How To Silence Your Inner Critic

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Your worst critic is yourself. I'm sure you've heard this time and time again but when it comes to creators, it's so much worse. The practice of creating is so therapeutic and meaningful but your inner critic usually finds a way to rear his ugly head and tell you that what you've made looks like trash.

I have struggled with that monster for the entirety of my creative career and it still cripples me. It has held me back so much and I'm just beginning to learn how to silence it and jump head first into what I love doing. While I've made some headway in killing that monster, I have a long way to go. I found some tips on how to push through these bad thoughts that will hopefully help you (and me).

Art for art sake
Many artists out there are creating for a purpose. Maybe for a client or for an exhibit. While these are great money making ventures, when is the last time you've made art for yourself? Letting your mind go and creating just to create is a great way to get your juices flowing. The best part is that it's just for you and no one will see it unless you want them to. Your inner critic won't be there to say it's not good or no one will like that. Who cares if it's for your eyes only?

Just keep going
When you start getting those awful thoughts, it's easy to just throw up your hands and give up. Instead of throwing in the towel, keep going. Keep working on it until that breakthrough comes and be proud that you didn't let those thoughts stop you. Learning to push through is almost essential in a creative's life because you won't always be able to just start over. Deadlines move for no one.

Get lost in your work
Being a perfectionist can be the worst thing ever. If it's not perfect, it's awful. Realizing that everything can't be perfect and getting lost in your work can do wonders. I personally work best when I'm not overthinking it. Let your mind go silent and be totally in the moment. Get lost in the sauce if you will. Simply enjoying the process of creating will block any bad thoughts and the outcome will be so much sweeter.

I'm that person that owns several empty sketchbooks because the process of starting seems too daunting. I'm constantly thinking that all of my practice will look like trash. But that's the point! I'm teaching myself and the only way to improve is to start out with shitty drawings. I'm hoping these few tips will help you whether you are drawing, designing, writing or any other creative practice.

What do you do to silence your inner critic?

Photo by Milan Popovic on Unsplash