I’ll be the first to admit it – I don’t always believe in myself.
My inner critic tells me I’m too young to be an expert. That I don’t know enough about business or marketing. That no one will want my services. That I’m not pretty unless I’m wearing makeup.
That nasty voice in your head that tells you you’re not good enough to do the thing you want to do is stealing your confidence.
You likely have an idea of how more confidence would impact your life – or you wouldn’t be here.
In case you need a reminder, confidence improves your chances in the dating game and in relationships. It increases our perceived physical attractiveness by others and improves our performance at work. It even improves our mental and physical health.
But we can’t live healthy, confident lives when our inner critic is screaming that we’re not enough.
Here are 4 Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic:
1. Know thyself
Building a strong self-awareness is the first step in silencing our inner critic. When we focus our attention on ourselves, we evaluate and compare our current behavior to our internal standards and values. We become self-conscious as objective evaluators of ourselves.
Self-awareness is the ability to monitor our inner world. As we notice what’s happening inside us, we acknowledge and accept our thoughts and behaviors as the inevitable part of being human, rather than giving ourselves a hard time about it (hint: if you’ve ever said to yourself “I should/shouldn’t have done that”, then you know what I mean).
Self-awareness goes beyond collecting information about ourselves. It’s also about paying attention to our inner world with a beginner’s mind and an open heart. Our mind is extremely skilled at storing information about how we react to a certain event to form a blueprint of our emotional life. This information often ends up conditioning our mind to react in a consistent way when we encounter a similar event in the future.
Self-awareness allows us to be conscious of these patterns and behaviors. We can free ourselves from limiting beliefs by acknowledging and releasing these thoughts and consciously choosing our thoughts and behaviors.
2. Do one thing every day that scares you
We’ve all had moments in our lives when fear stopped us from doing something. Whether that was setting up an online dating profile, buying a new car or starting a new job. Think about a time in your life when fear stopped you in your tracks. What thoughts ran through your head? What emotions did you experience?
I’ve pushed through a lot of fearful thoughts in my life: I was afraid to go to college 10 hours away from my family, I was afraid to leave my six-figure job for an uncertain future, and I was afraid to start coaching. My dad passed away in 2011, and the one thing he taught me that I continue to teach others is to always do the thing that scares you.
Because here’s the thing about fear: it’s only as powerful as you make it.
Some fear is a good thing. It’s a natural response to a real or perceived threat. If we’re walking by the edge of a cliff or swimming in deep water, we should have a healthy amount of fear to keep us safe. These are real threats that have the potential to harm us if we don’t listen to our fear.
As women, many of us fear two things: failure and rejection. These are perceived threats because they are things that MIGHT happen. They haven’t actually happened to us, but we put so much stock into how terrible failure and rejection are that we avoid any risk of them happening. And uncertainty is probably the scariest thing of all for most of us.
Choosing to move forward despite our fears of failure and rejection is critical to building confidence and silencing our inner critic. Confidence comes from taking powerful action, from making decisions, from trying something, failing, and trying again.
3. Reframe negative situations
The BE YOU Mental Model serves as a self-coaching tool that you can use to train your mind. I talk more about this in my free confidence mini course. You can use this model to stop thinking negative thoughts, to combat fear, overwhelm and doubt, and even to improve your interpersonal relationships.
This is a well-known model in the field of psychology and in the law of attraction. The model teaches us that our beliefs about something create emotions. Those emotions in turn elicit behaviors. And we all know that every behavior has a consequence, or effect. Our beliefs create emotions, which create behaviors, which create effects.
The power of this model is that our beliefs are actually reinforced by the effects, or the results we get. If we believe that we can get a raise at work, then we’re going to behave in such a way that gives us that result. That result will then reinforce our belief that we are worthy of a raise. On the other hand, if we believe that we can’t get a raise, we’ll behave in such a way that prevents us from getting a raise, and as a result, we’ll continue to believe we’re not good enough.
Using this model helps you reframe negative situations by allowing you to see patterns in your thoughts, emotions and behaviors. It helps you understand why you react negatively in certain situations and walks you through creating a better option. You can download a workbook that helps you with these thoughts in my free mini course.
4. Consciously choose your words
So much of what we say about ourselves is negative. Affirmations give us the opportunity to choose words that help create or eliminate something in our lives, such as creating success or confidence or healthy relationships, and eliminating low self-esteem, destructive behaviors and even physical pain.
Affirmations help us retrain our thinking and speaking into positive patterns so we can truly transform our lives and achieve our goals. We can get more of what we want and less of what we don’t. You can grab a list of 30 affirmations for confidence plus free printable cards here!
But be careful because everything we say is an affirmation! Every thought, every sentence is just confirming what we want in life. So, if you say “I’m so happy and grateful now that I lost 20 pounds,” one minute, then say “this won’t work” the next minute, which one do you think will win out? The second one! Negative thought patterns are so deeply ingrained in all of us, and it’s really hard to break them. Practicing positive affirmations is one way to break that cycle and silence your inner critic for good.
Confidence is one of those things that’s here today, gone tomorrow. You can silence your inner critic and build your self-confidence by practicing these steps.
It’s not always easy – being confident is a habit, and habits take time to form. Luckily, I have a freebie that can teach you the tools you need to shut off those negative thoughts and take action.
Enroll in my FREE BE Powerful Confidence Mini Course to learn more about the tools you can use daily to make building confidence a habit