Conquer your inner critic

Conquer your inner critic and make some art

Your inner critic is a dialogue within you that criticises you mercilessly, knows all your weaknesses and failings, and always finds you unable to measure up. You can recognise it by its demeaning tone. If you ‘listen’ to this voice and act on its advice, you will not grow and you will probably not start making art.

You may not even be aware of your inner critic because you’re so used to the negative commentary running in your head that has been there longer than you can remember.  In this post, I will be offering some ideas to identify your inner critic, and how you can learn to work with it so that you can get past the idea that you aren’t a creative person.


The inner critic is not a voice as such, but a series of thoughts in your mind with a degrading, punishing quality.  It tells you that you aren’t capable and will look foolish if you try.  It is essentially a collection of core negative beliefs that you hold about yourself.

Here are some examples of these negative beliefs that I held about myself until I consciously examined them and changed those thinking patterns with art.

I am not good enough.

I am not talented enough.

I am too disorganised and lazy.

I am too old to learn.

I lack creativity.

If you have never made art before or if you had the experience of being discouraged from making art as a child then your inner critic is probably really unkind to you around attempts in this area.  Even if you want to learn how to make art, it will discourage you from visiting art shops, booking an art workshop or even talking to others about it.

If your inner critic isn’t obvious to you, try the affirmation exercise below to give it a little prod and get it excited.

Affirmations make your inner critic feel really prickly.

They are also a great way to help you change your beliefs about yourself and your worth.

Pick one of the affirmations below or make up one that feels more you.

These are the affirmations that I wrote down in my notebook in 2012.

As I create and listen, I will be lead.

My creativity heals me and others.

I am willing to create.

I am willing to learn to let myself create.

I am willing to be of service through my creativity.

I am willing to experience my creative energy.

I am willing to use my creativity.

Once you have chosen an affirmation or two, try this out:

Say your affirmation to yourself a few times.

Notice any demeaning or unkind replies in your head.  Pay attention to these.  They are your inner critic.

Write your affirmation down in your notebook.

What is your inner critic saying now?

Stay tuned-in to your inner critic.  Pay it special attention.  Listen to the way it speaks to you.  Do you like being spoken to like that?  Notice what activities and events set it off and examine your beliefs about yourself around that area.

Repeat your affirmation/s daily.

This can seem silly at first, but I can highly recommend it as an exercise to root out your inner critic and really be aware of it.


Here’s the good news!  You can shift the balance of power in your head and have a more conscious say in what your inner critic decides for you.

Use your affirmations to counter what your inner critic has to say.  Have a phrase or two ready for when your inner critic starts discouraging you.  Repeat it if necessary.

Take a look at what your inner critic is saying.  Write it down and think about it.  Is it true or is it just holding you back from doing things that you want to do?  Like making art!  Next time your inner critic says this, have a reasonable answer ready for her so she can be reassured.

Resolve to make more conscious decisions and not to allow your inner critic to keep you small!


Start a journal or make a painting and claim your right to decide to take creative risks and to grow.

Add creativity & meaning to life with intuitive art

You don’t need previous experience to start

It’s a non-judgemental process
that will help you
gain confidence

There are no
special skills
required to do this!




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Conquer your inner critic and make some art

6 thoughts on “Conquer your inner critic”

  1. Thanks so much Tracy!!! My inner critic is relentless and oh so tricky. Great tips and wisdom you share! Looking forward to the altered book challenge!!! Have a beautiful day! Love, Pam

  2. Thank you for your generous spirit and passion, it’s so catchy. I love what you are offering to us, its very helpful.

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