3 Reasons You MUST Tame Your Inner Critic

Published by 5280 HR on

Everyone has an Inner Critic.  What is an Inner Critic, you ask?  It’s that little voice in your head that sabotages your confidence.  You might recognize it as saying things like:

  • Don’t speak up…they won’t like that idea
  • You are not as charismatic (attractive, smart…) enough
  • Keep working harder…you’re not good enough

Sound familiar?  We all have thoughts that derail us from time to time.  It’s completely normal.  Let’s explore 3 reasons why you need to tame your Inner Critic today.

Reason 1: It Undermines Your Ability to Get Things Done

Your ideas are worthless unless you speak up.

I want to introduce you to Val.  When Val first came to work with me, she was a mid-level manager at a very successful organization.  Val was accomplished, degreed, experienced.  She had been the Executive Director of a similar yet smaller organization in the past.  Her current organization was having a banner year, yet Val felt unheard and overlooked.  Val’s biggest issue was her Inner Critic.  The voice that told her she wasn’t good enough, smart enough, experienced enough, etc.  She even let it interfere with her relationships with co-workers.  She was hesitant to challenge authority and anyone who had a strong personality – even if she had important insight to share.  After doing some coaching exercises, Val agreed to work on two things:

  1. Be more vocal in meetings
  2. Reach reach out to people that intimidated her.  

The result…Val learned that her Inner Critic was way off base.  Val pushed through her discomfort and said what was on her mind at meetings.  She was pleasantly surprised that many of her ideas were welcomed and built upon.  Most importantly, she didn’t feel small and unimportant after leaving the meetings.  She was actively engaged.  Val also developed a strong & productive working relationship with one of her peers, a person that she admittedly was a little afraid of and thought was working against her.  This led to the two of them being able to support each other by bringing united recommendations to their boss.  

Reason 2: It Holds You Back

Even people who appear successful outwardly have issues with self-doubt from time to time.

Next, I want to introduce you to Joe.  He came to me with a specific goal of growing his business and diversification. Joe worried too much about what people think.  He would read into why clients wouldn’t return calls or emails.  In addition, he would make up reasons why people were not being responsive.  He questioned if he had done something to be off-putting.  Joe’s Inner Critic was holding him hostage.  He even held onto clients who were somewhat abusive in how they treated him until he realized he could “fire” them.  

This was puzzling because Joe is one of the most friendly, well-connected people I have come across in his community.  He knows everyone and everyone seems to know him.  He has a tight hold on the services he provides.  Joe simply had to let go of that Inner Critic causing self-doubt and realize that people are just being people.  They are busy and “you” are not at the top of their priority list. He also learned that email isn’t always the most effective.  Sometimes you just have to pick up the phone to get a response.  

Today, Joe has grown his business by over 50% in revenue and is adding new services to his portfolio.  He has also expanded by adding staff to help with the additional workload which frees him up to do more business development.  Joe continues to tame his Inner Critic, but mostly now our coaching work is focused on Joe doing the right things to continue to grow the business.

Reason 3: It Hurts Your Confidence

Self-affirmation leads to building confidence over time.

All of us have dips in our confidence from time to time.  That’s completely normal. But if your Inner Critic is the primary voice you are hearing, you have a problem.  Others may see you as weak. They certainly won’t buy into what you are saying if you lack confidence and conviction.

Not surprisingly, confidence is a big part of success. You may have heard the phrase, “Fake it until you make it.”  While I don’t believe we should pretend to be something we are not, I do believe that we can help control how we “show up” through our thoughts and intentions.  In a previous blog, Five Minutes a Day That Changed My Life, I share about the power of acknowledgements.  Believe me, this is a game changer that will help you build your confidence if you are struggling.  If you relate to what I have shared today and are ready to move forward, schedule a call with me today.

I’m curious to know…what does your Inner Critic say to you and what have you done to quieten it?  Please leave your comments below.

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My Inner Critic has revealed itself the most in 2020. Through these difficult times, I found myself questioning my decisions or even who I was. Through a close, strong group of friends and family, I was able to identify my Inner Critic as simply a passing thought, not who I am as a whole.

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