Our mindset can hold us back from becoming a professional and a leader, both at work and in our community.
Recognizing and muting our inner critic allows us to be more courageous in our actions. Here are my Top 3 Tips to help you challenge that pesky, nagging voice and shift to a more powerful and authentic mindset.
1. Learn to identify your inner critic
What language does your inner critic use? Most often, it can be judgmental, telling, cautioning, belittling, and fearful. This voice tends to talk to you like you’re an “it” or object, rather than a human being. What is the tone of the inner critic? It may be harsh, angry, or condescending. You may even recognize the voice as someone from a past experience.
2. Learn how your inner critic influences you, emotionally and physically
Take note of your emotions when your inner critic is speaking. You may feel afraid, ashamed, guilty, or hesitant. Also, how is your body reacting to your inner critic? When that annoying voice starts speaking, take a moment and reflect on your physical wellbeing. How are you sitting or standing, and are you experiencing tightness or tension anywhere?
3. Create a routine to loosen the inner critic’s grip
Design and use a routine to loosen the inner critic’s grip on your life. Practice this routine every time you notice your inner critic speaking up, until it becomes an ingrained strategy. It won’t eliminate your inner critic, but you will be in a much better place to choose how to respond to it. Try something like this:
Call-out your inner critic and acknowledge it as a self-limiting interpretation of the truth. Shift your body – pause and breathe deeply. Assume a more relaxed, open, and powerful stance. Have a positive conversation with a trusted colleague, friend, or family member. Move out of your head and embrace new possibilities.
Amy Hunter Vodarek is an experienced health care professional, educator, facilitator, and ICF certified coach who partners with managers and executives to develop transformational skills for creating sustainable results while inspiring others. She is passionate about cultivating workplaces where people engage in powerful conversations, make and keep commitments while motivating and engaging others to create outstanding results.