Are you plagued by self-doubt as you search for a career that energizes you? You are not alone! The courageous journey to creating work that is meaningful for you is prone to activate your inner critic. I am excited to share how you can playfully quiet your inner critic and move forward with confidence on your courageous quest.
Recently Amy (not her real name) came to her coaching session with the desire to let go of self-doubt and self-judgement: “I would rather tune more easily into my intuition then be bogged down by my loud inner critic all the time.”
Amy is currently building her business as a holistic energy healer. She is also enrolled in intensive online training to complete her certification and further refine her energy healing skills. Amy had found clarity on this new and meaningful career path while being on maternity leave from her secure but unfulfilling government job.
Become Aware of Your Inner Critic
I thanked Amy for bringing this important topic to coaching and asked when her inner critic was most active. Amy said that self-doubt was plaguing her most when she was giving healing sessions, especially when her clients weren’t experiencing immediate positive changes. Self-judgement also shows up when dealing with people of authority, such as her energy healing teachers.
Her inner critical voice often chimes in when Amy’s learning something new and refining her skills. As Amy reflected further, she noticed self-judgement when she and her husband were talking about finances. Overall, Amy felt that her inner critic was dominant in her life about 40% of the time.
How about you? What kinds of situations bring out your inner critic? When are you most prone to judge and doubt yourself? How much of the time is your inner critical voice dominating your life experience? Take a moment to reflect on these questions and jot down your insights.
Imagine Your Inner Critic as an External Character
I acknowledged Amy’s exquisite awareness and invited her to imagine her inner critic as a character outside of herself. Amy saw her inner critic as a mean-looking gargoyle standing right in front of her.
Before you continue reading, take a moment to imagine your inner critic as a character outside yourself. What kind of creature or person do you see? Where is this character situated in space? How close is s/he to you? Notice the features of your inner critic, such as facial expressions, posture, and gestures. What name would you like to give your inner critic? Jot down your discoveries. You may even want to draw a cartoon sketch that represents your inner critic.
Confront Your Inner Critic
Next, I encouraged Amy to stand up tall, find her balance and connect with her core. Once Amy inhabited a relaxed yet powerful stance, I invited her to imagine she was in one of those situations that usually activates her inner critic. Amy imagined she was treating a client and the gargoyle popped up in front of her snarling: “What are you doing? That’s not scientific! You make it all up! Who do you think you are?”
I encouraged Amy to connect with her breath and notice the power in her core. “What do you really want to say to the gargoyle? Address him directly from your core and speak your truth!” I coached Amy. “You are not helping! Go away! Leave me alone!” said Amy with confidence.
I inquired what Amy noticed about the gargoyle as she confronted him. Amy chuckled, as she noted that the gargoyle had just dissolved in front of her with a little “poof.”
Before you read on, I encourage you to confront your inner critic in your own powerful way. Notice how your inner critic reacts.
Get into the Habit of Playfully Catching Your Inner Critic in Action
Amy and I celebrated Amy’s victory. Then I acknowledged that Amy’s gargoyle would most likely continue to pester her. “You are on a courageous journey, Amy. You are building your business, doing important work that you believe in. Gargoyle, as mean as he looks, is simply scared. He will continue to try to stop you. What will you do, Amy, to continuously step into your power and confront this gremlin?” I asked.
Amy reflected for a moment and then responded: “Maybe gargoyle needs some kind of therapy. Perhaps I could send him to attend his Gargoynomous meeting while I do my work.” We both had a good laugh as we imagined the scene. I cheered Amy on: “Yeah for YOU for finding a playful way to quiet your inner critic!”
How about you? How will you continue to quiet your inner critic as you continue taking courageous steps towards career clarity? Let yourself be playful! Don’t take your gremlin too seriously!
Receive Support on Your Courageous Career Clarity Quest
A few days later, Amy shared with me that she had finally framed her energy healing certificate. She now displays her certificate on her office wall with pride: “It’s such a great reminder of what I have already accomplished and that I do great work.” Amy also put a sticky note on her computer that reads “poof!” reminding her that the gargoyle really doesn’t have any substance and that she can easily quiet his chatter by stepping into her confidence.
Quieting your inner critic can indeed become a playful element of your quest to finding and creating a career that energizes and inspires you. Just like Amy, you don’t have to travel alone. Your inner critic may cringe and have all kinds of opinions as you consider reaching out for support. Don’t let your gremlin stop you! Book your free career clarity consultation, NOW!