We’ve all met our inner critic at some point in our lives. And I’m sure at some point you’ve wondered if there is a way to finally stop and silence the inner critic once and for all.
Do You Have an Inner Critic? Probably!
You know that little voice inside your head. The inner critic is that part of you inside that keeps saying things like, “Oh, You Can’t…” and “You Aren’t Enough…”
It’s that awful feeling of self doubt that comes up anytime you want to try something new or different.
It’s that little voice in the back of your head that questions everything you do. The voice that stops you in your tracks and freezes your creative spirit.
How do you make it stop? How can you start silencing the inner critic once and for all?
Well, it’s not always easy – I can’t promise that! But I do know it is possible, and I thought today maybe what helped me would be helpful to share with others.
Meet Your Inner Critic
I used to hear that voice A LOT when I first started getting into my creative pursuits or anytime I tried anything different or new for that matter.
You can spend your whole life ignoring your inner critic, or telling him/her to go away, or trying to prove that critic wrong…but if you want peace in your heart and in your head, you’re going to have to face your critical self and confront them at some point.
It’s kinda scary to meet your inner critic. It can bring up a lot of weird feelings, and not the warm fuzzy kind. So, if you think you might need professional help in silencing the critic – I highly recommend seeking out a qualified therapist who can help you work out stuff safely.
If you’re the self help kind of person however (and me, I am an admittedly self-help junkie) – then maybe some of the things I did will be helpful to you.
1. Realize WHY your inner critic says this stuff.
My inner critic was highly influenced by people who have been unkind to me – like the admissions advisor at my college who told me my degree wasn’t even worth the piece of paper it was printed on. The kid in 4th grade who repeatedly made fun of me for every day for a whole year.
Then I thought of some circumstances where I’ve failed in the past. (There’s been a lot of those!)
Moving on and letting go is a process that is highly different for everyone, but once I identified the why I felt that way, it was a lot easier for me to realize the things the inner critic was saying just weren’t true.
2. Stop Caring What People Think of You:
This is so much easier said than done. But oh man, if you can achieve this, you really can do anything. Not everybody is going to agree with you or be with you 100% on everything you do – that’s OK.
When you stop caring what others think – it just sets your whole soul free – you can finally be the YOU that you are. The good news? Most people aren’t paying attention anyways. I don’t think my own mother even reads my blog!
3. Lift Yourself Up:
What makes you feel good? Like really, really, really dance-in-your-living-room and jump-up-and-down good?
It doesn’t have to be anything crazy or expensive or major. Do what lifts you up and makes you happy in whatever little way you can.
Little positive affirmations can help too, as well as rephrasing exercises, like turning a negative thought/statement into a positive one. (Example: I can’t draw turns into I am learning to draw.)
4. Give Yourself Permission to Make Mistakes
Mistakes are how we learn and while they aren’t very fun to make, it’s important we give ourselves some permission to make them.
Nothing in life is perfect – and so of course neither is our art. Getting hung up on trying to make things perfect, or even feeling like your work isn’t good enough is a creativity killer.
Sometimes I will make bad art even on purpose – this is what junk mail + crappy paper is for! Making bad stuff on purpose is kind of a crazy concept, but it does give you some freedom to experiment + make mistakes with no risk!
Bonus: Everything you make after making really horrible things on purpose will probably be better, and you might even find out your art journal fails aren’t actually that bad at all!
Silencing the Inner Critic is not easy – but it’s worth doing. Once you learn to tame that voice that says no in the back of your head, you’re freeing the rest of you to start saying yes to enjoying and making the most out of life.
Do you have any tips for silencing the inner critic? Share your thought for other self-help junkies in the comments section below!
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