Are you sure you are making the right decision to spend time writing and coaching vs. climbing the corporate ladder? Are you sure there is a market for what you want to bring to the world? Are you sure you are being responsible as a parent?
These are the words of fear -, the part of me that has been conditioned that success looks a certain way, that gets anxious when I am doing something new and uncertain, and that it’s better to pursue a safer, well-marked trail vs. going into the wilderness.
It’s the part of me is that I lovingly call my inner critic.
For as long as I can remember, I have had this critic a part of me that has kept me safe in so many ways (and I am grateful for that!). For the longest time, I believed I had to ignore and resist this part of me to make big things happen. I believed that I had to power through anything this voice said and “fix” this part of myself. I carried shame and anger for the part of me that couldn’t lead as far or as hard as I wanted to.
And then came my coach training and the gift of 1:1 coaching where I learned a new way of being with my critic – of listening to this voice with kindness but not letting her make my decisions, of staying curious about her fears but making choices from a place of courage and wisdom. It meant honoring the butterflies in my stomach before having a hard conversation at work but still choosing to say what I needed to say.
I got to know my inner leaders – the parts of me that are brave, wise, and discerning. The parts of me who know what is best, who are comfortable with risk and uncertainty, and believe in me.
Here’s the thing – we all have many parts to ourselves yet at times of fear and uncertainty, we believe we only have the critic. The critic will often show up uninvited to the party with a loud microphone but our leaders need a nudge and invitation to guide us. Our critic isn’t something that needs to be fixed rather a part of us that is often wounded, hurt, and rejected and often needs our care.
There is powerful synergy when we truly invite, honor and welcome all parts of ourselves but ensure that it’s our leaders driving the car while the critic still has a seat in the car so she is seen and heard.
Learning to be and work with my critic has been one of the most transformative shifts that coaching brought into my life and it’s one of the most impactful shifts that I see in my clients. It’s that both fear and courage can co-exist and it’s about the voice we listen to and give power to.
I am developing a short group coaching experience where we will be exploring healthier ways of relating to our critic – getting to know and accept this part of ourselves while inviting our inner leaders to have a louder microphone to drive us toward what matters – at work, in our home and our communities. If you’d like to be on my list to learn more when registration opens up, please reply and I’d love to share more and learn more about and co-create with you!
Pic credit: Javardh