“Who do you think you are?”
“Who is going to work with you?”
“Why do you even bother calling, they are going to say NO”
“You just don’t have what it takes”
Would you say that to a close friend or colleague? Probably not, in fact, you probably wouldn’t even say those things to a stranger. Yet, it is not uncommon for business owners to have that conversation with themselves. You know, that little voice that reaches in from the sidelines. It’s that inner voice of doubt, pessimism and fear that plagues our wildest dreams. It’s the soft cynicism that appears in the moments of true inspiration.
Call it your Inner Critic, Gremlin, Demon, Saboteur, or Bully. The fact is, it is there, telling you that you are not good enough. This “stinking thinking” keeps you playing small. The more you listen to it, the smaller you play. The smaller you play, the less people you meet, the less calls you make, the less people you serve, the less revenue you create.
Whatever you choose to call it, that little voice in our head impacts our thoughts, which influence the actions we take, or don’t take and ultimately our bank balance. I want to share a simple process to address it, to quite it down, so you can move forward.
STOP and observe when and where the saboteurs are showing up, maybe it’s when you are following up with potential clients, or when you talk with a “competitor”. Tune into the conversation you are having with yourself.
CHALLENGE the beliefs and thoughts that are keeping you for acting.
- What am I telling myself about this event, person or situation?
- What evidence do I have that this is true?
- What are other possible interpretations?
CHOOSE a new belief that is more empowering, more connected to your goals and take action.
Below you will find a letter to my inner critic. I’d love to hear how you have (or have not) defeated your inner critic. Leave a comment and share with me your tips!
Well, old friend. Thank you for being there when I needed you. Thank you for protecting me from the hurt and disappointments that certainly would have occurred if I had taken risks and not listened to you. It felt so safe and cozy staying in my little cocoon. No challenges, risk taking or failing. Of course, since there were none of those, there was also very little success.
The thought of success is sweet and tempting, like stealing away in the night to meet a long lost lover. But since your love for me is so deep, I stayed locked up in the comfy confines of my home only reading about the excitement and fun that I so desperately craved.
“When will it be my turn?” I wondered. Alas, it is time to break free.
I am bored in this tiny, cocoon of a home. I want the excitement, fun and fulfillment that others seem to experience.
“Oh, but you’ll never make it,” you say. “You are not smart enough, creative enough or talented enough to make it out there on your own. You will be disappointed and hurt.”
You have filled my head and heart with fear and worry. Too afraid to be open and vulnerable; I need and want to experience that which you have so sheltered me from. It is my time.
There is a saying that if you love something, set it free. So today, I set you free. By doing so I free myself. Please, don’t be sad and let’s not pout. You will always be there and I appreciate your constant attention, but I really must do this on my own. Feel free to check in and in time, perhaps you can change the song you whisper in my ear. How I long to hear a different song that moves me closer to success. Could you do that for me? Would you?
For now, I must say goodbye. A new day is waiting for me and I cannot let it down.
All my love,
Kim (aka Kim Possible)