Creative Process and Tempering the Inner Critic

As an art coach and expert in the creative process, I have discovered that the creative voice is infinitely more powerful than the critical voice.

This statement is often hard for artists and other professionals involved in the creative process to absorb, especially if their Inner critic has been in the lead, either consciously or unconsciously. But our intuitive center is always urging us toward healthy new risk, like a lighthouse beacon calling us to reach our creative potential. On the path of creativity, anxieties will coexist with the joys, to be sure. But when we are called, we best surrender, or experience far worse anxieties in the refusal. Many of us must listen more clearly to our creative voice, truly listen. Then we must trust it enough to act upon it. If we do act, our creative power will begin to emerge organically. We will grow closer to ourselves, our creative potential, and who we are meant to be.

I attribute this unfolding to the notion that the creative voice is the true voice. Moreover, I designate the critical voice as a false voice. Fighting with it won’t help. Trying to get rid of it is senseless. Because at its core, it contains something essential to creativity that we must recover. That is, it contains the creative power to assess, to review, to re-arrange, and to improve. It was designed to be in support of the creative voice before it “went astray.” In other words, the critical voice is the “helpful editor” in disguise. Contrary to the impulse to push it away, we must embrace it, hear it, get underneath its bullying jabs. When we do, we recover its positive attributes and re-position it within its true role, as a servant to the creative voice and our creative process. This discovery is a joyful experience. Time and again, clients are amazed by the power of their creative voice to inspire, enhance, transform, empower and deepen their creative process.

Do you need content? You may use these essays at your website, or in your newsletter. The only requirement is inclusion of the following plus active links:

*Essay by Barbara Bowen of - the definitive source for artists and creative careers in transition. Contact Barbara to empower your creative process and for help with your career goals. She would love to hear from you.*