The Voice of the Inner Critic

The Voice of the Inner Critic

The Voice of the Inner CriticAh, the Inner Critic. We all have one. She’s ready to pounce as soon as we embark on a new and scary endeavour, learn a new skill, enter a new relationship, start a new job.

She’s the voice that says “You’re not good enough”, “Who do you think you are to be doing this?” or “Stop kidding yourself, you’ll never be able to do, achieve, finish, succeed at that!” Our critic can stop us before we even start.

It feels like the critic wants to sink our ship while we are treading water.What if we made friends instead with our Critic? Our Inner Critic is there because it wants to protect us from being hurt or coming to harm. If we acknowledge that voice and say thanks for its concern and do the task anyway, our critic does calm down. He or she will never go away entirely, but acknowledgement goes a long way to quieting her voice in our heads.

The job of being a facilitator in a student’s painting journey is largely about encouraging her to take risks and not let the voice of the critic stop her from moving forward in her process or going for what she wants to create on the canvas. If we think we will fail, then we don’t try. Holding space for another is a dance between encouragement and silent witness, being careful not to project your own vision onto someone else’s painting but helping them access their own.

The magic of the process is that it becomes a metaphor for life. When you become brave enough to take risks on the canvas, you become brave enough to take risks in life. The more you paint, the braver you become. You grow as a person, and your life becomes richer.

It becomes a spiritual practice that becomes your medicine.

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