just think it's really helpful to, again, question everything. Why is it, why are we doing this? Why does it, who are these people? And don't, they have something better to do. Fucking better too.
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:31:16] Kind of agree. But yeah, no judgment. It's, it's they have, they are and I ex we accept people of their, maybe they, maybe they have the inner critic. I dunno, that's the case. Maybe they are, maybe they have debts and then they are fighting in this way. I don't know. We never know. That might be possible. I want to come to point of creativity because that's the other part, which I think is extremely important.
I see many people, many, many people, and sometimes including myself that we are not thinking that as we are creative enough [00:32:00] or I'm not. Yeah. We, sometimes I tell myself that I'm not creative at all because I don't have this, I don't know, design view or something. This, I don't know. Nice. Looking view, not the presence of myself, but it's like, I don't take a look at the things in a way that I say, ah, this is a really such a nice art piece.
Or whenever I go to a museum, for example, And if there's some art piece that I don't know from which area, which era, and then I say, okay, I don't understand anything about it. You know, these kind of things that I relate all the time. And I see a lot of people are doing the same that they think they are not creative enough, or they are not creative at all and the. Including myself or ourselves with that. And sometimes [00:33:00] just turn back some opportunities, because we are saying that, okay. Yeah, this work is a creative work. Like I dunno. For example, I started taking drawing classes, from online classes. And then I stopped because I was telling myself that I'm not a creative person that I cannot draw, but at the same time, I'm very creative because I'm a software engineer.
Denise Jacobs: [00:33:24] Exactly.
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:33:25] That's what I do. I mean, I write code, I just create something out of nowhere and that's like the point that, how can we remind ourselves and how can we always figure out that we are more creative than we have taught before?
Denise Jacobs: [00:33:44] Well, again, this is, this goes back to the question, everything. Why is it that.
People think that creativity only means art or only means design or only means something visual. [00:34:00] I mean, like that's, you know, a load of crap that people have been fed for years and people still believe it. I mean, somebody told you, somebody told you, oh, well doing software design, isn't a creative thing.
That's like a technical thing. And you were like, oh, okay. And you believe that as if it's true, but it's not true. So, I mean, it's, it's one of those things where it's like, yeah, I mean, some people are really, really good at visual artists. Some people are really good visual artists at making things that are realistic.
And some people are really good visual artists that are making things completely abstract and everything. But would you say that the person who was realistic. Was more creative than the visual person, or would you say the visual person, I mean the abstract person, or would you say the abstract person was more creative than the realistic person?
Like, or would you [00:35:00] be like, well, both of those people are more creative than somebody who like, you know, builds houses or designs houses or no, everybody is creative in some way and it's, you know, it's your job to figure out. The way that you are creative and then to just keep supporting that and to just keep building that and growing that, you know, like, I mean, I'm sure there are people who are probably visual artists or designers who look at what you do.
And go, I don't, I literally don't even know how you do that. Like, what do you mean? Somebody said, well, I want it to do this and I wanted to do this and I want it to have this output and I want to do this. And you were like, okay, no problem. And you come back the next day. You're like, here's the code that does the thing that you said you wanted it to do.
And that you knew all of the ways that you could code [00:36:00] that particular outcome or that particular event. You can't tell me that's not creative. Exactly. That's incredibly creative. And so again, it's that, it's the challenge, everything thing, look at what people, what you've been told and even what the pervasive societal context is and be like, is that actually true?
I don't actually think that's true. I mean, I'm going to believe that because that's not true and it's not true for me.
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:36:39] Yeah. I mean, for me, it is when I realized that I'm the software, very like design designing software, developing it, architecting projects or systems. When I, like, I always told myself that this is analytical part, I'm an analytical person, because this is like the engineering part. And then [00:37:00] when I realized that this is, it creates work because I designed them.
I mean, they are not very visual. Of course they are maybe backend systems that no one ever see, but. In my head, they have a form. Sometimes we have diagrams for that, at least that we can call it art pieces maybe, but they are, that's the creative work of software engineering, because like they're from out of nowhere, we create something, someone comes as says, okay, I need this.
And then next day or next week, or next month we come up with that solution. That's creative work,
Denise Jacobs: [00:37:39] super creative.
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:37:40] And I'm really happy to be part of it actually.
Denise Jacobs: [00:37:44] That's great. Like I totally agree.
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:37:46] I think all of the people who listens us, they, they should be feeling in this way as well, because that's our job. I mean, that's, the job is creative nuts. Is it like a [00:38:00] hobby or something? That is our job is actually the creative
Denise Jacobs: [00:38:04] and, and, you know, your brains work. In this way to be able to put these, put these elements together and to make sense of them in a way that other people literally cannot do exactly. Right. I mean, that's phenomenal.
