There’s a mean, snarling gremlin living inside your head. You may not even notice the presence of this creature. Its nit-picky voice may be indistinguishable from your own.
This is your Inner Critic.
You may have been living with this creature so long that you’ve incorporated it into your identity. You tell your friends you have high standards for yourself and you’re never satisfied. But your creative spirit would never be as hard on you as this voice is. It’s the gremlin that prevents you from appreciating your own precious spark.
This gremlin isn’t completely ill-intentioned. It’s trying to protect you from a whole host of scary things, like failure, rejection, embarrassment, and disappointment. The Inner Critic is like a puppy who’s been kicked so many times that it snarls at every outstretched hand offering a head scratch. The meanness is understandable, given its history, but this defensive posture prevents growth and the receipt of love.
There’s no way to kill this gremlin. But if you can notice it and be gentle with it, the Inner Critic will shrink and shrink until it is no match for your Creative Voice. The next time you notice that you’re telling yourself how stupid your ideas are, recognize that you are hearing the sniveling little gremlin. Sit with the gremlin and say, “Thank you for your help, poor little creature. I know you’re only trying to protect me, but this idea needs to get out into the world.”
Next up: what happens when you meet the Outer Critic.