How to Quiet Your Inner Critic

Every year, I invite my entire family to gather in my home for a large meal. On top of the normal stress of planning a large family gathering like this, my inner critic used to add a lot of anxiety to the preparation.

 

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Let me tell you about the year that I finally decided to uninvite my inner critic from all of my events.

Several years ago, I had planned the “perfect” gathering. I spent days making sure the house was spotless. My amazing husband and I spent hours in the kitchen making an incredible feast, and I had every minute of the day planned out so that everything would go smoothly once my guests arrived. I wanted everyone to have a wonderful time, and I made sure that none of my guests felt any pressure to lift a finger to help with the feast. Unfortunately, my awesome husband was also the recipient of my inner critic and was frustrated and fatigued before the festivities even began.

When the day finally arrived, it was all going according to plan – even the weather outside was perfect. It was so nice, in fact, that my brother-in-law decided to go out hunting for a few hours… right in the middle of my carefully planned day.

My inner critic went into overdrive with thoughts like “The food will be cold if we wait for him!”, “This is a disaster!”, and “The whole day is ruined!” I had to step away from my guests and take a few minutes to calm the panic in my head. In that moment, I learned a powerful lesson. Learn how the inner critic impacts your career.

How to combat your inner critic for professionals

How to Take My Inner Critic Off the Guest List

“Perfect” Is Unrealistic

I realized that “perfect” is unrealistic and that a perfectionist mindset (spurred on by my inner critic) was ruining my event. I realized that I had a house full of people I loved, and if my brother-in-law wanted to enjoy his day a bit differently, that was completely okay! His plate would be there waiting when he was ready, and my day would be much more enjoyable if I chose to focus on what was going well instead of worrying about what could go wrong.

I took my inner critic off the guest list permanently that day, and my events have been much more enjoyable ever since. Now when she tries to crash the party – which is quite often – I quickly lean into gratitude and show her out the back door. Related: learn how to find your inner voice.

Gratitude Is Key to Overcoming Your Inner Critic

When your inner critic starts to take over, you’ll find yourself focusing on all the little things that go wrong, even if there are a million more things that are going well. This is just as true in the office as it is around the dinner table.

The inner critic creates a scarcity mindset: there’s not enough time, this is not good enough, failure is not an option, etc. This scarcity mindset rearranges our priorities so that we focus on “more pressing matters” and ignore larger goals. This can look like obsessing over minor details when we could be spending quality time with our loved ones. In the office, it can look like focusing on the numbers and neglecting to celebrate the little victories the team has made together.

On the other hand, an abundance mindset focuses on the good things that we have and reminds us that there is enough time, enough resources, and enough opportunity for growth despite the circumstances. This mindset lets go of perfectionism and planning out the minute details and welcomes contributions from others. For example, allowing family members to bring their best dish rather than feeling the need to do everything yourself creates an abundance and a shared sense of satisfaction with the resulting feast.

Inner Critic in Leaders

Leaders of powerful teams understand that every individual has something great to contribute, and giving up the need to control everything and chase “perfection” allows each individual to flourish in their unique skill set. When you trust that your team has everything they need to be successful, you can let go of the stress of perfectionism and focus on the little wins along the way.

In both professional and personal settings, it’s crucial to focus on the abundance in your life. This year, I hope that you will leave your inner critic off the guest list and choose to listen to your inner champion instead. If you would like to learn more, check out this blog about how to overcome the inner critic.

 

 

Go From Inner Critic To Inner Champion!
Our Inner Champion Worksheet will help you fight off that inner critic
by challenging and changing those long-standing negative beliefs.
FREE
DOWNLOAD

The Valuable Lesson for Leaders Managing the Inner Critic

About The Author

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Heather Evans is a guide and coach for professionals looking to maximize their individual, team, and business potential.

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Turn Your Critical Inner Voice to our Best Champion

Download  ‘Shift from Inner Critic to Inner Champion Mini-Guide to learn how critical voices affect you and people around  you. Followed by exercises proven to quiet your inner critic and replace with your inner champion.