The Mindset it takes to Say “No to your Inner Critic”Featured

An acknowledgment that you need to work hard to root out your “inner critic” and that you can learn to back yourself. “My new job is not going well, this must mean I am just not smart enough.” “Despite how much I try, I can’t seem to get that thing right, so that proves I was lucky to get this position.” “I am not an expert so I should not put myself forward to speak at the conference.” “Because I made that HUGE mistake, no-one will ever take me seriously again.” These thoughts, I’ve had them too! You’re not alone. Here’s the thing: are you in tune with the thoughts that circle in your mind? Or do you not even notice that you’re playing a broken record that needs to be trashed? Or perhaps you hear those thoughts and you just don’t know what to do to make them “GO Away!” Did you know there was a term for feeling inadequate and questioning the validity of your own achievements? It’s called Imposter Syndrome and it’s that feeling that you don’t deserve a seat at the table because you’re not good enough and it was all a lucky accident that you got the job. We’ve got to nip these thoughts in the bud. Well you’ve come to the right place. I’ve got you! I’m here to help you learn to be kinder to yourself. In this blog we’re going to explore the topics below: How to use discomfort as a catalyst for self improvementHow to re-frame thinking about “Failure”3 Tools to reduce “the inner critic” How to use discomfort as a catalyst for self improvement Have you ever had that moment when you’re about to give a presentation or do a live video broadcast and feel a bit uncomfortable? It could be in front of colleagues, a conference or your professional community. What do you do to get ready? You practice! I know I’ve not said anything groundbreaking. Although this is an astonishingly simple statement of fact. How often do you actually practice? I mean really practice with the commitment of someone that’s - “In it to prove it to themselves!” As opposed to avoiding the opportunity and just saying “No” and saving yourself from the discomfort, fear or embarrassment. It’s easy for sure to stay in your comfort zone! However, to get better at anything you’ve got to put time and effort into learning, practicing and getting feedback. So, rather than avoidance, I urge you to use the discomfort that you feel to fuel your personal transformation. Commit to practising one thing that scares you and give yourself the opportunity to prove to yourself that you can do it! Don’t do it alone. Get an accountability buddy who you will help with their personal “discomfort to transformation challenge” as well as tackling your own. As I love to say, “Make a plan, practice and take action.” Next up, let’s think about that dreaded word: failure. How to re-frame thinking about “Failure” “Failure” is like Marmite (yeasty, salty, soy-sauce-esque flavour with the consistency of old engine oil). You either love it or hate it”. It’s quite emotive and mostly NOT thought of with great fondness and love. Here’s where I’m like, perhaps we need to change the sound track we hear when we experience “failure”. It’s complicated! First I urge you to accept how you feel about it, whatever that is. The difference is, I want you to limit how long you give yourself to hold “the pity party”. The time you spend wallowing and lamenting how you’re “x,y,z!”. The shorter the better. I want you to practice time-boxing your “failure pity party”. Next I want you to consider, what did I learn from that “failure”? Write it down, tell a friend or your pet! Take time to learn from what went wrong, and consider WHAT went right. Failure is not total in my view. It stings and knocks us back for a moment, but what we do NEXT is crucial. I want you to learn to adopt a learning attitude. That is how you come to think about failure. I’d like you to think about it as a stepping stone and not something to be ashamed of. This is something that takes a lot of practice and is not something that happens over night. You have to be committed to making this mindset shift. It is a powerful and liberating transformation, that helps you to become more resilient and more optimistic. Think about it and join the movement to make failure less total and more mundane! Finally, let’s check out some tools to help you reduce your “inner critic”. 3 tools to reduce “the inner critic” 1. Spring clean your mind all year-round Get a fully paid up membership to the “Spring Clean your Mind Club” all year-round! Be conscious about the thoughts that you regularly think. If you catch yourself thinking a thought that doesn’t serve you, write it down and throw the book at it! Dispute it until you can be assured that it’s false and you know it’s got to be trashed! 2. Celebrate your wins no matter the size regularly Commit to adding to your weekly routine a time to celebrate your wins no matter how big or small. Practice noticing when you think you’ve had a win. Commit to writing down three wins every week. It won’t be easy at first, but over time with practice it will be a lot easier. So stick with it! 3. Ask a trusted friend or mentor before you say “No” It takes time to spring clean your mind and to break long held habits. I commend you on working to change them to ones that serve you. Whilst you are building your toolkit to help you manage your inner critic, when you are faced with an opportunity that you would normally say no, say instead, “I need a day to think about it and I’ll come back to you.” Then reach out to a trusted friend or mentor and ask them for advice about considering the opportunity objectively. I hope that by putting a break on your normal response, you give yourself the opportunity to say “Yes.” Ekua Cant, Coach & Mentor at Be your No. 1 CheerleaderCheck out the book here: the website: