Here’s my little secret for conquering the Inner Critic… Do It Anyway!
Each of us contains two small voices– the loud panicky Inner Critic who feeds our fears and insecurities through negative self talk as well as a much quieter, gentler, loving Intuitive voice who is our muse, our biggest supporter, our source of creativity who only speaks through positive self talk. The Inner Critic is the critical father who never encouraged you, the dismissive teacher who didn’t nurture your talent, the coach who said you couldn’t play sports, and the significant other whose negativity proved he/she wasn’t that significant after all. The Intuitive voice is your authentic self, your true nature revealed when you pull the debris of the past off of you and let your inner light shine. Your Intuition is you.
I know this. I’ve known this for many years as you probably do, too. Yet, occasionally, that Inner Critic speaks up at times that surprise me.
A little while ago, I ordered a roll of Strathmore Mixed Media paper… 8 yards of it! It’s beautiful… durable, pure white, and full of possibilities. I couldn’t wait to unroll it across a long table and play with my watercolors. What happened next came out of nowhere. I heard the Inner Critic say, “Are you crazy? You better not use this paper; it was expensive and you’ll only mess it up.”
Are you kidding me?! I’ve been an artist my whole life and had a very successful solo exhibit last summer, thank you very much. Where’s this coming from? In the past, that negativity might have stifled my creativity. I might have rolled up that lovely paper and pulled out a sketchpad, working on a smaller space and coming from a smaller place within myself.
I didn’t do that. I chose to say, “Enough!” I have jumped out of a plane at over 10,000 feet. I have moved to an unfamiliar place full of strangers. I have had the guts to walk away from relationships and jobs that do not support my highest self. I’m going to let negativity stop me from playing with art supplies?! I don’t think so!
Clarissa Pinkola Estes, in her ground-breaking book Women Who Run with the Wolves, states, ” Negative complexes that arise along the way are banished or transformed- your dreams will guide you the last part of the way- by putting your foot down, once and for all, and by saying, ‘I love my creative life more than I love cooperating with my own oppression.'”
So when fear, doubt, and anxiety try to talk you out of being your adventurous, wild, creative, loving, lovable self, take a deep breath and go from being a Survivor to a Thriver by “Doing It Anyway.”