“YOUR WORK SUCKS!…” How to get that voice in your head to SHUT UP!

Glad you made it.

So… you have this little voice in your head going on and on at you… undermining your confidence and preventing you achieving great things with your creativity. Lets give it it’s marching orders and stop it damaging your confidence.

You cant draw! Your mum always said you were terrible at art blah blah blah blah blah”

Listen carefully to that voice {this is the last time you are going to pay it any attention, honest}.

Whose voice is it?

Ill bet my bottom dollar that IT’S YOURS. It’s your voice.

And as the voice is yours, you control it. It has no power over you. You can tell it what to do.

And that’s just what you are going to do right now. You can do whatever you want with it. You control it.

Change the sound of the voice in your head. Give it a comedy voice. What about Mickey Mouse or Homer Simpson, Daffy Duck, Spongebob Squarepants or Elmer Fudd. Or try making the voice sound higher like it’s been inhaling helium or lower like its been slowed down nearly to a standstill.

Can you take the voice and its pointless wittering seriously now?

If it’s still giving you gyp, imagine that you can move the negative voice out of your head in a little bubble and place it on the floor. Let it sit there whinging and undermining for a few seconds. Then STOMP on it and pop it! Imagine the satisfying “POP” {or “squelch” if you’re a bit more sadistic}and then the blissful silence.

Everytime you find the negative voice creeping in repeat the steps above. With a bit of practice you will learn to control it better and push it further and further to the back of your mind.

You don’t have to let this mental tyrant mess up your potential creative  career. Put it in its place, create wonderful confident, professional work and get it out there!

Until next time. Keep creating


{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin Marcoux May 24, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Thank you for your article and pointing me to it. I intellectually understand the mechanics of self-doubt and negative thoughts, but its easy to forget where it comes from. Its good to be reminded from time to time that we are often our worst critics. Thanks for the reminder.


Delice Allen February 10, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Thank You!!!
I have been painting and drawing all my life, and have in the last few years discovered Digital art, which I love. I have a website being built for me as we speak, and am going to collage in Sept to learn website design, WHEW! Everyone tells me how good my art is, but that little voice is always been there telling me that I won’t succeed, because I never have in the past. I will be all that you have said to good use, one size 5 Dr Martin Boot….Squsssssssssh :D


Dorothy December 18, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Hello Helen,

I have taken the plunge and have my own web-page! It’s simple but it feels brilliant. I haven’t sold any work yet. I am creating art that I really love to make – and if other people like it too-that will be wonderful!
Really enjoyed reading and hearing about other artists on your website.
Note: I’m tap-dancing on the bubbles!


Helen Aldous December 19, 2012 at 7:09 am

Dorothy. That’s great. I love the tap dancing too ;-)


dipak parmar June 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm

thanks for helpful advise.
i m mainly like to doodle art so the art peices are simple but i just think they are not good enough to earn a living. i thought perhaps they might be good for printing on t-shirt but cant seem to find a way to sell them online on t-shirts. do you think that would if there was a way? if yes is they any online you could recommend.


Dawn Lord December 12, 2011 at 10:19 am

I would like to say thank you though Helen for your course. I have printed out my creative escape plan and put it on my fridge. I didn’t receive day five but that may have been because I opted for email feeds not sure. I am not that technically minded, still finding my way round. I am very interested in yr book. ‘Everything you need to know about selling your art, photography craft on line’. I definitely need to know more before taking the plunge. It takes me a while but I found myself here eventually. I think i’m still stuck at the shoot the elephant stage haha


Helen Aldous December 12, 2011 at 10:55 am

Yay. Really glad you have found it useful and hope the creative plan helps. Really sorry day 5 went astray, weird!, but I have sent you a link to it. x


Dawn Lord December 12, 2011 at 11:41 am

Thank’s Helen for day five :) Will get to work on it right away x


Helen Aldous December 12, 2011 at 11:47 am

No problem Dawn. Have a good week x


Dawn Lord December 12, 2011 at 9:55 am

My trouble is that I get all excited creating a piece, bringing it to life so to speak. Yet I am never happy with it. It is rarely up to my standard. Consequently I jump from one thing to another and lack self-consistency and direction. I wait too long before my next jump into the abyss.


Helen Aldous December 12, 2011 at 10:06 am

Thanks Dawn. I am similar in that I want to do too many things and jump about losing direction. I think this is a common thing with artists. Too many creative thoughts and not enough time to pursue them all ;-)


Phil [Meltemi] April 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm

 Do you want to be defined by your worst work or your best? 
I will live with my newly finished artwork for a little while before making a digital image of it with a view to publishing it on my website, or an artists’ online forum. Yes, showing it on an artists’ forum does establish the copyright of the image by setting a published to the world date. It also, usually, generates some useful feedback. Yes there are a tiny percentage of finished artworks that are true duds that I will never show the public. So far there have been only two really dreadful duds which only exist in the computer memory.

I have an art website that is now three years old. It both shows my art to the world on a 24/7 basis. It has a simple shopping cart system with clearly stated, consistent prices. It also sells my art to the UK, Europe and North America.

I do not want my work or reputation to be diluted by those few dud artworks that are inconsistent with my message or art vision. I do not let anything out of the studio that is not up to my standards. Though my collectors might just love them, if they are not up to my standards & do not share my art vision, they will remain unseen. Even so as an artist, I may love a particular artwork, I’m probably, and should be, judged by what others see in it. They may see it as being my worst ever artwork.

Then what do I care? I have the best job in the world I am an artist.


JJ Jacobs February 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Terrific advice — changing the thoughts to funny, fictional voices did help and the visual of making those voices into bubbles that gets stomped gave me a wicked sense of satisfaction and joy. Extremely effective and easy to do :-)


Helen Aldous February 28, 2011 at 6:46 am

Hee hee. I love stomping on them too. Serves them right for wittering on with their negativity ;-) So glad you found it helpful


En Chuen Soo November 27, 2010 at 7:43 am

Hi, Helen
A big Thanks! to you for the course. It wasn’t that voice but the waiting of fund. As I learn more about the company I have in mind to set my hub, then I found they offer an easy plan 3mths for free. So, I signed up and still in the building of my website. Please take a look and give some healthy comments. I am excited things is getting done step by step.


Helen Aldous November 29, 2010 at 10:17 am

Hello En Chuen Soo.

So glad the course is helping. Your site is looking great. Well done for pulling it all together. Best of luck getting everything online. All looking good


Dianne August 23, 2010 at 8:53 pm

It works! Thanks!


Helen Aldous August 24, 2010 at 6:08 am

Yay!. That’s great Dianne.
I have terrible battles with my inner voice but it does definitely get easier shutting it up over time by doing this. Glad it helped.


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