This week we’re celebrating our inner critics – even if that sounds crazy! It’s that voice on your shoulder, that negative self-talk that gets in the way when we secretly want to step up to the next level.
And so in this week’s podcast we’re diving in, in more detail, to find out how your inner critic could be damaging your business and practical quick fixes you can get started on today:
[divider line_type=”No Line” custom_height=”22″]
And when you’ve listened to this episode, I’d love to hear from you – via the comments:
- What action are you going to take in the next hour, to start taming your inner critic?
- Which of these 5 issues resonates most for you?
- And how has your inner critic been affecting your business results – and the experience of your customers?
Today’s Show Notes:
- Hundreds of entrepreneurs have already discovered how to handle their inner critic with my 5 part video training: 5 Simple Steps To Taming Your Inner Critic: 5 Simple Steps To Tame Your Inner Critic
- Bonus article: Is your Monkey Mind Telling You The Truth About Stress?
— Clare Josa (@clare_josa) February 22, 2016
— Clare Josa (@clare_josa) February 29, 2016
I’ll be back next week, when we’ll be talking about how you need to forget the 80/20 rule and focus on the 1% rule, instead, if you want to grow your business.
Make sure you’ve subscribed via iTunes, if you want to make sure you get a quick reminder once the episode is live. And you can get my free newsletter by registering below.
See you there!
With love, Namaste,
Mentor To Passionate World-Changers, Author Of The Dare To Dream Bigger Entrepreneur’s Handbook
P.S. Are you an Academy member yet? Rates go up in just a few days. Here’s where to grab your lowest-price-ever membership – for life: www.ClareJosa.com/Academy
Make sure you catch each episode – plus member-only bonuses:
Prefer the transcript? Here you are!
Hello, and welcome to this week’s Dare To Dream Bigger business podcast with me, your host, Clare Josa, mentor to passionate world-changers.
This week we’re celebrating our inner critics. Yay! You know that voice on your shoulder, that negative thinking when we get into that self-talk that makes us feel miserable. Well, this week loads of us are getting together to do my inner critic kick-start program, which is completely free. You can find it at DareToDreamBigger.biz/innercritic. It’s a five-part video training and to celebrate because we’re going to be setting ourselves free from our inner critics and their hold on our businesses. Today’s podcast is about your inner critic too, so you can benefit from it whether or not you want to join me for this free video training.
I’m curious. Is your inner critic secretly stalling your business? How can you spot it? What is an inner critic anyway?
We all know that feeling. You’re totally fired up. You’re about to start doing something really important. You know it’s a bit of a comfort zone stretch. It might be a new opportunity in your business. It might be a new product line. It might be a different customer base.
There’s a little voice in your head that starts talking. It’s telling you all the reasons why you won’t be any good at it and how you’re never good at anything anyway, and you’re not ready. Maybe the timing is not right, and we should just leave this for now. It doesn’t really matter. We can just put it off for a bit.
You know you believe it because it’s told you it often enough over the years. You feel that tightness in your stomach. Your body tenses, and you might even feel fear and panic rising. But the thing is it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to live at the whim of this inner critic, of this voice, this negative self-talk. You can tame it.
You see; it’s just a habit. Like any other habit, it can be changed. It’s surprisingly easy when you know how. That’s what we cover with the inner critic kick-start.
Today, I want to take you on a whistle stop journey of how to spot your inner critic, what to do about it, and how potentially to turn it into your biggest cheerleader. If that might be useful for you in your business, keep listening.
Now, one of the biggest ways our inner critic surfaces in our business is self-sabotage. I’ve already described the whole kind of not stepping up on our comfort zone. It’s also turning down opportunities. Maybe somebody makes you an incredible offer or asks you to do something, and you just leave it that little bit too late to reply to the email or to return the call. Or, you convince yourself that you’re too busy to do something that you secretly know could take your business to the next level. We’ve all done it. It’s so normal. But, the thing is, if you want to dare to dream bigger and make a difference in the world, you’re going to have to learn to make peace with your inner critic.
The common side effects of having an inner critic, which most of us do, I did meet somebody once who didn’t have one, a wonderful 17-year-old girl. She was really confused when I was talking about it. But, in 14 years of serving the audience I serve, she’s the first one I’ve met.
The most common side effects include:
- Lack of self-esteem. We beat ourselves up when we try to do something important. Your inner critic is fantastic about reminding you about your mistakes.
- Stress is another symptom. Your inner critic is responsible for the vast majority of stress in your life due to the stories it tells. There’s actually a bonus article on this with the show notes today.
Is your monkey mind telling you the truth about stress? You’ll either love this article, or you will want to lob rotten tomatoes at your laptop or computer screen at me. To find the show notes: DTDBpodcast.biz/006. Find out the role that your inner critic is playing in your stress stories.
- The other one we’ve talked about is self-sabotage. When you’re just about to achieve something you’ve been dreaming of, your inner critic leaps in and pulls the rug from under you. Or, maybe it creeps in quietly around the corner.
