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Silence the Inner Critic: 4 Powerful Strategies to Boost Your Confidence

Ever feel like your inner critic is running the show? 🤯 That relentless voice in our heads that questions our actions, second-guesses our words, and saps our self-confidence?

Your inner critic is the voice of your fear with a megaphone.📣

It's our perfection-seeking brain working overtime.

It's a mental habit that defaults to old tapes like 'I'm never going to get this right'. It can also impact our actions.

I'm not good enough ➡️ I won't ask to be on this project

Others know so much more than I do ➡️ I'll just keep quiet

I'm not an expert in this field ➡️ I won't apply for this job

What is your inner critic's persistent narrative? When do you hear it the loudest?

My loudest inner critic second-guesses what I've said in important moments. It likes to highlight what I could have said or done better. This happened when I facilitated a team retreat recently and I obsessed the day after about what could have gone better at a critical point in the meeting.

Over time, I've come to realize that all this obsessing and playing 'what-if' is 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒏𝒐𝒊𝒔𝒆. I don't ignore the noise because there may be learning hidden within. For example, with the team retreat, I realized I could have paid better attention to the clock to push toward resolution earlier. Great! This is valuable learning I can use in the future.

Once this lesson is learned, however, it's time to move on. Going down the rabbit hole of continued self-blame is a spiral that will drain you of energy and creativity for the next big thing.

You know this. I bet some of you have lived it.

Here are tips that have helped me accept and move through my self-doubt:

Challenge those negative thoughts. Are they really true, or are they just old tapes playing on repeat?

Treat yourself like you would a friend. If your friend had your experience, what would you tell them? What comfort and advice would you give? Can you reframe it to give this same compassion to yourself?

This small nuance moves us to realize that the feeling is temporary. It will pass. For example, "I am worthless" becomes "Right now I feel worthless"

Additional facts can balance negative self-talk. For example, amend 'I don't know what I'm doing' with 'I've been in over my head before and figured it out as I went along. I can do it again.' or 'I'm not a good public speaker' with 'I've had limited experience in public speaking and I am effective at communicating one-on-one.'

You're not alone in having an inner critic. What will you do the next time you hear it?


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