How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome and Tame Your Inner Critic
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How can you deal with your inner criticism ?? I mean the inner critic that tells me to stop playing small, that you are not enough, and that you won’t succeed.
Everyone has one. But the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people often comes down to whether their inner critic prevents them from pursuing their dreams and hopes.
It doesn’t matter if you identify as a confident person or not — we all have to address and learn how to navigate the voice inside of our head that says, “You’re not good enough,” or even worse, “You’ll never be enough.” Your critic is looking for attention. Negative emotions and self-talk that we hear should not be ignored. They will continue to taunt us from the inside. You can resist what you resist, so keep pushing down your inner critic until they get the best you.
It is imperative to continue moving forward and living your true purpose. To learn how to manage your inner critic. It can make a difference between making progress and being stopped in your tracks by knowing what to do when they arise.
How do we calm our inner critic?
Understanding why it exists is the first step. Once you are able to accept the voice and accept that it is part of human nature, you will be able to move forward without feeling ashamed.
I have spent a lot time and energy on this, because my inner critic got the better of me more times than I would like to admit. But, then, add in “imposter syndrome,” and I started feeling like I would never get out of my way.
Thankfully, I have had the opportunity to work with outstanding professionals throughout my career and life. In my personal and professional life, I felt a never-ending sense of insufficient. It was exhausting… You’ve probably heard the expression “new level, new devil”? That was exactly what I would experience. The inner critic would grow louder every time I moved on to the next step.
I immediately questioned my abilities to deliver. It didn’t matter that I had a proven track record of success, had graced the Miss America stage, had spoken to over 100,000 people live and millions more via the media. It didn’t matter that my sales team was made up of all-stars. It didn’t matter if I was winning award after award or that my consulting firm was setting new records month after month. My inner critic was screaming.
Something had to change.
I recently had the chance to work with an organizational psychologist and leadership coach, whose guidance helped me tremendously with this simple technique: Every time your inner critic shows up, allow your champion voice to be represented by taking credit for all of the things you’ve done.
Something must be done if we feel inadequate. We must love the part that is scared, acknowledge and address what we need more support, and stay connected to our purpose.
You might be wondering what that means. It is possible to be so connected to your “why” that you allow it to drive you forward. This helps you to develop what I call “mindset blinders” and keeps you focused on something else than yourself. My team, clients, and I have noticed that feeling inadequate can lead to a disconnect from our purpose, who we are serving, and what we have been able do so far.
Ask yourself why you feel this way.
- What is causing these feelings?
- How have you navigated similar situations in the past?
- What do you need to help you move through this?
Don’t be dismissive about your feelings. Instead, identify the root cause and decide what you should do.
Understand that no one, and I mean no one, is perfect. Everybody has experienced self-doubt and imposter syndrome at one time or another. What people do with their limiting beliefs, inner criticism and imposter syndrome is what makes the difference between successful and unsuccessful.
To join the ranks of those who have overcome their inner critics, I encourage you use three A’s (awareness and acceptance, as well as addressing your needs). First, you must be aware of the feeling. Then you can accept it and, most importantly, you can address it.
Your inner critic is looking for self-love, acceptance, and love. It’s important to calm it down as soon as possible. Your inner critic will be less annoying if you shift your mindset to service and your “why”.
While your inner critic will always be there, the goal of this article is to make peace so that you can get back on track quicker than allowing it deter you from making progress for months, years, or even days.
I want to encourage you. First, ensure your champion voice is heard when your critic speaks. Think about the times it has appeared — are there any common themes or triggers? Third, think about your 3 A: be aware, accept and deal with your issues. Make sure you are connected to your “why”. It helps to silence the inner critic by making things less about yourself and more about others.