The Ugly Phase ...

- And The Fight With My Inner Critic

Spændetrøje - Mindart.dkMaybe you know the inner voice that tend to hold you back, every time you engage in something new? This internal critiques that ultimately are afraid of losing control, being a fool, ridiculed or otherwise harmed.

In a misguided considerations it goes a long way to stop you. It sets as a straitjacket, which may be difficult to extricate from. It requires a lot of good energy to let it go, because it often is so convincing in its arguments. 


The Fear Of The White Paper

When I a few years ago started painting, I was initially afraid of the white paper. My inner critic was alert and tried to convince me of my poor abilities.

Argh stop, do not do it, you still can not paint something that's worth showing to anyone, it cried with a shrill voice.

I tried to put some lines on the paper and said to my selv that I had to show my inner critic that it was wrong. The line could look like this:


Boy 1 Mindart.Dk


I looked at the drawing I made so far and thought to my self, that my inner critiques sadly enough was right. That got my inner critic to jump enthuastic up and down of having caused me to give up.

Yeah, just look at it . It will fail to appear visually delightful, the inner critic howled  while laughing a little of the ugly picture.
Hmmm, I thought to my self, and decided to continue a little longer.


Boy 2 Mindart.Dk


Just look at it, The Inner Critic said and contiued: The eyes are not equal. They have nothing to do with reality ... it is never gonna be of any worth. Stop before it is obvious to everyone how silly you are to paint.

Now, I was almost ready to tear the drawing into pieces and throw in the towel. Fine, I thought to my self, this painting will not happen, so I might as well just play with some colors. My inner critic did not protest  against that - I could play all I wanted too.
So I colored and colored just for fun.


Boy 3


I put on my headphones and listend to some audio books while I continued to paint. I got into a meditative state that made my inner critic fall fast asleep.

Finally the drawing came to live and became a painting, I even liked - not realistic, but quite to my taste, and I was pleased :-).



It struck me that all new beginnings requires time. No matter what age we are.
When a baby becomes, it starts to be a tiny ugly gremlin that slowly begins to develop arms, legs, ears, eyes and all. No one scold her mother that the baby is not fully developed from the beginning. The baby is allowed to develop in peace without outside interference. In most cases the 9 months paid off and out comes a perfect little person into the world.
This process could easily be transferred to all other processes in my life, I thought, so now I have made a list of 5 tips to myself:

Remember tips to me and myself:

  1. Your inner critic let go when you remind it that there always comes a phase in which the painting is ugly - the ugly phase.
  2. You just have to contiue and keep on the good work.
  3. Let it all be a breeze. There's nothing to be afraid of.
  4. If you don't draw a line on the paper, it will continue to be blank.
  5. It does not matter whether others like what you're doing, as long as you are happy and are enjoying the process.

Feel free to borrow my tips ...



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