Understanding the Role Our Inner Critic Plays In Our Lives

As a fellow women entrepreneurs/CEO, we find ourselves navigating the dynamic world of business, family, and community. It’s essential to recognize and address a powerful force that often lurks within us—the inner critic. The inner critic plays a role in my self-doubt, fear, and hesitation to play bigger in all aspects of my life. And I want more in my life; sound familiar?

I wanted to know more…I wanted to know how to move forward in life more successfully. So, I recently signed up for Tara Mohr’s Facilitator Training on Playing Big. I’ve been a long-time fan of the book and wanted to use her tools to help other women leaders to create, lead, speak up, and live life to the fullest.

Recognizing What the Inner Critic Sounds Like When it Comes to Business

Recognizing What the Inner Critic Sounds Like When it Comes to Business

OMG, when I started my business in 2007, my Inner critic was so cynical and hurtful. It was always there, especially when I put myself in unfamiliar situations or creating something new.

Here are a few of my Inner Critic’s favorites:

“You’re not experienced enough for someone to hire you.”

“You should have done that better during that presentation.”

“You’re not as successful as [competitor/peer].”

“What if this fails? You’ll be a failure, and everyone will know it.”

“You’re not a natural leader, so don’t try to be one.”

“You don’t deserve success.”

“You have to work hard to see rewards.”

“Who are you? You’re not special enough to make an impact.”

“You’re not cut out for entrepreneurship. That’s why you lost that bid/job/client.”

“You should have achieved more by now.”

“You mess up your words and can’t write or spell, so why would anyone listen to you.”

I could keep going…because there are more where these came from deep inside my head. 

Early in my career, they shut me down…forced me to reduce my fees…accepted whatever came my way, and allowed my clients to lead the conversation and projects. 

There is a way to gain fulfillment and confidence no matter what your inner critic says. First, we need to understand how to recognize it.

How do we know if our Inner Critic is controlling our actions?

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it’s easy to overlook the powerful influence of our inner critic has on us. How? When it usually sounds like a relentless saboteur. We get used to the voice and start believing it to be true about ourselves.

So how do we begin to see what is our inner critic and not realistic thinking/ideation?

Here are 5 key indicators to help you discern if your inner critic:

Harsh Self-Talk: Pay attention to your language when speaking to yourself. Does it sound supportive and encouraging, or does it lean towards harsh self-criticism? The latter is a telltale sign of an active inner critic.

Comparison to Others: Constantly measuring your achievements against those of others may indicate your inner critic seeking validation and telling yourself that you are not good enough.

Avoidance of Risks: If you find yourself shying away from challenges or new opportunities due to a fear of failure, your inner critic may be holding you back from potential growth.

Reluctance to Seek Help: The inner critic often convinces us that asking for help is a sign of weakness. If you find it challenging to seek assistance or delegate tasks, your inner critic might be the culprit.

Difficulty Celebrating Achievements: If you struggle to acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments, attributing them to external factors or luck rather than your capabilities, it may be due to the influence of your inner critic.

This voice uses black-and-white thinking. It makes definite pronouncements about you or your situation. It needs no actual evidence and is repetitive. Be aware of yes and no questions: Am I ready to go out on my own? Am I qualified to lead this team? Bottom line: It’s our self-critique.

What can we do about Our Inner Critic?

We don’t remove it, and we don’t shame it…Instead, we quiet our inner critic!

It will always be a part of our lives. It’s the part of us that is trying to protect us. So what can we do? As a business owner, silencing your inner critic is a crucial step towards achieving your full potential. The key is to hear it but not let it choose your actions and choices. We want to recognize it for what it is and not let it stop us! 

You are capable of so much! So, how do we start the process of not allowing the inner critic to shape our worlds?

We Notice: See when it’s trying to protect us from being noticed/seen, getting hurt, or experiencing failure.

Name Your Inner Critic: Give your Inner Critic a persona and name. So, you start to recognize it as something outside of yourself. Mine for years was the voice of my mother. I now know why that is a bad idea. Every time my mother would criticize me or give me advice, I cringed and allowed myself to accept it instead of brushing off the comments. 

I now see my inner critic like Newt, the little scared girl from the movie Aliens.

 My Inner Critic

She is disheveled and scared. Her only goal…survival at any cost. There is no room for creativity or taking risks. It’s safe to hide and stay alive. People who help her, disappoint her, judge her, and shame her into coming out of hiding where she longs to be. I have not named her yet since I haven’t settled on one. Since I’m a visual person, the identity of her and seeing her as this little girl is more impactful for me.

You can create your persona and name to match a concept, a character, or something you’ve made up: your Inner Critic, your choice on how you see it. 

Want to know how our inner critic affects us in business and what to do about it?  Click here

Let’s discover more about your inner critic and how it affects your ability to lead your life. Reach out to me and schedule a free discovery call at calendly.com/rebrandyou/discovery

Stay tuned for Part II

Reach out to me, and let’s talk. I’ve helped hundreds of businesses over the years to develop marketing strategies that showcase who they are while selling their products or services.


Amy Nubson Rebrand You Coaching

Article By: Amy Nubson


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Finding my voice made me feel at home… made me feel calm.

– Amy Nubson

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