Deconstructing the Inner Critic

Apr 26, 2022 17 min read
Deconstructing the Inner Critic

For most of my creative career, there were so many things I didn’t want to be true about myself.

I believed in the myth of the struggling artist, so I made no serious effort to earn more, save money, or build multiple streams of income.

I believed that life was harsh, that marketing was this elusive art form that only those who were favored by the gods could master, that you absolutely had to be charming in order to sell a product or service, so I lived in a state of perpetual fear — I somehow expected the world to decide that I wasn’t worthy of living on this planet anymore and send me off to spend the rest of my life on the dark side of the moon.

All information indicated that I was right: most of the products/services I launched were failures. I'd always struggled to earn enough to pay the bills. And the sheer mental frustration of having to design a sales page made me want to do everything I could to get it done as fast as possible.

Life was a pain. Hell was all the people who couldn't care less about all the work I had put into each and every single thing I released, and I was slowly fading away, both mentally and physically.

But the most insidious thing about limiting beliefs is not that evidence points to them being true, but rather that we go out of our way to prove that they’re true.

In other words, we try our best to become the prophets of our own destiny; we try to rig the game, not so we can win, but because we don’t want to go through the trouble of having to design and craft a self we can be proud of.

One day I realized that a man’s limit is his belief system and that I couldn’t achieve more because of all the things that I thought I was not.

Everyone, no matter their level of success in life, struggles with their inner critic.

It’s just how it is.

Most of my twenties were controlled by the debilitating beliefs that are often the side-effect of a too harsh inner critic. I was often paralyzed by fear. Wrecked by insecurity. I struggled with high-functioning depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

I had to listen to this persistent voice inside my head telling me that I wasn’t good enough, that it wasn’t worth it to even try.

This ultimately led to me becoming so mentally and emotionally fragile that I couldn’t even look people in the eye when talking to them.

It’s a sad but melancholic truth that I had become a whisper, a shadow of a shadow.

I didn’t know how to use that negative voice to my advantage. I kept trying to silence it but to no avail. The inner critic is there to stay, and no amount of self-help or therapy can ever make it go away. Success won’t silence the inner critic. Love won’t even turn down the volume a bit. Positive affirmations, Tony Robbins shouting greatness in your headphones, none of them can truly silence the inner critic.

This demon is here to stay. And the truth is that you don’t want it to go away. You get rid of your demons, your angels will soon abandon you as well.

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