January 9, 2016

Shussssssh I say

that inner critic, you probably have lurking around the corner in your head. Well most of us do, if not all the time at least on occasion. So the first step in ANYthing is to recognize that it exists and after that you can address it and proceed with the business of loving yourself. Which it is ok to do, because you are highly recommended to be loved.

Ok so this inner critic of yours, does it have a name? If not give it one, so you may address it properly. Mine, let’s just call it LameOh, you can call yours that too if you like, LameOh won’t mind and if it does – tough patoodies. Now declare yourself an Artist. Say it out loud, I don’t care if someone is around and may hear you, say it. “I AM AN ARTIST.” Good, tell LameOh,”now that you know I’m an artist we need to come to an understanding. Since we will be living together for a very very, more very, long time its high time you know I am in charge. LameOh you have no authority here.” Now high 5 yourself and smile, and stand firm with your hands on your hips, nod and say, humfph!

Ok now that you have done that, you will need to remind not only yourself but LameOh, of the above. Yes you may need to do this every five minutes (it does get easier) and it is important that you do. Because it’s easy to fall back into the old pattern of belittling and bullying yourself, errr letting LameOh tell you how bad you are. Yes it is a pattern and you CAN get out of it with practice. Remind yourself that you cannot be compared to anyone else, because you are not them. You have lived your experience not theirs and therefore you will never compare and that in reality there is no competition. This is a fact and if science had an interest in proving it science could.

Stay positive and that does not mean thinking, ‘I’m positive that I’m not worth a crap.’ Being positive is using positive words, which means NOT using negative ones. Negative words are any that infer a since of can’t, such as – Not, Can’t, Can Not, No, Never, Don’t, Do Not. For example the following phrase is negative; ‘I don’t want to want to draw the mouth wrong’. A positive phrase is, ‘I want to draw the mouth better’. Negative, ‘I’m never going to get this’. Positive ‘I know I’m getting it’. Yes sometimes you really have to look at and actually hear how you speak to yourself. Your thoughts do matter.

The definition of Critic: a person who expresses an unfavorable opinion of something; a person who judges the merits of literary, artistic, or musical works. To give a Critique: to judge what someone else has done. This will always be a biased opinion, due to the fact that the Critic is judging from their experience, which is not necessarily similar to the person that is being judged.

If you want to improve yourself, celebrate every tiny thing you do and like, you have done a good job. Its ok to see that you can do something better and you know how, with practice and being mindful of what it is you want to do better. If asked to critique someone else’s work, be kind. Always begin with something that was done well, something you like, even if was just the willingness to try it, the process to get to the end. Then you proceed with “in my opinion” and go on to briefly describe what you think could be better, why you think that and how to possibly achieve it. And ALWAYS end on a positive statement.

And now I’m going to be brutally honest, this will only work for you IF YOU are ready. People can tell you till they are blue in the face, what helps or what works, but until you are ready to accept it, it will never work. . . can’t never did nothing, including the inner critic, because LameOh has NEVER done anything except complain about how YOU DID do something. 

a Reprint of  an article (©2015 Jamie Hatfield) written for the HOT mess ART gang newsletter August 13, 2015.
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Happy Art'ing Y'all

1 comment:

Travis Johnson said...

This post (and your article) need to be turned into a poster so I can hang it in my art room. It should be hanging at bus stops and in the checkout line at the grocery stores. It should be in the waiting room of every mental health professional and at the front of every classroom. No one talks down to us like us, because we give ourselves permission to think whatever hurtful nasty comment pops into our head and accept it as an unwritten truth. You're right - it's time to show our inner critic (Grumpo? SassButt? I'm still working on a name...) who's in charge and keep the negativity out of our lives. Thanks for the reminder!

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