5 WAYS TO BEAT YOUR INNER CRITIC
Each day at the office is different, but some days are more difficult than others, especially when it comes to taming your inner critic. The inner critic affects everyone, including your team and colleagues. In one occasion, my team missed a deadline for turning in assets, because they needed a creative feature to be “ just perfect”. But an attempt at “perfection” is the problem. “Perfection” is the product of the inner critic telling you that by not achieving this standard, your work is not worthy and thus you are a failure. These kind of pesky thoughts are detrimental to your mindset and affect how you do business. Here’s how you can overcome your inner critic:
1. Find your imposter and kill it. You tell yourself that you got the job or promotion, because you “got lucky.” You fear that people will discover you’re not “good enough” and can therefore expose you as a “fraud.” Sound familiar? This nagging feeling you have is called the Imposter Syndrome. Nearly 70% of people have felt this and it is the inner critic saying you are not worthy of your achievements. This self-doubt is dangerous, because it stops you from pursuing your ambitions or worse, quitting too soon. If you quit before getting started, realize that you are letting your fears control you. Act despite of your fears. Stop these feelings by owning your success. Remind yourself of your accomplishments and write them down. And most of all, have gratitude. Whether you have success or failure, always be humble and acknowledge that you are not perfect. Focus on providing value and improving everyday – one step at a time.
2. Find your network. Connect with people. Everyone has experienced failures in their careers, like Steve Jobs getting fired from his own company. Learn from others about not just owning your mistakes, but also how to stand up after falling on your face. While sharing your thoughts to peers, also remember to keep an open-mind and listen to what the other person has to say, good or bad. It is difficult to accept any kind of criticism, but take this opportunity to make changes and set yourself up for success. There is always room for improvement and creating a network will give you that confidence to make it happen.
3. Set goals, not punishments. It’s easy to punish ourselves for every mistake or failure that happens in business. Punishments will only encourage disappointment, so rebel against your inner critic and set goals. Dwelling on your losses is a waste of mindspace, so use your brain and accomplish a task. Make a list and set a time of when you need to complete each goal. When you see how much you’ve accomplished right in front of you, you cannot deny the pride you feel from all your success. Remember to allow yourself to feel happiness and reward yourself after completing each goal.
4. Improve your posture. I can’t stress enough about the importance of body language. The body speaks louder than words, so make sure you’re “saying” the right things and correct your stance. Think of someone at your company that owns the room. What makes them stand out from the crowd? The answer is one’s ability to silence the inner critic. Your body language reflects how you feel, so don’t let your inner critic make you feel small. You have to carry yourself with confidence, because it will show on the outside. And whenever you feel self-doubt, look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, “Is this how I want people to see me?” Now walk with your shoulders back and with a sense of urgency. Nothing makes one look more defeated than shuffling footsteps and a hunched-back. Build a confident body language and this will heed better results for you and your business.
5. Accept and do better. We all have weaknesses, but they should never overshadow your strengths and skills. Accept your shortcomings, but work on ways of improving in your weaker areas. Do you see now why I don’t want anything to be “just perfect?” No one is perfect and I value people more when they take ownership of their mistakes, because it means they care and show their determination to do better next time. Embrace all your qualities and as you navigate obstacles, be sure to find the positive solution and you will find yourself to be stronger than your inner critic.
Life always finds a way to test your resolve. Identify the sources of what’s fueling your inner critic and confront them. Let me know what are some things you do to help beat your inner critic.