If you're a high-achieving person, you might not think you have inner critics lurking around.
After all, you've got lots of letters behind your name. Or you've climbed the ladders in your industry successfully. Maybe you've gotten fearless enough to start a second career, or a business. You've raised kids, spoken out and spoken up for them.
In other words, you don't really think you have inner critics lurking around. You don't resonate with "negative self-talk". You feel confident. And to get this far, baby, you ARE confident! That is TRUE.
AND... it's worth it to take another look at the subtle ways that your inner critics and fears might be manfiesting for you. Why? Because exterminating your most insidious inner critics will free you to take more risks, be more bold, and chase the things that have been on your back burner of "someday". Brilliant, creative, high-achieving people are rarely truly satisfied with "the status quo".
But where to look for the hives of buzzing, sabotaging inner critics?
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Symptoms of inner critics include:
1) Procrastination. Those things you put off? They're on the "to-do-next-month" list for a reason. If there's something you chronically put off to the future or avoid doing, take a good hard look at it. Procrastination is often a sign that finishing that task will make you vulnerable.
2) Upper Limit Problems. I had to borrow this from Gay Hendricks' The Big Leap, because they're an AWESOME barometer of active inner critics. Whenever you get too happy, too close to your dream, too joyful... do you find that suddenly bad stuff happens? You're calling in bad experiences to bring your joy barometer back down to what your inner critics would have you deserve! Upper Limit Problems can be hilarious, or they can be serious - but track them. And read the book. It rocks.
3) Giving up easily. Are you happy with "I did my best?" Oftentimes, pushing past failure to find the opportunity means that an inner critics is keeping you from putting too much on the line... so you rationalize with "I did my best". Safe... but not the stuff that dreams are made of.
4) Drinking too much. You know what pisses me off sometimes? Those memes about having to have wine at the end of the night, especially for housewives. Because if your day is sooooo draining that you seriously need to unwind with alcohol on a daily basis - no judgment - but maybe you could take a look at the stress points and start designing days that light you up. You know what stops you from designing days that light you up? Inner critics that would have you believe you don't deserve it.
5) Reacting to the SAME buttons over and over. If you find yourself triggered by the same person (spouse? toxic a-hole at work?), or reacting to the same events (getting all riled up at political discussions on FB? Getting mad tense or stressed when company is coming?), take a deeper look. Those trends in stress, guilt, blame, anger, and tension usually point straight to the heart of your inner critic's message for you.
What are you going to do about it? The key to finding your most insidious inner critics is to track them. Find all the places that trigger you and cause stress, anger, blame, tension, or guilt. Track the trends and patterns.
Then ask yourself: What do these triggers say about me? Not smart enough? Funny enough? Pretty enough? Everyone has a unique, one-of-a-kind, special "not good enough" that plays out in big and small ways.
Your turn: Grab your Freedom Tracker and start hunting down the sneaky gremlins hiding in the corners!
Want to really get to the bottom of your inner critics? Enrollment for Free and Fearless Coaches will open in a couple weeks... be the first to know and get my Reader Rate for this intensive. Coming June 2016. Learn more by clicking the button below.