Giving power to your doubts. This is the perfect definition of the inner critic.
Our inner critic fuels self-doubt. It is a nagging, negative, repetitive voice in our heads.
- It taunts you whenever you embark on something important: “What if you make a mistake?”
- It interrogates you when life gets difficult: “Are you good enough?”
- It ridicules you when you share your thoughts: “What if others disapprove?”
My inner critic is a sneaky little creature. When I let his voice run wild, he destroys my confidence, clouds my logic, and hijacks my happiness. The more I fight my self-doubt, the more it fights back.
Does your inner critic sabotage you?
My inner critic expertly paints worst-case scenarios that in reality haven’t happened. It simply tries to trick me into believing they will.
The critic loves to repeat the same story over and over again, tormenting and provoking fear.
Our inner critic wants us to believe that it has our best interest at heart and that its primary purpose is to serve and protect us. The critic’s motive is actually much less honorable—your demise. It is the master of misery and the demon of distress.
You are NOT your inner critic, but rather, the observer.
The more aware I become of my inner critic voice, the more I develop an appreciation for his creativity and persistence.
Try it—simply notice your inner critic’s chatter:
- We’ll never get everything done.
- We don’t have enough resources.
- If that happens, I’m leaving.
- I can’t believe she did that.
- They won’t listen to me.
- He’s avoiding me.
- There is no way we are going to win this opportunity.
- If we do win, how will we support it?
As I became familiar with my inner critic voice, I discovered that he has no real hold on me. He is simply all hot air.
Don’t take my word for it. Instead, experience this for yourself.
Catch yourself getting annoyed and frustrated with others when they do something you don’t particularly like. The more frustrated you become, the more you tend to repeat the ‘I can’t believe what they did’ story. You, and only you, can shift your thinking. This may sound like a huge task but it really isn’t. Learning to recognize those things that really don’t matter helps you let them go. Like a fisherman, you can practice Catch-and-Release.
When the unknown feels scary and uncomfortable, embrace the challenging path. The challenging path represents a growth mindset. People with a growth mindset are open to learning something new. They embrace the unknown, even when the unknown feels scary and uncomfortable.
Want more suggestions to tame your inner critic?
Listen to the Getting Results podcast and check out the episode: Your Inner Critic is Full of Shit!
Every week, I share a bunch of different strategies and tactics to help leaders increase their results—for themselves and their team. It’s available on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify and others…I encourage you to check it out!