Wednesday 5 October 2011

Your INNER CRITIC - Change The Conversation!

The people we meet, companies we work for and institutions we come into contact with; they all play their part in rejecting us and judging us.

But most of it is done on an inner level by ourselves.

It happens when you write a genius script for a month until you wake up one morning convinced it sucks. Or when you're driving to an audition for a role you were born to play when you suddenly realise you're a pathetic actor.

Ever notice how much authority you give your inner critic? It's an all knowing God!

Except that it's not. The critic is your biggest fears multiplied by 500. Makes you think of the time you messed up on stage when you were 7, or when your school teacher said your writing was 'too basic'.

That was then and this is now. The crap you got from the world became internalised and now you're your own worst enemy.

The thing to realise about the inner critic is that it's not fact. Your inner critic isn't Spielberg or Meryl Streep, it's just a vulnerable part of you desperate not to be stranded, naked, and pointed at.

Hear what your critic says, but realise it's just one viewpoint. It's not a fact.

Your critic will say: "you suck! You have no talent, you're ugly, and you've lost something over the years".

You wouldn't let me say that to you. If your friends or family said it you'd be deeply offended -- so why say it to yourself? Why believe it? How can you be creative when you put yourself down so much?

You can't. There needs to be love. You've achieved lots. You've decided to be an artist in a world that only cares about city bankers and reality show contestants. You're brave. You have talent and you know it, so don't ever let your inner critic sabotage you. You're too good, too talented.

Perfection is impossible. Your critic only wants you to write when you have a masterpiece. That's impossible. You can't ever make a masterpiece on purpose.

A masterpiece is when a project, by hard work and luck, has less mistakes than all the others.

But you have to be willing to make mistakes.

You're not perfect. Artists aren't meant to be. We just step out the front door and create, do some hard work and have fun.

Stop stopping yourself. Your critic is not an expert. It's just scared. Tell your critic to take a break, or to give you constructive thoughts rather then condemnation.

Make art!

Care to share?


  1. Amen! All the best things that have happened in my life are a result of telling that voice to shut up.

    I poured my heart out in a love letter to my (now) husband, which set us on the path to dating.

    I answered a "singer/songwriter wanted" ad before I ever had any real experience as one, which started my career as a songwriter.

    I stopped telling myself that I wouldn't make a good mom, so I got pregnant and now I have The Kid.

    I sat down and started with "Fade In" and made it all the way to "Fade Out" once already.

    I'm going to work on selling my screenplays soon. Thanks for the push. : )

  2. I really can't even comment on how much I love this. Such great advice, Kid. Artists are used to listening to themselves and their own intuition, and when we turn into our own worst enemies it's hard to shake the doubts and fears. But you're right - we have to be selective about what we listen to in ourselves, and we should remember that our inner critic is but one tiny voice, saying things that we wouldn't let others say to our faces.

    Great post! I've missed blogging but I'm trying to catch up on posts - and I'm glad I started out with reading yours. :) ::hugs::

  3. Wow, amazing post! I'm very glad to have read this, because I've been struggling with my inner critic for weeks and to have you point out that it is just a piece of me that's scared really gave me some relief. I've recently been told by some music A&R's that I suck and it's been hard for me to just move on from that. This helped a lot.

  4. Gotta love that 24/7 free advice... best book I've read on the subject -

  5. Awwww, this was so inspirational! I must admit, my inner critic is so harsh, especially now since I have exams and whatnot. But really, this has inspired me to start writing screenplays and whatnot again...and just keep going until I'm feeling good about it. Thanks!

  6. Great write-up. This statement in particular needs to be part of your next screenplay:

    "You've decided to be an artist in a world that only cares about city bankers and reality show contestants. You're brave."