How to Quiet a Loud Inner Critic and Stop Bossing Yourself Around

Competent people don’t like being bossed around.

You bristle when an obnoxious boss tells you to do something. You might smile and take it, but you don’t leap for joy!

Is the voice in your head an obnoxious boss? Is it critical and degrading? Do you say things to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone you like and respect?

Potter, pottery, molding, shaping

The words you say to yourself shape the future.

Bossy accusations in your head:

The most powerful words you hear are the ones you say to yourself.

Your loud inner critic drowns out compliments. Instead, it obsesses over small complaints. Your inner critic says, “No, it wasn’t,” when someone says, “Good job.”

The words you say to yourself shape the way you feel about yourself. It’s impossible to flourish while listening to constant self-complaints and self-criticisms in your head.

Words are rudders.

The words you say to yourself shape the future.

Reflect on the trajectory and destination of your bossy inner critic. Don’t go where your inner accuser takes you!

Questions instead of accusations:

You react to yourself the same way you react to an obnoxious leader when you boss yourself around.

What if you asked yourself a question instead of bossing yourself around?


  1. How important is completing this project today on a scale of 1 to 10?
  2. What if I don’t finish this project today?
  3. What’s the next step in finishing this project today?

“Will you finish that project this morning?” feels different than, “You have to finish that project this morning.”

When you ask yourself a forward-facing question, you treat yourself with respect.

When you ask yourself a question, you invite creativity. Don’t ask, “Are you a loser?” Instead ask, “What might you try?”

Stop treating yourself like an incompetent. Try self-questions.

What self-accusations block growth and development?

What self-questions might create positive trajectory for leaders?