Leave Your Inner Critic at the Door

Leave Your Inner Critic at the Door by Kelley Grimes at Cultivating Peace and Joy

“Creativity takes courage.”

~Henri Matisse


When is the last time you were creative?


Creativity is a powerful self-nurturing tool. It connects us to the present moment, opens us to new and wonderful parts of ourselves, improves our health, and can be so much fun! Unfortunately, most people do not think they are creative.


But that could not be further from the truth!


I believe we all have an infinite amount of creativity within us, although it may not be currently cultivated or fully expressed.


We may not explore our creative potential due to our inner critic, judgement of our abilities, habit of comparing ourselves to others, and/or old messages we still believe about not being able to draw, paint, write, etc.


So many people receive negative messages about their creativity as children, which forms the foundation of their inner critic.


As Henri Matisse so astutely reminded us, creativity does indeed take courage. I believe it also requires a commitment to leave our inner critics at the door and shine our authentic truth into the world.


Imagine sitting down to be creative, whether you are collaging, writing a poem or even journaling, and intentionally creating a wonderful nurturing space for yourself free of self-judgement and criticism.


What amazing discoveries might you find about yourself? What deep inner wisdom or guidance might be available to you as you open to the artist from within?


I love offering creativity workshops because they provide clients the opportunity to try out different forms of creative expression in a safe supportive environment with the intention of nurturing themselves. Over the last few years, we have created mandalas, gratitude cards, spirit illumination card decks, poems, vision boards, gratitude journals and self-nurturing intention boards.


Each workshop I witness clients have breakthroughs around their limiting beliefs about their creativity and courageously express their creativity in beautiful and empowering ways! What I have noticed is that when we give ourselves permission to express our authentic truth, we are transformed and liberated.


What would it take for you to give yourself permission to leave your inner critic at the door today and express yourself creatively?


Each time you are creative you encourage your growth and potential and cultivate your self-nurturing practice!


Please find the courage to quiet your inner critic and express yourself creatively today and nurture peace in the world from the inside out!

Kelley Grimes

Sending you so much peace, love and gratitude,

Kelley Grimes, M.S.W.
Counselor, Author & Speaker

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Join the discussion 20 Comments

  • Leila says:

    Thank you for sharing Kelley.
    Inner critic can be so loud attimes.
    I give myself permission by accepting the obvious weaknesses or loopholes and then go ahead.

  • Heather says:

    I love that fact that you offer workshops. Creativity is so inspirational and so healing. I am a creative soul. I wish I would have nurtured that at a younger age. I wish I would have had other inspire me to do so. I do hope they start to bring more creative activities back into the schools again. I hope parents nurture their children in that way. It’s never to late in life to nurture yourself. I love to see what others are inspired to create. I know it has helped me a great deal in so many ways.

  • Andrea says:

    I’ve come to know, appreciate and love my inner critic. She, in turn, has learned to be much quieter when I try new things. In fact, she rarely even bothers to show up when I’m writing. Thanks for posting.

    • I so appreciate your relationship with your inner critic Andrea and how you have nurtured it over the years. I love that she rarely bothers to show up when you are writing now. Beautiful!

  • “What amazing discoveries might you find about yourself?”
    Such an empowering and important question, Kelly!
    nd I love the door metaphor. Yes, my inner critic knocks there often.
    Gratefully, I haven’t let her in for a long time.

    • I love that we can choose whether we answer the door or not to our inner critic, although it may not stop it from knocking! Thank you so much for your comment Lore and your kind feedback!

  • Debra Reble says:

    Creativity does take courage Kelley! I needed to hear this today! I’ve been in the mist of editing my new book Soul-Hearted Living and my inner critic has been raising it’s ugly head! I had to step away several times and soothe my inner critic. It takes courage to put your creative energies out there…and I continue to put my heart and soul out there. Thank you <3

    • Thank you so much for sharing your process Debra! It does take courage to put your creative energies into the world and keep your heart and soul open in the process! I am grateful for you!

  • I learned to train my Inner Critic to play a more productive and metaphorically, a more benevolent role in my creative pursuits, Kelley.

    It wasn’t easy but I started to observe what was being said to me and reframe it as a possible need to review and improve whatever task I was doing. If after doing that, I feel the critic is being unreasonable, I ignore it and get on with what I want to create and share.

  • Rachel Kieffer says:

    In the last few years I have finally allowed to see myself as creative, this is a message that was ingrained in me early, I am smart, not creative, as if the two cannot co-exist. I am so glad I am exploring creativity and looking at the self judgements, criticisms and shame that comes up to be healed as I bravely create 🙂

  • It has taken me a lifetime to get over the old beliefs bestowed upon me by well-meaning family and friends: “You can’t make a living as a writer.” Who ever said it was a job? It’s a lifeline to myself! Wonderful post.

  • Pamela says:

    Hi Kelley,

    I so resonated with your post! It is so true that many of us from being children learned that we weren’t creative which is far from the truth. I love Matisse’s quote that “Creativity takes courage.” A few months ago I completed a “Soul painting Course” which was really powerful. I learned alot about myself through the process as well as how to paint with acrylics. The final product which I surprisingly feel good about I called “Let Go … Fly Free!” This I think says it all.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom about creativity and reminding us of its importance in our lives.

    • Thank you so much Pamela for sharing your experience! I love the title of your piece “Let Go…Fly Free!” That is exactly what embracing creativity and leaving our inner critic at the door allows us to do! I am so grateful for your comment!

  • CK Kochis says:

    Ah… Yes… The inner critic… Friend and nemeses. Unraveling the beliefs and voices of individuals who told me “they call ’em starving artists for a reason” has been an adventure. Being creative is a form of self-care through the expression of voice (or internal wisdom). This is a wonderful post, Kelley. You’ve inspired me to journal about my own creativity and how I wish create with an open heart.

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