E,  Happiness,  Inner Critic,  Self care

Shut the Door on Your Inner Critic

Are you still trying to decide how to shut the door on your Inner Critic?  Have you figured out what to do with that noisy Inner Editor?  How to manage a Monkey Mind? Perhaps you have learned how to love your Inner Critic. Maybe you’re looking for a way to break up with it, once and for all.

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These are all valid ways to deal with that confidence-sapping, pain-in-the-butt, voice-in-the-head.

I’ve been fortunate to hear about lots of Inner Critics and almost as many strategies for helping them pipe down. However you’d like to address it, a little creative visualization can go a long way.

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Most people tell me they picture an Inner Critic creating a disturbance somewhere near their core, often near the heart or at the center of their thinking.

With good creative visualization skills there’s a simple strategy you can try: just move her somewhere else.

  • Put an arm around your Inner Editor and walk her out the door.
  • Open a window and ask her to show you how she can fly.
  • Invite her to take a seat on your porch swing.
  • Move her (and all of her belongings) into a guest room or a closet.

Once you can picture the Inner Critic starting to move, there’s another step you can take with your visualization: shut the door.  If you need a tangible reminder, find a beautiful antique key to add to your key ring or a tiny charm to put on a chain around your neck.

If you are to make progress in your relationship with your Inner Critic it doesn’t hurt to remember: YOU hold the key.


Better still, why get rid of your Inner Critic when you can learn to use it to your benefit? The Inner Critic Advantage: Making Peace With the Noise in Your Head by Andrea Patten is now available on Amazon.


Let’s connect on social media.


  • Sheila Callaham

    Great post, Andrea. I love the visualization strategies! The one about opening the window and asking her to show you how she can fly made me laugh out loud! Thanks for putting a smile on my face and giving me plenty of ideas of how to deal with my inner critic. 🙂

  • Debra Reble

    thank you Andrea as I really needed this reminder today. I love the creative visualization for letting go of the inner critic and it worked beautifully! Blessings dear friend

    • Andrea

      I’m so happy I wrote about one that worked for you today — sometimes people have to try a few before they get to the one that “clicks.”

  • Deb Coman

    This is beautiful, Andrea. I love keys!! The words just jumped off the page effortlessly and flowed so nicely. The creative visualization was fun, humorous and sound! Great post, my friend!

    • Andrea

      Thanks, Terri. Keeping that key close by is a great idea… sometimes when that Inner Critic is behaving better, we’ll let her come back inside.

  • Jill Celeste

    Gosh darn my Inner Critic! She tells me things all the time. I like the idea of opening the window and asking her to show me how she can fly. Then shutting the window. Such a good reminder for ALL women! Thank you, Andrea!

  • Bunny

    I loved the visualization and the key! I have found that for me that the Inner Criic lessens with age but definitely needed strategies when I was younger.

  • Peggy

    I’ve made peace with my inner critic. I see her as a 5 year old throwing a temper tantrum until I realized she was more like Robot on Lost in Space, flailing her arms about, “Danger! Danger, Peggy, Danger!”

    My inner critic is really looking out for me. She doesn’t want me to look foolish or be rejected. Once I understood where she was coming from, I could make peace with her. Everything I do is a shitty first draft. This really calms her down. And she goes back to coloring or finger painting. 🙂

  • Melissa

    Oh, that Inner Critic! She seems to raise her ugly head at the most “critic-al” times of course. I particularly love this image: Open a window and ask her to show you how she can fly. Good-bye! Have a nice flight! Don’t hurry back anytime soon! Thank you for sharing your visual strategies. xo

  • Martha

    Yes I’ve learned to tone that inner critic down.! I gave the mindset when she comes in to stand in my power
    And know that her critical thoughts are not truth!
    Great post!

  • Josee

    What a great post! Your topic is one that we can all relate to I’m sure. Love the little exercise. I would tell her “Thanks for showing up but I’m good on my own. Bye Bye!!” Thanks Andrea. Greatly appreciated.

  • Barb Parcells

    I have named my inner critic Cyril. He is a stuffy, painfully thin and annoying sort. When he acts out, I thank him for his input and then send him into the corner for a Time Out. I also use Colette Baron Reid’s visual of a goblin. Her name is Gladys. She is old and cranky. I give her a hug and soothe her back to sleep. I swear it works!

  • Lisa Hutchison

    My inner critic wants to be listened to. When I give her the space to voice her opinion, I can reassure her it is going to be all right no matter what the fear is. I never tried visualization, thanks for that tip Andrea!

  • Sue Kearney (@MagnoliasWest)

    Love this! My inner critic is always with me, it seems, and I like the idea of showing her the door. Or the window!

    So far it seems that I do my creative work fast — kinda like I’m outrunning my inner critic. Which is liberating in a way.

    Still gonna try kicking her (gently and lovingly) to the curb. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Pamela

    Loved this post Andrea and the creative visualizations for releasing the inner critic. I’ve learned that my inner critic shows up in a couple of ways. The first is when she is pointing out a limited belief that requires my attention. The second is when there is another angle to consider or I need more information. Thanks! xo

  • Joni

    When my inner critic was more blatant she needed to be listened to as well. It’s gotten so much more subtle and slippery. I feel like I need to visualize a sieve to filter out the truth from the critics lies and then relocate them. Thanks for the tip. I hadn’t tried visualization for this purpose before.

  • Kim Garcia

    Loved the pos. Just digging maybe too deep. I would have to determine what kind of door to visualize. Half door, screen door, solid door bars on my door or partially open door. What door will stop the inner critic to move on.

  • Kelley Grimes

    Great visualization Andrea! I love the suggestion of carrying the key with us as a reminder that we have the choice of what messages to listen to. I love Pema Chodron’s use of metaphors in reflecting on the power of our mind. She talks about the bench and encourages us to allow our strong emotions to sit on the bench with us but cautions us not to build a memorial to them. I love that reminder and yours to make friends with our whole selves!

  • Tae

    This was a powerful visualization for me to help me deal with my inner critic! I loved the one about opening the window & asking her to show me she can fly! Thank you! 🙂