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Barbara Bowen : Tempering the Inner Critic

The Power of Your Creative Voice: Tempering the Inner Critic

By Barbara Bowen

When it comes to Creativity, the Creative Voice is infinitely more powerful than the Critical Voice.

This statement is often hard for artists and other creatives to absorb, especially if their 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 heal and reach our creative potential. On the creative path, 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 Creativity will begin to unfold and excel organically. We will heal, grow closer ourselves, our 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 won't help. Because at its core, it contains something essential to Creativity that we must recover in order to heal and grow. That is, it contains the 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 in its true role, as a servant to the Creative Voice and Creativity. This healing discovery is a joyful experience. Time and again, clients are amazed by the power of their Creative Voice to empower transformation and Creativity. •

© 2003 Barbara Bowen

Barbara BowenBarbara Bowen owns Gateways Coaching and helps artists and other professionals to master the creative process, build momentum, and take sensible risks to move careers to the next level. More »