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Silencing the Inner Critic

For some reason it seems like the voice gets louder and prouder at night. In the darkness, when you are thrust awake playing out a situation in your mind that was or will be, the critic seems to be the most vocal.

Do you have this inner critic? The one that whispers ever so subtly the words that a friend would never imagine speaking to you...

“Yep, I hope you don’t screw this one up…again.”

“Yeah, you won’t do well tomorrow, remember what your boss said?”

“When are you going to actually provide well for your family?”

“Who are you joking? You are in over your head!”

Why do we entertain these negative life sucking thoughts even for a moment, let alone allowing them to become a belief? What is the impact of entertaining these thoughts? How do we quiet the inner critic and fill our minds with truth and positivity?

Why do we entertain them?

Over time we form stories in our minds – stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Those narratives are gently or at times abrasively crafted over time through our experiences and relationships. Once we believe these narratives, true or not, we begin to look for evidence to prove them to be true. A form of bias we use against ourselves.

The impact?

Entertaining negative thoughts allows our minds to wander with the ‘what ifs’ as though they were true. As those ‘what if’s’ dance in our minds we wake up looking for proof to validate these very fears.

Proof that I won’t measure up.

Proof that I’m not enough.

Proof that I will fail…again.

Over time, we build cases against ourselves, about ourselves that come in the form of ceilings, silence and seats.

Ceilings that stunt our growth.

Silence that replaces the chance to add value and

seats that keep us from standing up and using our gifts.

Believing lies about ourselves leaves us limited, lip-bound and lifeless.

And our families, communities and organizations need the opposite. Our families, communities and organizations need confident people who are ready to show up, speak up and stand up for what matters.

The solution?

Confidence is the assurance that what’s within me is enough to face what’s in front of me. Confidence, if a coin, has two sides:

  • Confidence in our Identity: who we are

  • Confidence in our Ability: what we can do

Both sides of the confidence coin invite us on journeys to discover and live out who we were created to be.

The deepest journey, discovering confidence in who I am, we will save for another day.

Today we will close with practical questions to build our confidence in our abilities in order to silence the inner critic and move forward boldly.

Confidence allows me to hear the critic and say ‘no. not today.’

So how do we get there?

How do we dismantle the ceilings, break the silence and move the seats that want to pull us down?

4 Questions

In those moments when fear overwhelms and the critic has a stronghold in your mind, ask these 4 questions:

1. Does this opportunity align with my purpose?

2. Do I have the capability necessary?

3. Have I had experience with this type of opportunity before?

4. Have I prepared?

When 3 out of 4 are yeses, then you have every reason to be confident and tell the inner critic to leave.

Remember, our families, communities and organizations need confident people who are ready to show up, speak up and stand up for what matters.


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