Before we can start the inner critic transformation, we need to know the basics of where it comes from. This is important because our past informs our present. I will break down how the inner critic is formed in this post.
First off, you may be more familiar with these words to describe the inner critic: self criticism, the perfectionist, the taskmaster, inner controller, the guilt tripper, the destroyer and the underminer. If you have used any of these or possibly the noun version, you will relate to what I will share.
If you are already thinking, yes, I need to work on this, I encourage you to get a start right now on recognizing your inner critic with this FREE step by step guide called, “How to Make Over Your Inner Critic: Recognize Fear & Step Into Confidence”
Origin of the Inner Critic
In your early years the inner critic was formed. You were too young to know where blame or negative messages were to be placed. As a child you were completely dependent on your parent/caregiver, so the conscious acknowledgement of the parents’ wrong doing was too devastating. Therefore turning the criticism inward was the only recourse. What you needed to survive as a child follows you into adulthood even though it doesn’t serve you.
This could have been subtle through inadvertent messages such as taking on the parental belief that art is not a worthy endeavor but rather worldly and therefore garbage. Or the message may have been direct, “You aren’t good enough to be an artist”. The critical messages (which are entwined in your psyche) may not have been about creativity at all. Therefore, these messages are easily transferred and applied to all of life’s endeavors.
I will break down how the inner critic is formed. And remember each person’s experience is unique. What one person may react to strongly may not affect another in the same way.
The Cycle of the Inner Critic
- The formation starts with a negative experience or series of experiences. A sequence of reactions are set off and therefore, these are labelled as triggers.
- Secondly, these messages (or negative experiences) are filtered through your current value system or lens that consists of your personality, family history and life experiences.
- Your personality, family history and life experiences are the lens through which these negative experiences or messages pass through.
- Perception is a lens through which you interpret the message. Therefore, your personality is met with the perception of the message or event ; inescapably who you are (who you have been created to be) and how you respond are closely connected.
- Feelings have been labelled as positive or negative. These come from the thoughts that have been formed.
- As a result, feelings and thoughts lead to a response of action or inaction. You may decide to not show your work on social media because of fear of rejection or the belief that you are not good enough. Multiple negative beliefs from others can push you to make vows.
- You repeat these thoughts in subtle ways (often subconsciously) and then it becomes habitual to think a certain way
- And lastly, you are unable to achieve your goals when the inner critic is dominant and persistent
If you don’t look back on your journey, you realize you don’t know why you believe the inner critic. It has become so buried beneath the layers of habit and history.
Where to Now?
As a result, your creative practice stalls. You are awakened to the inner critic, you are consumed by perfectionism, criticism of others and imposter syndrome.
The inner critic is about fear and therefore fear is about questioning our value. The inner critic focuses on what we are not. “We are not enough is our worry; not competent enough, not qualified, not deserving. (not as good as “that artist”, not trained enough etc.)
I have good news if you are reading this feeling discouraged. You have just started down a road that will get clearer with each bold move forward that you make. Since you learned how your inner critic was formed, the next step is to make friends with it. The post, “How to Recognize Your Artist’s Inner Critic” will help you move towards the next step in your journey.
In conclusion, I hope you gained some valuable insight into how your inner critic was formed. If you have liked this post, please share the love with a comment or pin.