A Gem From Tom Zender – How To Strangle Your Inner Critic


“You can’t.” This is one of the negative chants that our little voice within uses to ruin our business. Our personal business, which then impacts our professional business. How would you feel if an exterior voice keep telling you that you are not enough to be a good leader?

Not smart enough, strong enough, experienced enough, educated enough, young enough, old enough, fast enough, ______ (fill in the blank) enough. Stop.

“Even our worst enemies don’t talk about us the way we talk to ourselves. I call this voice the obnoxious roommate living in our head. It feeds on putting us down and strengthening our insecurities and doubts.” – Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post, one of Forbes’ Most Influential Women in Media

Internal Voice

Listen. Our internal voice is the most powerful voice of all. It can be our best cheerleader to success – or the condemning judge that drives us to self-destruction.

We have a choice. We can listen to our inner critic or we can tune into our inner cheerleader.

Psychologists, self-improvement gurus, quantum physicists, and spiritual teachers are telling us increasingly that whatever we persistently hold in our consciousness is what shows up in our lives. So, learn how to muzzle your inner critic. How?

Red Flags, Green Lights

First, immediately recognize when your inner critic has the microphone. We feel down, defeated, and depressed. Hopeless, out of balance, and we want to hide. From ourselves. When these red flags show up, here are some simple ways to tell your inner critic to stop yapping:

Simply say “no” at the moment you notice that the self-criticism in your head has started up. Then think of something positive about your business abilities.
Read your most recent resume and notice the many great things that you have accomplished. It is amazing how much of our greatness our inner critic can drown out.
Listen to business friends when you ask them about your skills, abilities, and qualities. The majority will surprise you when they tell you about your proven capabilities.
Do something nice for someone else. If we are too busy listening to our negative “stuff,” we ignore others. Acts of kindness for others stops the focus on ourselves.
Be grateful. Write out a gratitude list and note the things for which you are grateful. Keep adding to it until you notice that your negative voice has turned positive.
Prioritize and balance your workload. Good leaders know that constant work creates burnout, which only amplifies our inner critic. Take some pressure off.
Compliment yourself each time you do something positive. And give appreciation to your employees and others when they perform well. It is contagious.
Remember: our self-critic is a subtle spokesperson for the greater foe of self-hatred. Stop self-criticism before it turns into self-loathing. It kills leadership and success.

Stay Human

After all, by nature we humans do make mistakes. Great leaders make mistakes, too. But they don’t beat themselves up – they admit their errors, learn from them, and then improve.

The Bottom Lines

Muzzle the inner critic. It is debilitating for leaders and others. It can ruin careers and businesses. Learn how to notice that your self-critic is gnawing away at your positive feelings and energy. Use different tools to strangle your inner critic. Quickly.


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