How to Stop Being Your Own Worst Critic


Ever feel like you’re being too hard on yourself? Afraid to show your songs to anyone because of the possibility they won’t like them? Do you hear yourself saying things like, “I’m really hard on myself,” or, “I’m always my own worst critic?”

Well, great news!

Here are three ways you can use to help shut down the voice of the “inner critic” today to stop the insanity and start writing your best songs now!

#1 Remember that everyone starts at ZERO. Even the most experienced and successful songwriters started right where you are… at the beginning. If you’re a more advanced songwriter and think you should be even further along by now, being hard on yourself doesn’t help your creativity.

Accept that you’re a songwriter in process and that you’ve advanced with the knowledge you’ve been able to gain up to this point, but remember that there’s a lot more to come as you keep steady, keep learning, and keep writing!

#2 Realize that perfectionism is really just an untamed ego in disguise. When someone says they’re a “perfectionist,” what they are really saying is, “My ego is too fragile for me to risk rejection. I could never put myself out there and risk someone not liking me or my work because their opinion of me is more important than my own self-esteem.”

Songwriters who are overly-concerned with perfection rarely finish songs and fail to realize that it takes a lot of trial and error to be a great songwriter. If you’re unwilling to risk, you’ll never finish and certainly never “perfect” anything. Stop taking yourself so seriously and take a risk.

#3 Simply stop listening. In the end, you have the power within to make a choice to stop listening to critical thoughts about your songwriting, weight, financial status, and anything else in your life.

And, here’s the real truth about the “inner critic” – there is no such thing. What we’ve called “our inner critic” is nothing but a nasty habit we’ve developed to shield ourselves from the possibility of risking failure. We can just as easily turn the inner critic into an inner “cheerleader” with a little intention and daily practice.

In fact, God didn’t give us an “inner critic,” but the Holy Spirit (John 15) to cheer us on and to equip us to be the greatest expression of Jesus we can be in this world. How would it change our songwriting, and our entire lives, if we chose to shut down any critical voices we’ve manufactured to listen to the Holy Cheerleader within us?

Nashville Christian Songwriters exists “to empower Christian songwriters worldwide,” and that includes our inner attitudes and beliefs about ourselves and God. To go even further, consider joining NCS Membership to access monthly masterclasses and join a growing community of dedicated Christian songwriters seeking to change the world one great song at a time.

John Chisum

John Chisum is a pioneer in the Christian music business, serving alongside people such as Bill & Gloria Gaither, Twila Paris, Paul Baloche, Don Moen, and many more. As Managing Partner of Nashville Christian Songwriters, John seeks to empower Christian songwriters worldwide to discover and fulfill their call to write.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. That was really good…thank you!

  2. Yep! This is a great article! Needed to hear some of this! Thanks John!

  3. Hi John, yes, Holy cheerleader, I like that! Thank you for the ecouragement!

Leave a Reply

Close Menu
Blank note book binder with Golden music headphone and guitar for song writing.

Sign Up Today For Our Free Pro Songwriters Top 10 Tip Sheet