"Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives."
A client woke up in the middle of the night with cold sweats and a never ending inner voice that said he was not doing enough. The inner voice that we all have can either enhance or detract our focus and attention. His "inner critic" would not leave him alone.
The next day during our coaching session he reported being exhausted and non-productive.
We all have different voices that can build us up or knock us down. These voices have their origin with parents, teachers, coaches, and friends. How their negative or positive comments become our positive and negative voices is still a mystery.
In my own life, when I was in elementary school, I was told that I had a "language deficit." I attended classes to overcome the so called "language deficit." Twenty years later, I remember writing my qualifying exams to complete my Ph.D. and that voice "you have a language deficit" was audibly loud.
Think about your own inner critic and when that voice becomes audible. Here are a few suggestions for turning your inner critic into your ally.
Reframe the "inner critic's" voice and motivation
Instead of seeing the critic as critical, see the critic coming from your source of motivation. Like mountain climbers, the critic is always pushing you to climb the next peak in your career. Hear the critic's voice as advice coming from someone you know cares about you. See the "inner critic" as motivating. Listen to the critic's inspiration, not the words.
At the end of the day, identify three achievements that make you proud
Research shows that listing three actions that creates a sense of pride results in people being more content and productive. Before you go to bed, make a list of three actions, projects, tasks, or experiences you feel were meaningful accomplishments. Keep a file of all your accomplishments. Reviewing your accomplishments will quiet the inner critic.
Debate the "inner critic"
Your inner voices are your "board of advisors." When there is the critical voice, allow your "nurturing" voice to invite the critic to a debate. For example, when the critic says "you will always be a failure," find that voice that says "You are incorrect. I have been promoted three times, work for a fortune 500 company, have a wonderful family, and I am financially ok." Inner debate can be fun and when the "inner critic" is silenced, tremendous energy is released.
Author's Note: Being productive and successful requires tremendous energy. The inner critic "voice" will drain your energy. By using the suggestions above, your "inner critic" voice will have a lower decibel level, you will have more energy, and you will be more productive. Begin today. You will be pleasantly surprised.