Face to Face with My Inner Critic
I came face to face with my inner critic in a dream. But I didn’t know it at the time.
I had a vivid dream one time about a trying to get to a place I really wanted to go, a place that felt good and safe and creative.
And a man was standing there with a linen napkin over his arm, tails and a bowtie, a sliver tray perched on his fingers. He tch tch tched at me while giving me that look that I did not belong. His name was Emil, the maitre d’.
Upon waking, I realized that he was my critic. He was the part of me that didn’t think I was worthy enough to enter.
Our Inner Critic Can Inhibit Us.
In my workshops, which don’t require any artistic ability, the participants usually begin to judge themselves.
They worry who might be looking on, or if they are doing it right, or will the activity be too revealing. And, this freezes up the creative process. But in my workshops we use the creative process to discover the hidden limiting beliefs and the positive benefits.
So How Do You Quiet Your Inner Critic?
I discovered a helpful tool; to invite them to send their critic out to the waiting room of my studio. And jokingly, I say, “and you can tell them you will pick them up on the way out!” That is, if you remember.
The first trick to creating a method to help you send your critic away is to notice.
You have to notice and identify that critical part of you and know that it is not the truth. This is actually one of the hardest parts of my work I do with my clients: I teach then to notice their thinking.
Our Inner Critic Is Actually Trying to Help Us.
Then, just find a place to send them to, not too demeaning. There is value to our critic. That’s one of the things we learn about in Mastering The Art Of Life. So we tell the critic something like “Go play in the backyard” or “Have a seat in the chair on the porch.”
Our purpose is not to get rid of our critic. We just want to learn how to not let it take over. Especially in the creative process. Eventually we can turn the critic in to our friend.
Want practice playing without your inner critic looking on?
If you are in the SF Bay Area, join one of my playshops where we blissfully immerse yourself in juicy, playful, childlike creativity.
This kind of creativity is incredibly fun… and it can also be healing.
Creative projects like the ones we’ll do in this playshop can surface insights and answers that have been locked in our subconscious – so we can benefit from them!
My 2 most popular play-shops are: