How to Beat Your Inner-Critic into Submission
Inner-critics stomp around smashing hope and shattering confidence.
The goal of your inner-critic is safety.
The top 7 expressions of inner-critics:
- You should have. Inner-critics love the negative past.
- You screwed up.
- They don’t like you.
- You can’t do that.
- You’re a loser.
- You’re stupid.
- You can’t change it.
5 ways to beat inner-critics into submission:
#1. Attainable goals shame inner-critics.
Your inner-critic shouts, “Go for it,” when you set unreasonable goals.
- What’s the bravest thing you can do today? Fear is a favorite tool of inner-critics.
- How will you take responsibility for success? Your inner-critic shrivels when you own something.
#2. Isolation strengthens inner-critics.
Your inner-critic claps and laughs when you build walls and silos.
- Who will fight the battle with you? Lock arms with someone who shares your values and embraces similar goals.
- Whose team can you join? If you aren’t sure what you want, help someone who is sure.
#3. Feedback chokes inner-critics.
Seeking feedback is the beginning of ownership.
First, describe a win. “I’m working to earn a promotion.”
Second, ask two questions:
- What am I doing that helps me win?
- What am I doing that hinders me from winning?
#4. Progress defeats inner-critics.
The goal of your inner critic is self-defeat.
- What’s the biggest step forward you can complete today? Don’t worry that it’s small. Complete it. Inner-critics loathe progress.
- What small behavior-changes help you get what you want for yourself and others?
#5. Aspiration humbles inner-critics.
Your inner-critic creates avoidance by reminding you of painful screw ups.
- What will you do next time? Your inner-critic throws a tantrum when you turn to the future.
- What do you want for yourself? Your inner-critic concentrates on “don’t want” and “don’t like”.
- What do you want for others? Your inner-critic wants you to forget others and collapse inward.
What are some favorite strategies of inner-critics?
How might leaders beat their inner-critic into submission?
On #3, be careful who you ask for that feedback: one manager telling you that you will never get promoted will be a dose of steroids to the inner critic.
Thanks Mitch. Perhaps it’s best to seek feedback from someone who has your best interest at heart.
How might leaders beat their inner-critic into submission? Confidence in yourself and others will help deviate from the inner critic, knowing ones capabilities, what it took to get you were we are today.and how we get there. When we doubt ourselves the internal alarm needs positive impact to push forward to succeed, look around at those who surround you that have survived their journey getting past the Do’s and the Don’t’s,
Sometimes you will never know if we ” take the path of least resistance” instead of battling through the most difficult path and succeeding. Pain and suffering go hand in hand!
We need to learn our worst fears and conquer them.
Thanks Tim. Seems like our inner critic speaks from weakness, not strength. I appreciate that helpful insight.
A word of encouragement: Our worst fears usually don’t come true.
I love my inner critic. She loves me and believes she needs to be my protector. When she gets loud and scared, I thank her for loving me and remind her that I’ve got this. Then I engage her in helping me in a more supportive way.
Thanks Gayle. Your inner critic seems to be wiser than mine. Although it seems like self-interest, the message my inner critic gives me is lovely sabotage.
The voice seems like kindness, but it’s fear and weakness.
Congratulations to you. For me, my inner critic is an enemy in nearly every sense of the word. It only helps show me the opposite path I should take.
BTW…I do believe in engaging our inner-critic: http://bit.ly/2cxWsQB
I covet the phrase “lovely sabatoge,” I may steal it … like “beautiful deception” or “every love story is a ghost story.”
You never fail to inspire, Dan … thanks again.
The inner critic is but half of the inner self … there is also the inner #1 fan, whose primary ambition (desire) is for your happiness.
Taken together, it may be best to think of this inner self as your beloved and impetuous “inner child.”
As such, it may not be the best strategy to “beat it” into submission … the bullied tend to become bullies themselves.
Rather, teach the child to discern its desires and fears more specifically
(“A monster under the bed? How big? Fangs? Like our dog? No? Like a shark?” etc … until they exhaust themselves)
So that it/they/you can develop a more refined and manageable sense of scale & proportion
(also known as “emotional intelligence” – or what used to be referred to as humane “maturity.”).
You need the child’s joy, curiosity, and fresh vision … Don’t squash it … refine it. Instinct and fear are alerts … and emotional expressions are sincere interpretations, but are less than reliable (in terms of survival) than tried and true principles in the midst of change and chaos.
After all, you don’t want a tyrant in that position of trust and intimacy – nobody wins.
Finding someone who you can be vulnerable with and who will encourage you when your inner-critic starts raging is so important. Having a person who will bring focus to the right things and the positive things always help me shut the inner-critic down.
Your post stays true to your hard-hitting, venting style that moves a soul to wonder. Hopefully you can conquer your inner-critic as cited above and finish writing your world-changing leadership book soon. It can feel like an unreasonable, lofty, unattainable goal. Best wishes on your progress!
Sometimes, it helps to have your Higher Self talk to your inner critic or saboteur. To reassure it; let it know you understand its fears, doubts and concerns and are willing to set them aside. You can even thank your saboteur for trying to protect you and then remind it of your goals and values and how, despite the fact there are no guarantees in this life, you’re ready to take action and go for whatever your heart desires. Always playing it safe is in nobody’s best interest — including your inner critic — and sucks the savor out of life.
At what point, in your opinion, does the inner critic go beyond healthy reflective practice to become potentially debilitating?