The first step towards any change is recognition that something needs to change. As artists, this my initially show up in our creative practice. You may be experiencing time that could be described as creative paralysis or a creative block. You may think that you are not doing all the right things or have the right drive or the right skills. Thoughts will appear as judgments to self and others. You may “disappear” from social media for a time. These experiences are usually a signal to check in with the inner critic. Through this post I will walk you through the steps for how to recognize your artist’s inner critic.
Your Artist’s Inner Critic
The inner critic is an inner negative voice that originates from past experiences, environment and the view you have formed of yourself as a result of these environments and experiences. The inner critic involves a judgment of the creative process and a possible halting of all creativity. Check in with how you are talking to others about your creative process. What are the words and tone you are using? Here are some examples to help you with how to recognize your artist’s inner critic.
What does your inner critic sound like?
- I cannot take risks
- I am not talented enough
- It is impossible to make money with my art
- My art practice is a waste of time
- I fear others will criticize my dreams
- My dream is ridiculous
The inner critic can show up anywhere: socially, in isolation, online. It can be triggered by something someone says or a situation that had no specific trigger. The artist’s inner critic can initiate as a fear; fear of starting, fear of success or fear of failure.
The inner critic is more active when you are vulnerable; when you are tired or stressed. It could also show up after you have received criticism and have not created a way to compartmentalize where the criticism should go. The inner critic can also show up after a successful launch, show or project that is successful in your eyes.
Don’t let any more time go by, get a start right now on recognizing your inner critic with this FREE step by step guide called, “How to Make Friends With Your Inner Critic: Recognize Fear & Step Into Confidence”
There are two other more specific types of Artist’s inner critic that I will break down.
Imposter syndrome is a nagging sense that you are a fraud, someone is going to find out that you have no right to be in the space you are in. It may show up as a hesitation to call yourself an artist. The comparison game is a very common way that imposter syndrome can be recognized.
What does imposter syndrome sound like?
- I have no right to call myself an artist
- Who do I think I am applying to such a prestigious publishing company?
- Someone is going to find out I didn’t go to art school
- Someone else is already doing what I am doing
So what exactly does imposter syndrome look like? It can appear as self judgment and even judgment towards others such as criticism of another artist’s work. Because you believe you are a phony you may not be able to share share your work with other. Another example is deleting a post that didn’t get enough likes.
Often imposter syndrome shows up when it comes to putting our work out into the world. You might play the comparison game of your work with someone else’s on social media. Anytime you present yourself and or your work it can show up. And example might be when you speak about my artwork or write about yourself.
Take this opportunity to learn how to recognize your inner critic with this FREE step by step guide called, “How to Make Friends With Your Inner Critic: Recognize Fear & Step Into Confidence”
As creatives, we are already really hard on ourselves, perfectionists most of us. We have to remember that we are all so individual with our craft. Yes, in some creative endeavors there are standards, but it doesn’t help to add extra self criticism into the mix.
What does perfectionism sound like?
Perfectionism can show up with an appearance like you have it all together. If your work does not live up to your high expectations you end up scrapping work. Another way is not accepting praise, which at the root is believing that you are unworthy of praise. Perfectionism can show up when you are trying to complete a project. When I receive criticism
- I have to be perfect
- I have to get it right the first time
- I’m going to fail
- I am not organized enough to follow through
When should you learn to recognize your inner critic and why?
It is important to learn this foundational tool as soon as you can. It is the most helpful to incorporate it at the beginning of your creative practice but still very beneficial into your creative career. If you do not have awareness, you are unable to make changes. Recognizing your artist’s inner critic is foundational but also ongoing. You will never completely cut out your inner critic. Like pain, it is a signal that something is wrong and needs attention. That is precisely why you need to make friends with it. It will guide you and help you grow into an affirming, motivated, confident creative.
What are the results and what benefits of recognizing your inner critic?
The more you know the more you can make changes. You become more in tune with your triggers/what sets you off. When you start tracking what your inner critic sounds like, where it shows up and when it shows up, you will be less surprised, more prepared for what to do next and be able to move through making necessary adjustments to your inner critic sooner.
When someone gives us the tools, skill, encouragement or even signals the start of something we needed to do, we feel seen, and our creative practice is called to stay true to our calling.
Why is it important to get familiar with recognizing your inner critic?
It is important to master this because you will be prepared for future times that your inner critic will catch you off guard. You will move into productive mode versus reactive mode and move through awareness to taking positive action quicker. You will be less weighed down for less time. This means more time to focus on your creative endeavor.
Why is it problematic not to do the work to recognize your inner critic?
If you simply use methods that address the symptoms and not the root, you will never successfully manage your inner critic. For example, if you apply positive affirmations to your daily routine, but do nothing to explore your inner critic’s damaging messages, there will be no lasting changes. You will be left with the question of “why?” am I not able to overcome this particular creative block?
And if you don’t do anything, it will take more time, years rather than months to achieve mastery over your inner critic. Which means more time wasted on struggling to show up and share your work with the world.
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 Friends With Your Inner Critic: Recognize Fear & Step Into Confidence”
If you like this post, please share the love with a comment and a share. Thank you!