Does Your Inner Critic Hold You Back?

Does Your Inner Critic Hold You Back?

I’d like you to meet Ivy, or as I call her “Poison” Ivy. She’s my inner critic. She loves to tell me I’m not ready to play it big in my business. Before my coaching training, I always felt that these limiting thoughts were my truth. Back then, they sounded more like this: “You need to learn more before you ask for that promotion”; “you’re not ready to teach others”, “you can’t ask for a raise”, “there are aren’t good in that area, so how can you get more clients”, etc, etc.

The thoughts were always there. Even after my coaching training and years of working with a coach, the inner critic voices remain. The fact is these thoughts are part of our internal safety system. We are hard-wired to keep ourselves safe; to keep ourselves from failing, falling or looking bad. That’s the good news – they are part of each and every one of us. We’re not different or crazy because we have them. The bad news is if we always listen to these voices, we’ll never grow. We’ll stay stuck in the same place – physically, emotionally, professional and spiritually.

So how do you rid yourself of your inner critic? You can’t. It will always be there. But there are some great tips you can use to be in control, instead of having your critic control you.

  1. Put an identity to your inner critic. Remember when you were a kid and you did something wrong, wasn’t it great if you had someone else to blame it on – especially a younger sibling who was too young to talk. We can do that with our inner critic voice as well. Take time to create the image of your inner critic. What does he or she look like; what are her characteristics – mannerisms, voice tone, attitude; what is his name? Either write this all down in a journal or create a drawing of this creature to bring it to life.
  2. Start becoming aware of your inner critic voice. You may start to realize that there are certain phrases that keep coming up again and again. But your inner critic likes to remind you of certain points, but she is a slippery devil. She finds ways to plant seeds of insecurities when you don’t realize it. Being intentionally conscious of your thoughts will help you to realize the messages that hold you back from being more successful and living a more fulfilling life.
  3. Consciously associate your limiting believes to your inner critic. Once you have started becoming more aware of what phrases stop you from taking actions, you can then associate them to your inner critic. Visualize this demon saying the words to you. Do this repetitively and you’ll see how the influence of the words starts to vanish. Being in choice is a powerful tool. It gives you the ability to be in control. It minimizes the effectiveness of the words and helps you to move forward.
  4. Look for the lies in the statement. At times, even by associating the limiting thought to our creature, the power of the words is not defused. We’re still frozen and unable to take action. Take time to think about how these thoughts are false. If your inner critic is telling you that you shouldn’t do any public speaking, think about how that statement is a complete lie. For example – when you speak to others you are very engaging – so you are a strong public speaker; you’ve been complimented by others on how knowledgeable you are about a topic – so you will make a strong public speaker; you’ve spoken to groups of 15 people, and that’s not really different than speaking to a group of 80 or you’re have never tried public speaking and now is the time to do so. By shifting on our mindset about the limiting belief we gain a more empowering attitude to take action.

We have all been put on this earth to do great things and impact the lives of others. These 4 tricks can help you live a fuller life and be more successful not only because you deserve it, but because the world needs you!

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent – Eleanor Roosevelt

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