Calming your Inner Critic (for Musicians)

Musicians, teachers, and just about everyone is frustrated by the things we can NOT do during COVID.

Here’s what we CAN do:

  • Get strong.
  • Heal.
  • Enjoy life.
  • Be more present.
  • Get clarity.
  • Connect more deeply.
  • Become a better friend to yourself.
  • Reconcile inner conflict.
  • Improve your capacity to do anything in life.

I know. It’s easier said than done.

I have tried to use this time as an opportunity to let go of what is not serving me and open myself to new possibilities. For all of my coaching clients (whether related to music, teaching, or business), I’ve tried to bring the practice of mindfulness and mindset into our work together.

The work is ongoing. For example:

I used to worry a lot.. about my playing, teaching, appearance, and everyday conversations. The fear of what other people thought, or that I was not good enough, would shut me down.

My inner critic stopped me from getting things done, being present, and enjoying life. I felt like there was something wrong with me.

This anxiety related to our inner critic is very common, even for high functioning people.

It’s healthy to have an inner critic in small amounts because it protects us. But it’s unhealthy when it stops us from getting things done or enjoying life.

For example, you may put off doing things you want to do, saying things like: “once I get better at x, I’ll release that album/ perform that song/ do that new project/ask that person out”.

If you’re tired of fighting a losing battle with your inner critic, know this:

1. You’re not broken. There’s a reason for getting trapped in a groundhog day of insecure thoughts. Your autonomous nervous system is protecting you from something.

2. You’re not alone. It’s common, even for high functioning people.

The first step to dealing with your inner critic is to acknowledge it’s there. Give it a name.

The next step is to work with it by changing your inner dialogue. I’ve checked out books, podcasts, and done therapy, and heard a lot of things related to self-talk, visualization, etc… but it seemed abstract and hard to put into practice for me.

A year ago I started tuning in to Evan Gregor’s guided inner work exercises. It was a game-changer for me. I still experience the instincts to beat myself up, but I am better at calming my inner critic. Doing this has improved my relationships, teaching, musical practice, money, and more.

No matter what area of life you want to grow in, improving your inner game is the foundation for everything.

Evan is amazing at prompting self-dialogue in really clear ways. You don’t need to have any special ability. If you can read this email you’ve got all the abilities you need. I’ve seen him do it a lot with our members in Creative Strings Workshop and Music Biz Mastermind.

He’s even helped someone who was afraid to get on a plane do it. I asked Evan to host a workshop on calming your inner critic, and he did a great job. People who attended live raved about it.

For an intro to how Evan thinks about all of this, check out this video:

 

 

If you’re tired of fighting a losing battle with your inner critic, there are a few ways to go deeper into this process of inner work with Evan.

  1. Get the mini-workshop.

2. To stream all related mini-workshops and courses, join music biz mastermind

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