- Insomnia is another one. If you’re lying awake at 3:00 a.m., then chances are it’s your inner critic choosing the bedtime stories. Maybe you’re feeling exhausted.
Your inner critic is running the show. That keeps you running your sympathetic nervous system, the fight or flight, meaning you’ve got too much cortisol and adrenalin in your system. That absolutely exhausts your adrenals, and it’s really going to hit your energy levels and maybe even your physical, emotional, and mental health.
- Okayness is another symptom. Your inner critic is the biggest single reason why most of us put up with a life that’s okay rather than great.
- Your inner critic is so good at reminding you about all the things that you did or didn’t do and ways you let people down. Those are its words, not mine. Some of my clients and students go so far as to call their inner critic their own worst enemy. It’s strong stuff.
Now, if any of this feels familiar, and you’re feeling a bit fed up with that inner critic and that negative self-talk, then today I want to cover five techniques you can use to tame that inner critic and move on with life. Here are five surefire techniques you can use today to start taming your inner critic.
Now, I’ve been where you’re at with my inner critic, and sometimes–I have to confess–it pops back and it reminds me it’s still there when I least suspect it. But, fortunately, having been an NLP trainer since 2003, being a meditation teacher, as well as being a reformed engineer, I’ve developed plenty of practical strategies to handle it fast. I’ve shared them with so many thousands of people now that I know they work. Here are five of my favorite, do them today, techniques to help you tame your inner critic and set yourself free.
The first one is a mindset shift. There’s a fact I need to tell you here. You are not the same as your inner critic. It is just a thought in your head. Okay. Your inner critic is not a real person. It is just a thought habit.
Let’s start by getting the record straight. Although most of us identify pretty strongly with our inner critics, we are not the same thing as our inner critic. It is just a train of thought. It is just a soundtrack that we’re used to playing. No matter how real it might feel, it isn’t actually real. It’s just a thought.
Sure, thoughts have energies, but your inner critic is something that’s in your head. Now, when you realize that, it gives you the power to make changes. You can choose which thoughts to feed by pressing pause. One of the best ways to do this is mindfulness. You might love my Mindfulness for Entrepreneurs program. When you’re falling into the trap of believing that you and your inner critic are one in the same being, then it will always hold the power. If you make it real, it will feel real.
What’s the fix on this? When you feel an inner critic thought coming up, press pause. You can do that. Remind yourself this is not who I am. This is a thought I am thinking. And let it go. Feel the relief bubble up.
Number two is don’t make the mistake of fighting it. I am not suggesting you indulge your inner critic’s every whim, but I am strongly suggesting you don’t outright reject it, fight it, or try to get rid of it. Why? Surely we want to get rid of our inner critic. As Carl Jung points out, what you resist persists. Now, that goes for your inner critic too. If you fight your inner critic or try to get rid of it, you’re resisting it. That means you’re giving it all of your attention, 100% of your headspace rent free, and you’re spending loads of time thinking about it.
Now, I’m a mother of three young boys, so I know that, like a tantruming child, if I feed my inner critic, it will learn to do more of what it got to get the attention it wanted. Just like if you feed the tantrum, if you feed the inner critic, it’s going to learn to do more of the same. This is why I talk about taming it rather than getting rid of it. It’s about accepting that it’s there. There’s a part of you that wants, at some level, for you to see the risks, for you to make sure that you’re not taking really crazy actions. At some level, it wants to protect you, no matter how mad that might feel when it’s in full blown character assassination.
If you reject a part of yourself, it will only ever lead to pain and conflict. Instead, we’re taming it. We’re retraining the part of you that runs your inner critic to be more supportive and empowering instead.
The fix on this one when your inner critic gets ranting, stop what you’re doing and notice that it’s there because then it doesn’t need to shout so loudly. It feels heard. Say a silent thank you, even if you don’t feel like it, but it’s the opposite of rejecting. Then consciously choose a happy thought.
Some of the best ways to do that are actually through meditation and mindfulness. As I say, I’ve got a meditation of mindfulness for entrepreneurs program, but also through gratitude. If you find that you get stuck complaining, you can get off the complaining train. You can retrain your brain to think thoughts that make you feel better. And, you might love my Growing Your Business with Gratitude program. I’ve also got a gratitude journal that makes a big difference with people called A Year Full of Gratitude.
Any program that gets you thinking about what you feel grateful for will make it much easier to pick, consciously to choose a happy thought when your inner critic is running wild. The time to practice this is when your inner critic is not speaking. Something as simple as having a gratitude journal and writing down three things each day you feel grateful for can help you to retrain your inner critic.
Number three today is stop feeding its pesky stories. Your inner critic loves drama, and it makes the nation’s favorite soap operas look dull, quite frankly, in comparison with the stories that are going on in our heads. We all love drama. We love to gossip. It’s why we love to share stories, and the more dramatic the better. Embellishing is completely okay in the inner critic’s world.
