When the Muppets in the Balcony Are Yammering Away – EP 274

Get a taste of what it’s like to be a part of the Savvy Painter Community as I share a recent talk I gave during Mindset Monday all about our witness. We all have one! That inner critic sees everything we do and provides a running negative commentary like Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets. Listen to this episode to learn how to shut those guys up and turn your mindset (and your witness) into a positive one!

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:41] Can I get a positive witness?
  • [5:48] Recapping the damage negative underlying beliefs can create
  • [10:41] Asking your inner critic the right questions
  • [16:27] Come back to yourself

An imaginary hierarchy

Everyone has a witness. Maybe you call it the voice in your head or your “inner critic”, but we all have some kind of an internal messaging system. So why is that voice so often negative when it comes to our art? It’s as if someone is screaming at us “What were you thinking?”, “Why did you choose that color?”, and “You’ll never be good enough” like grumpy old puppets from a balcony. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes that voice can be warm, supportive, and affirming, but an unmanaged mind is prone to black and white thinking. We start placing ourselves at the bottom of an imaginary hierarchy and comparing ourselves to historical painters like Van Gogh and Rembrandt. Isn’t that ridiculous? Besides, why does the world need another Rembrandt when it needs an original you?

Breaking the broken record

Last week’s episode was all about uncovering and addressing negative belief systems. If you missed it, you can listen here! Long story short, the negative messages we’re given by others about art and life can be confused as facts if we allow them to play on repeat. By refusing to break the broken record, we create a negative witness that could strike at any moment. And that moment is typically as soon as you reach your messy middle. When you need to believe in yourself the most. Of course, this is insanely hard to do when you have two old guys laughing at you in your head telling you that you can’t. Well friends, it’s time to shut those jerks up.

Ask better questions

So what do you do? You’re overwhelmed with self-doubt, questioning whether you should put down your brush for the day, and the inner critics just won’t stop. What do you do? Well first, BREATHE. It’s going to be ok. Second, notice what’s happening. Awareness is half the battle. When we give ourselves to identify negative thought processes we give ourselves the space to ask better questions like “Why am I thinking like this?” and “Am I making this harder than it really is?” Because as artists, we love challenges. We want to grow and develop and we intentionally chase after difficult paintings. Yet, what a negative witness does is erode the confidence that enabled us to accept the challenge in the first place! By slowing down and asking good questions that get to the bottom of our emotions, we give ourselves the power to kick the critics out of the balcony.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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