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:38:24] Yeah. It's, it's truly phenomenal because it's like, I have a lot of family members. My, I dunno, like relatives, they all admire have to work. That's. The software developers store, not just me, but in general, they literally have no idea what's going on here. And then seeing this amazing results is fascinating them.
So kind of coming to an end and I want to, like, one thing I really liked in your book is the creative doses you wrote, [00:39:00] which are practical. Exercises that happen a lot. And I tried a couple of them already, which I, I think they are literally helpful in, in many ways. And, but for people listening us, would you put, like, maybe.
Could you give one or two, the starter points if they have the inner critic, is there any specific, like directly, like, is there any specific, exercise that they can do directly? Right after finishing this episode, listening us like directly like starting point, even if it's their first time, they are not meditating and et cetera.
Denise Jacobs: [00:39:56] Absolutely. So the exercise that I like to do, [00:40:00] and actually we can do it right now is, and just a, a simple exercise to help people get in touch with how powerful. The attention and focus is and how much more in control of directing attention and focus, that we are then we, we probably think we are.
So what I would love for whoever's listening to do is to put both of their hands up, with their palms facing their face. And to focus all your attention on one hand and really focus your attention on it, to really like, look at the. Your Palm, look at the lines in your Palm and the shape of your fingers and the veins underneath your skin.
And just like put all of your attention and focus. Just [00:41:00] really examine that hand as if you're seeing it for the first time. Right. Just put like all the interest and attention and focus on it. And then while you're doing that, you can also kind of imagine or visualize that that hand is holding. All of those, self-critical thoughts that you've been thinking, like I'm not very creative or, you know, other people seem like there's so much more successful than I am or whatever it is.
And just, you know, put again, keep all your attention and focus on that hand and on those thoughts, then I want you to slowly shift your focus from your firsthand. To your second hand and then to put all of your attention on that second hand, in the same way that you were looking at all the details of your first-hand do that with your second hand and [00:42:00] look at the shape and the lines and the veins and everything else.
And then imagine that this hand is holding all of the positive thoughts. And a self-supportive thoughts that you'd rather be thinking like, like what I do actually is creative. And even if it isn't visual and design, it's creative in its own way and have this very unique way of solving problems. And, you know, I, I've made so much progress from where I was a year ago or five years ago or whatever.
And I'm excited to see what other progress I'm going to make, you know, another growth I'm going to make in the future. Those kinds of things. Now, I always loved asking people this, now that you're so fucking focused on your second hand is your first-hand still there because it's still supposed to be up
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:42:57] for me not
Denise Jacobs: [00:42:58] right.
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:43:00] [00:43:00] I even don't remember. I have a hand.
Denise Jacobs: [00:43:03] Exactly. That is what happens so many times. And then. Well also, like, what is your second hand feel like? Like what does it feel like viscerally compared to your first?
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:43:14] For me, it's like, I don't know, a very warm, it feels very warm and then live. It's like the. When I compared the other one, I don't know if I have the other one already, so,
Denise Jacobs: [00:43:30] right, exactly. And so when people, I love it. You had the exact same experience that people often have with this exercise, where they forget about their firsthand, the firsthand maybe feels heavy or a little kind of dead. While the second hand feels like light and lively and energized and all this stuff.
And I love this exercise because it's a very concrete, visceral way of seeing how [00:44:00] much change happens when you put your focus in your attention and you move it from one thing to a different thing, right. From one place to a different place. And so a lot of times I like to, I tell people. That it's, this is a really helpful exercise.
If you feel like your thoughts are getting out of control or you feel like you're starting to kind of spiral down and a bunch of negative thoughts or whatever that you put your hands up and you focus all your attention on one hand and then, and all of those negative thoughts, and then you shift your attention to the other hand and to the positive thoughts and just see how that helps you, how that changes and what that makes you feel like.
And then also, usually that helps people go, oh my gosh, I have this power all the time. Like I have the power to shift my attention and shift to different thoughts all the time.
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:44:59] I am [00:45:00] energized. I feel like I have this power because like, yeah, I don't even remember. I have the hand. That's so powerful exercise. I really liked it. Yeah.
Denise Jacobs: [00:45:10] Thank you.
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:45:11] Thanks a lot.
Denise Jacobs: [00:45:12] Oh, you're welcome.
Candost Dagdeviren: [00:45:14] Wow. Okay. yeah, they're closing up. And, so for the, everything we talked about that you will be able to find on candost.blog/podcast. And we talked about all of the, how to banish inner critic and how to. Be aware of it. And also how does it display itself in many other ways and the exercise of I'm still in effect of it. And Denise, I thank you for joining me here and [00:46:00] I appreciate you of being you, actually.
Oh, thank you. Thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure to talk with you,
Everyone. Until next time, take care.