Quieting Your Inner Critic

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That voice. You know. The one that lives in our head. ALL-THE-TIME. The one that doubts. Causes trouble. Asks questions. Tells you how silly / stupid / crazy / bad you are as you start something new. Yes, that one. It’s time to have a little chat, you and I.

My mission, here at The Color Kind, is to help you start a creative practice. To carve out a little space in your day for you to explore, to play, to build, to dream, to make. The benefits to your mental + physical health are waiting. And that voice, that snarky little voice that whispers as you start, is not my friend. I have that voice too, and I’ve had enough sit-down conversations with him (yes, mine is a him) that I wanted to share what I’ve learned along the way.

Talk directly to him. (or her.) I’ve found that for me, sometimes my little critic just wants to feel heard. Addressing him head on, gently, with love, is a good way to get him to simmer down. For me, this looks something like, “hi again friend! yes. i know you think this is a silly waste of time. BUT. look how much calmer we all are when we’ve done some art. don’t you think a few minutes is worth that?” He’s pretty irrational. Almost like an overtired, hungry 4-year-old, so chances are he’s not going to have a great response to that. Whew.

Speak happy. Talk to yourself as you would a best friend, a small child, your grandmother. Thinking about your creative practice as a journey, approaching it as a novice, eager to learn and speaking to yourself from a place of support and loving kindness always makes the making so much more enjoyable. Give yourself some love with your words and your thoughts as you build space in your life to embrace creativity.

Celebrate the process. Showing up, most days, to just enjoy your creative practice is ENOUGH. Forget about the art you make / meal you cook / dance you dance and focus instead on the JOY the process of creating brings you. The more you celebrate the small wins, the connected check-in, the minutes you spent dreaming and making - the more you’ll look forward to returning day after day. And that my friend will prove to your inner critic that there is value in this work.

And those are my favorite ways to get my little voice to pipe down just a big. Tell me, what are your best tips for quieting that pesky little nay-sayer that lives inside your brain?