Now, unfortunately, when it comes to negative self-talk and your inner critic stories, the more you feed them, the worse you will feel, and the further you will move from the amazing life you’ve been dreaming of. Remember, there’s a bonus article for you on the show notes for this episode at DTDBpodcast.biz/006. Is your monkey mind telling you the truth about stress? It’s really worth going and reading this if you find that you get stuck feeding those stories.
The quick fix on this is to stop feeding the stories. When you feel an inner critic conversation coming on, press pause, and consciously choose whether you want to dive into that drama or whether you want to focus on something else instead. Actually, I’ve got a secret for you. It doesn’t matter how far you’ve gone into the drama track before you realize. You can always press pause and come on out again.
If you’re feeling stuck, then right now grab the nearest small object to you, pick it up in your hand, and really see it. Notice how the light reflects. How the shapes and contours give it form. Feel the weight of it in your hand. Notice the textures. Then, this is the icing on the cake, take a moment to connect with that object from your heart and to thank it for whatever it does for you. If you aim to do this for about a minute in total, it will physically shift the biochemistry in your body, releasing endorphins, rebalancing the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, and helping you to feel happier.
There you go. You took physical action to pause the story, and you’ve moved yourself to a space of okayness and gratitude. That’s not bad for just picking something up for 60 seconds, is it?
Number four today: Are you suffering from “should I”? Just deleting the word “should” from your vocabulary is one of the best ways to tame your inner critic. Now, it’s a biggie for a lot of us.
How often do we use the word “should” in a typical day? I should do such and such. I ought to go to that meeting. Even though I don’t really want to, I should offer to help Fred with his project.
Now, it’s like there’s a naff theme tune in our day-to-day lives. But, if you pause for a moment and notice how “should” makes you feel, I’m guessing it triggers some kind of a sinking feeling in your stomach. Usually there’s a slouching of the shoulders and your back, a frown on your face, and a furrowed brow. The inner critic is addicted to “should” because it’s a great way to get our attention.
Here’s a quick fix. If you feel “should” coming up, pause and ask yourself, “Who says? Is that really true?” Let the answer bubble up. This isn’t about apportioning blame. It’s about pressing pause on the “should.” Notice what comes up for you and use it to gain insights into those old, autopilot behaviors that might be keeping you stuck because awareness is the first key to change through choice. Once you’re aware, you can choose whether or not you want to respond to “should,” or whether you want to make a conscious choice about your thoughts, your words, and your actions instead.
Then number five: I’ve got another secret for you. You don’t actually have to listen to your inner critic. Most of us listen slavishly to that negative self-talk. We replay it over and over in our heads, especially when we’re stressed. You don’t actually have to listen to it. Just because you’re having a thought, you don’t have to tune your radio to that frequency for the whole day. You can choose to turn down the volume and just let your inner critic get on with whatever it’s complaining about, in the background.
Here’s a quick fix. Imagine that you’re in a sitcom. Maybe one partner is ear bashing the other for some kind of mistake they’ve made. The partner who is being ear bashed just carries on reading the newspaper or iPad and nodding politely. When the person has fully vented their spleen, they demand to know what their partner thought of what they said.
“That’s nice, dear,” is the only response they get. The person on the receiving end doesn’t get rattled. They don’t argue back. They totally ride the wave of the other person’s drama, and it annoys the hell out of them by refusing to dance the destructive dance, but it works.
Now, what would happen if you were to play that game with your inner critic once in a while? Giving it a good old, “That’s nice, dear. I hear you.” Then ask it a question about something that moves things forwards in a different direction such as, “Okay. So I’m wondering. What do you want me to do instead?” And watch what happens.
Those are your five techniques today. It’s time for action. I’d love to know which of these techniques are you going to use today and, when you’ve tried them out, let me know what shifts you notice. You can find the comments box over at DTDBpodcast.biz/006. If your inner critic, negative self-talk, and self-sabotage are an issue for you in your business or in your wider life, please come and join us.
The Five Simple Steps to Taming Your Inner Critic is a video training. It takes less than ten minutes a day for five days. You can find it at DareToDreamBigger.biz/innercritic. I’d really, really love to share it with you. It’s fantastic stuff. Although it’s only a 5 part course, we’re still diving in deeply, and it can make a real difference for you.
I hope you found today useful. I’d love to hear from you, via the show note page comments. How does your inner critic get in the way and stall your business, which of the techniques today you’re going to play with, are you joining us for the inner critic kick-start program, and what action are you going to take in the next hour to start taming your inner critic? I would love to hear from you.
I’ll be back next week with the next episode when we’re going to be talking about why you need to forget the 80/20 rule in your business and why your business really needs you to focus on the 1% rule. We are not talking perfectionism here, so make sure you subscribe via iTunes. If you found this useful, please share it far and wide via social media. I hope you have a fantastic week. I will see you next time.