Leadership Tips to Manage Those Inner Critics

"Pay no attention to what the critics say; no statue has ever been created to a critic." - Jean Sibelius, Finnish Composer

Inner critics are usually seen as critters filling your mind with the fear that change is disastrous. They filter out positive outcomes with worse possible scenarios. They paint a picture that taking action will make a problem only worse. To give you evidence that what they say is true, they point to the negative empirical evidence while ignoring the good going on in the world. Their job is to control your potential with limiting beliefs, which prevent the breakthroughs you want to experience. They say things like:

You are not good enough - not smart enough - too old - too young - not enough experience - don't have enough time - not enough money - too fat - too thin - it's crazy - you can't do it - who do you think you are risking your ________ for __________?

Inner critics, the saboteurs of dreams, are really afraid of change. The unknown is dangerous to them. They come up with reasons to protect you from the possibility of getting hurt in moving forward with a new idea or project. The inner critic gremlins fill you with self doubt, fear and anxiety. Before you know it, you give up. The irony of trying to keep things the same is that change is impossible to stop. Yet the ego self is committed to hold you down no matter what measure of success you have.

Within your brain are neuronets of tapes with limiting beliefs which have grown stronger with repetition. There are positive tapes too, but these can be overpowered by the fear to take action unless you have chosen to look within where the truth resides. Gremlins don't live in your heart or soul. They are in your head making up untrue stories about your competence to evolve beyond your present position.

It is true however that when you are embarking in unfamiliar territory it will be foreign. Therefore, when you begin to take action you will fail! Embrace it! Failure is feedback. In constructing the light bulb, Thomas Edison built 1,000 prototypes that did not work until he successfully built the one we still use today! A reporter asked Edison how it felt to fail 1,000 times. Edison replied, "You misunderstand, I did not fail 1,000 times. I successfully found 1,000 ways that the light bulb would not work."

When criticizing yourself you are dismissing your creativity as if it didn't exist. You wind up putting trust in the lies of your inner critics. Sure you have been a failure at times. Congratulations, you took a risk. You attempted to be and do something better. Maybe the outcome wasn't what you expected, but there definitely was feedback on what went wrong and what to improve.

Tips to Shed ThoseInner Critics

• Leaders are not exempt from inner critics. They learn to listen objectively to what their gremlins are saying before dismissing them. Because it could be intuition speaking. Intuition is never wrong. It is the interpretation by the inner critic that is false.

• There is a leader within each one of us. Leaders are visionaries. Whether you realize it or not you are projecting what you vision and attracting it. As a leader, develop your talents and strengths that want to be experienced. Don't shut down your vision to be all you can be with false bravado.

• Shed false negative beliefs by building your brain with positive neuronets with affirmations, such as:

o I attract positive-minded people to me; I draw all things positive to my self

o I make powerful and enjoyable business relationships

o I have the power to change myself

o I am flexible and open to change in every aspect of my life

o I act with confidence having a master plan to achieve my success

Say them out loud; write them on index cards to carry with you. Post them around areas you view frequently and record them for playback. Repetition will counteract the negativity of inner critics. It takes consistent practice to create new brain pathways and habits.

Inner critics are not your master. Within you is a calling to lead from within and make the difference you desire. Listen to it and know that "Anything is Possible."

"We are meant to be different. When we accept this, there is no competition and no comparison. To try to be like another is to shrivel our soul. We have come to this planet to express who we are." - Louise Hay - Motivational author, founder of Hay House Publishing


Theresa-Maria (“TM”) Napa – of Right Track Coaching - is dedicated to helping professionals and executives increase their winning percentage while taking fewer steps and producing better results. Her career has included positions as executive assistant, vice president of operations, director of marketing & administration, and business owner with substantial experience in leadership, marketing, client development, and execut...

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