by Donna Barragan
Working with my clients, something that has really been present is the negative self-talk, their inner critic. You know, that voice that says things like, “you aren’t good enough, you can’t do that, no way will you get that job.” Or, “what will THEY think?” Sometimes, that voice gets so loud, obnoxious, and tenacious that it drowns out all other thoughts that might be trying to get in.
Maybe you want to apply for that new position—the voice jumps in saying “they won’t hire YOU, are you kidding me? You don’t have enough experience doing X.” Or possibly you just received a promotion; now what?! “OMG will I be able to do it? What if they find out that I am a fraud?” Perhaps you got a less than favorable review: “See, I told you, you were stupid, you should just quit.”
If we don’t manage this voice, it holds us back from moving forward and becoming the person we are meant to be and the person we choose to be. If left unchecked, it can keep you from achieving the things you want to achieve, and it can flat out rob you of who you are.
My Managing Your Inner Critic workshop is about training you to manage these voices so you can stop being paralyzed by them for hours, days or even a lifetime. Many of the leaders I have worked with have developed the skills to recognize and identify these voices more quickly and can recover from them in a very short period of time. By doing this, and not buying into the guilt and shame of the voices, they have learned to be a more present leader. They are able to make clear, more decisive decisions and trust those decisions more fully. They are able to risk a little more, push themselves higher and achieve more than they thought they could.
I invite you to start noticing the conversations you have with yourself, especially when you are considering stepping out of your comfort zone and wanting to grow (growth happens in discomfort). If/when the voices start chattering, give this technique a try and see what happens, you might be surprised.
- First and foremost, pay attention to the fact that they are speaking (frequently it sounds like an excuse or “yeah, but”).
- Second, acknowledge it’s there and let it know that you’ve “got this.” Everything is OK. You have obtained enough information about whatever it is, that you can move forward and take the risk. You are qualified for this job or you have earned and deserve this promotion.
- Third, trust yourself to be able to handle it (whatever IT is).
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