7 Ruthless Truths About Your Inner Critic and the Realities of Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is pathetic when it affirms failure. On the other hand, your inner critic is a heartless jerk that lowers performance.

Woman stuck in mud.

Your inner critic wallows in the past and squanders the future.

7 ruthless truths about your inner critic:

#1. Your inner critic hates you. She’s not interested in your best. She’s interested in using failure against you.

#2. Your inner critic is right. You did screw up or fall short.

High standards are useful until they become bullies.

#3. Your inner critic wants you to believe you ARE your failures or successes.

Distinguishing between your person and results is the path to courage, learning, and beginning again.

#4. Your inner critic magnifies the bad and marginalizes the good.

#5. Your inner critic is a people pleaser.

Inner critics feed on the approval of others and cower at disapproval.

#6. Your inner critic makes you dread next time. He cheers when you quit and then calls you a loser.

#7. Your inner critic’s favorite expressions:

  1. Don’t do that again.
  2. If you can’t do it right, don’t try.
  3. They’re judging you.
  4. You’re not good enough.
  5. Look at that successful leader. Why can’t you be like that?

Healthy self-assessment:

#1. Failure is undesirable.

Self-compassion that minimizes failure demeans potential.

It’s absurd to think failure doesn’t matter. Even during innovation, failure is a point of learning, not an end to be sought.

#2. Improvement requires self-assessment. (But your inner critic uses it against you.)

#3. Self-acceptance gives the power to improve.

People with high self-esteem reject the idea they need to improve. They can’t accept that they’re average.

Anyone who casually affirms failure requires confrontation. (In this case, confrontation is compassion.)

Improvement includes accepting weakness, falling short, and failure.

You can’t improve what you refuse to accept.

#4. Practice healthy self-compassion.

#5. Turn toward the future.

Your inner critic wallows in the past and squanders the future.

The question is, “What will you do differently next time?”

How might leaders navigate a loud inner critic?

What role might self-compassion have in successful leadership?

Bonus material:

Taming Your Gremlins (Amazon)