It’s Time to ‘Fire’ Your Inner Critic…

By , October 31, 2012 8:47 pm

“On the journey of self-discovery, let us stop looking for what is wrong with us. Let us discover, instead, who we are and how we work! Let us put our judgment aside as we explore the amazing system of selves within us and learn to live with ever-increasing honesty, choice, and freedom.”

 ~ Hal Stone, Author.

Do you have voices in your head? (…I know it’s not just me!)

Our self-doubting critic usually shows up as we’re about to deliver a presentation or when we’re stepping up to do something bigger. Once we stretch out of our comfort zone we become vulnerable to negative self-talk.

Your inner critic sounds so real that it’s easy to believe the voice in your head and before you know it, you’re spiraling in a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom!  In creeps self-doubt, uncertainty as your confidence drains away.

One of my coaching clients, James, asked me to help him to overcome his inner critic who would appear after a presentation or any other situation where he was stepping in and being a leader.

James would find himself replaying a situation over and over dwelling only on the negative aspects of the event or conversation.  Any negativity was magnified and blown out of proportion.  James’ inner critic was ultra-critical of any mistakes. His Inner Critic was a perfectionist who had zero tolerance for imperfection. He was overly protective.

This negativity created extra pressure for James the next time he was in a similar situation. He was tired of this voice and wanted to get away from the constant negativity in his head.

So we decided to ‘Fire’ his Inner Critic…

The quality of your inner dialogue has a huge impact on your actions and results. We all have an Inner Critic and an Inner Coach available to us. It’s almost like having your own internal team in your head!

You get to choose who you want to employ: the Critic or the Coach…

The inner critic is the negative person in your team – holding you back, draining your energy, stealing your confidence and self-worth. They make you play small and always block your path.

If you were an employer the critic would be fired for not being a team player, having a negative attitude and for being a disruptive influence!

This doesn’t serve you at all…

The inner coach is a positive encourager, who can help you step back from the situation to reflect and focus on learning and forward motion. Your inner coach:

  1. Is caring and supportive while giving you permission to take risks.
  2. Is not interested in the criticism from others and pushes this aside.
  3. Helps you to focus clearly on your goals.
  4. Allows flexibility and permission for you to be Imperfectly Perfect.
  5. Helps you to put things into perspective and think objectively.
  6. Challenges your emotional assumptions (that are normally plagued by inaccuracies).
  7. Helps you ask for advice from others without feeling inadequate.
  8. Promotes self-awareness and self-improvement as an adventure and as an opportunity for growth. Learning is part of the journey.
  9. Helps you to build your competence and confidence.

Your inner coach is a high performer, if you decide to listen to him/her. This is the type of inner employee that you need to hire!

Here are five ways to develop your inner coach:

  1. Recognise when your critic tries to take over and make a conscious choice to listen to your coach instead. Try turning the sound down or muting  your critic so you can’t hear them!
  2. Decide to actively listen to your coach instead. We are supportive of others when they are learning, so be a friend to yourself. It’s okay to make mistakes and not be perfect. Learning is about continuous improvement.
  3. Dis-associate yourself from the situation. Imagine you were coaching someone else in the same situation, what would you say to them? How would you support them?
  4. Make time for positive reflection after the event. Ask yourself: What went well? What would I do differently next time? What have I learned? Write down your next step to apply your learning.
  5. Give yourself permission to get it wrong, screw it up and make mistakes. Learning is messy because skills and behaviors can take time to master.

It’s like we all have a critic sitting on one shoulder and a coach sitting on the other whispering in each ear! YOU get to choose which one you want to listen to…

Give your inner coach a job for life!

 

3 Responses to “It’s Time to ‘Fire’ Your Inner Critic…”

  1. Jovanna says:

    Elaine, I’m enjoying the synchronicity of both of us having posts on the inner critic. I want to tell you that I just love the idea you’ve suggested of MUTING my inner critic. I am definitely going to add that to my bag of tricks!

  2. Elaine, could you please share me about how to create positive attitude in others mind for effective service delivery and their dedication as per their responsibilities towards upliftment of grassroot level people.

    Could you pls. write me some valuable tips on the above to my personal email ID: arun_ray2007@yahoo.co.in

  3. elaine says:

    Hi Arun, If you’d like to email at info@elainebaileyinternational.com with more information. We can connect as see how I might be able to help you some more with this.

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