Critical Mind – a new excerpt from my book

critical mind


Here is a new excerpt from first book “A Carnet à Soi” (in french). Take it as my Christmas present! Today, this text is taken from the chapter on Critical Mind. In writing this book, I realized that this chapter was so important. Important because the critical mind alone can defeat the best willpower and we are often very little aware of its undermining. So, here’s the introduction to this chapter:

7. Critical thinking


“It’s bad, you’re not going to tell me that you’re happy with this drawing, you should have done something else, no, but who you think you are, for an artist, that’s it, you’d better prepare the evening meal, frankly, look what others are doing, it’s so much better, you’ll never make it, what’s the point, it’s useless, it sucks, you’re bad “This monologue tells you Something? And this feeling of nausea, malaise and sadness that provokes in itself too? This is the work of the inner judge. It is formidable, forgives nothing, has an opinion about everything and does not hesitate to give it. If a page sucks, it means we suck. Period. Its is binary. We will see later that we can learn to collaborate more constructively with critical thinking, but initially, it can kill our project in the bud.

Critical thinking is the most difficult thing in the practice of art. To create means to face it, to keep creating is to learn how to manage it. It is not to be stopped by failures, by mistakes, by learning, so many things that the critical spirit hates. As it hates the unknown. This chapter is here to prepare you. When you create, the critical spirit manifests itself, it is inevitable. It is not more serious than that. It’s uncomfortable, destabilizing, but the whole exercise is not to take it too seriously. It is not because he judges your page null that it is. You will often discover that this same page, a few days later will appear very different, full of freshness and interesting.

I found myself helpless at the beginning of my personal practice confronted to critical thinking. It was very violent. I have now developed some tactics and then, as best I can, I try not to pay more attention to it and to do my job. Once we are more interested in the process than in the outcome, in other words, more interested in the journey than in the destination, we have taken an important step. This means that the critical mind lost his grip on us because it is not interested in the process. All that matters to him is the result.

So let’s prepare ourselves through this chapter, develop good habits, build our toolbox, be prepared … and do our work.


Those voices in the head, that kind of 24-hour radio-critical broadcast, do you know it? Obviously! This voice that tells us:

– You do not even know how to draw

– And what if we looked at television and ate chocolate?

– No, but frankly, you see yourself slumped in front of the TV

– What you have drawn / written / pasted / painted is nil or not far from it.

– It’s not good enough

– You could have done better

– Others succeed better than you

– You do not have any talent

– You’re wasting your time

– It’s too complicated

– You do not even know where to start

– You’ll never make it

– Anyway, you’ll never reach anything

– You’d better…

– You should rather …

– You better go back to your hole, for whom you take yourself

We are all wired the same way. This radio-critic within oneself, everyone hears it. If we can not remove it, we can still lower the volume, not listen to it as much and even sometimes adjust to another frequency. To notice it is already huge. It is not so destructive when it is located. The danger comes from this radio in the back of our heads that makes us all morose without knowing the reason because we are not aware of it. That’s why I insist a lot on that. Because I would really like you to start this project that makes your heart dance and you keep it going. And I know that the trap is there.

Honestly, I still fall so often! While I know. But that’s OK. I notice more quickly what is happening, in a few hours, a few days, but not in weeks and months as it could happen before. And then the important thing is to start again and again.

And like last week, if you want to continue reading, click here, you will find everything you need. Please note that if you order the book on Amazon, you will receive the free ebook version, which can be read directly on your application. But, sorry, this book is not available in english….

Take care, Mireille

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