How To Silence Self Doubt Ep: 003
In today’s episode, we talk about the inner critic, that voice of self-doubt that keeps you small and stops you from reaching your goals. I dive into why we all have that inner voice of self-doubt and give you 3 practical strategies to overcome that confidence killer so it doesn’t hold you back any more.
Hi there – and welcome to Episode 3 of She Coaches Coaches
Today we’re talking about the voice of self-doubt. That little voice (and sometimes not so little) in your mind that says you can’t do it, that you’ll never be a success, the voice that judges you and not in a good way. Once you’ve learned more about the Inner Critic I’ll give you three things you can do to silence that voice of self-doubt.
I call this voice your Inner Critic.
Some coaches call it the inner voice of self-doubt. The Saboteur, The Gremlin. The Judge. The Mean Girl. or even the jerk who lives in my head. There are lots of terms for this self-doubt and today we’ll use the Inner Critic. This inner critic concept is often one of the first things I share with my coaching clients. And they all tell me over and over how helpful this is to manage their fears.
So, what is this Inner Critic?
I bet this voice is familiar.
It says things like
Who are you kidding?
You’ll never make it
You’re too….fat / old / young / stupid / not good at sales
Don’t even bother
It’s ok for other people, but not for you
You don’t have what it takes
It’s too scary
Do any of those sound familiar. Yup, I’ve heard them too. If you’re human, then you’ve heard these thoughts or something similar.
Starting out as a coach is a challenge – it’s tough. Everything you do is new and you’re growing. Sometimes it’s exciting and inspiring, other times it’s scary as all crap.
Every time you grow the Inner Critic pops its head up.
All the things it says are thoughts. They are words strung together into sentences in your head. But we believe them. They are habit thoughts and they have a purpose.
These thoughts are meant to keep you safe.
We’re human. The only reason we are still here on this planet as a species is because we evolved. And we only got to evolve because we learned how to stay safe.
Safety was living in the cave. Safety was being part of a community. If you were alone, you wouldn’t survive.
Your body has an amazing mechanism built right in. it’s called the stress response. It’s the fight-flight or freeze response.
Think of what happens if you’re out in the woods and you hear a noise in the bush. I was up at my cabin last week, and I often walk around in the forest. Your pulse goes up, the blood pumps to your muscles, you are alert for every single sound. Your eyes and ears are searching, looking carefully for the danger.
You are ready to run or stand and fight. Sometimes the scariest feeling is when you’re frozen to the spot and you can’t move – eyes huge. Just like deer in the headlights. That is your fight-flight and freeze response at work.
It’s an amazing gift, it saved our butts over the years. We got to escape predators, lions and grizzly bears, invading tribes.
But for us first-world people it’s inconvenient.
This response happens automatically whenever we sense danger. Whether the danger is “real” like a grizzly bear or imagined, like standing up at the front of the room giving a presentation or when you invite someone to be your next coaching client.
Same response – not the same level of danger. Right? I don’t think anyone has been seriously harmed by inviting someone to be a coaching client. If they said no, you might have felt silly or disappointed….but there wasn’t any real danger….plus I know you’re strong and can handle a bit of disappointment.
And this is where your Inner Critic comes in. Your Inner Critic is constantly scanning the horizon for danger. Danger is in quotation marks, and one of the ways it works is this.
It sees something that it decides is dangerous. Most of the time it’s considered risky because it’s new, you’ve never done it before and you have to step outside of the safety and security of your proverbial cave.
Your inner critic doesn’t want you to take a risk, so it “talks” to you. It uses old habitual language that you’ve accumulated over the years.
It’s a little bit of a trickster. It knows exactly what to say to make you hesitate, and exactly what to say to stop you from taking a risk,
Listen becoming a coach, attracting clients, showing up in the world are all risky in the eyes of your Inner Critic. It’s not an easy path, but it’s hugely rewarding and worth it. As you grow every step of the way you will “all the feelings” excited and nervous, inspired and anxious, proud and disappointed….. all of them.This is life, you can only feel the positive emotions when you are also willing to feel the disappointment. And truthfully, feeling your emotions is what makes us human. Emotions come and go, they rise and fall like the waves on the ocean.
Listen I want to tell you this: Your Inner Critic’s JOB is to keep you small and safe….it doesn’t care if you EVER have a moment of fulfilment and pride. It would rather keep you in the dark, numb, small and wrapped up in a fuzzy little blanket instead of seeing you live the life that you crave.
You are capable of so much brilliance. And to lay claim to that here are three tips to turn down the volume of your inner critic so you can get to work on your goals and dreams.
1. Do the Thought Download process I spoke about in Episode 2 to see what thoughts you’re thinking. Notice the ones that are your Inner critic.
Sometimes it’s clear to see which thoughts are filled with judgement.
Sometimes, it’s not as clear. Notice how each of the sentences makes you feel. A quick way to figure it out: Are you ready to move forward or are shrinking back.
Just being aware of this voice can help to diffuse it.
2. Second, you can use the Notice and Name technique. I first heard this approach from Tara Mohr, and her book Playing Big. She’s a coach trained at the same school that I went to.
When you realize that your Inner Critic is talking in your ear, pause and say to yourself “oh, that’s my Inner Critic talking”.
That’s it, you notice when your Inner Critic is talking and then you name it.
3. Third, remember the purpose of your Inner Critic is to keep you safe and secure. At its core, the intention is good. So when you Notice and Name “….ah there’s my Inner Critic getting loud.” Comfort that voice. You could say, “don’t worry, I’ve got you, I won’t let anything happen. We can handle this together. I’ll keep you safe.”
These 3 simple approaches are very effective.
It’s funny, some of my coaching clients say…that’s it????? You just want me to be aware of my thoughts, notice the Inner Critic, name it and sometimes comfort myself? It seems to way too easy….and my response is always. Yes, that’s it! It doesn’t have to be complex to be effective. You can do it in the instant that you need the help.
I want to share this one example with you. It’s me. As I was getting ready to release this podcast my Inner Critic spent quite a lot of time telling me I needed to polish the episodes better. Maybe I should hold off just a little longer. It also wanted me to find the perfect time when the house was going to be silent to record everything. But as you can see, since your listening, I noticed the voice of my Inner Critic and I reminded her that this episode is important and will help you. My voice and my work are meaningful. So here we are together and you get to listen, learn and grow.
So that’s it for this episode. I know it can be stressful becoming a coach. Sometimes you don’t know where to start, and sometimes you just get stuck. I’ve recorded these episodes in this order to help you. And I’d like to invite you, If you don’t have someone who is walking you step by step through the process of becoming a coach, I’d be honoured to be that coach who helps walk you through start-up to success.
Click on this link to find out more about how we can work together. I’d love to hear from you.
Featured on this Show:
Tara Mohr - Playing Big
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