Most of the time, you are unaware of the voice in your head, the one endlessly chattering away. But occasionally, if you tune in, you'll notice its pessimism—even if you are an optimist. This voice isn't a good constant companion; it’s always talking about what is wrong with you, why you are inadequate, how everything might go wrong, and how you will be harmed.

The reason for the conflict between you and the voice in your head is that it isn't you. It's your Inner Critic. Your Inner Critic is a composite of the voices of your parents, your friends and family, your society and culture, your preacher and teachers, and a host of other voices. Many of these sources care about you and want the best for you. Their caring, however, often focused on keeping you safe from harm by telling you their fears, which eventually became yours too.

Your Inner Critic Fails to Be a Good Friend

Your Inner Critic might tell you that you are not qualified for what you want to do, explaining that you lack the credentials or the experience to attempt something new. Because you might fail, your Inner Critic reminds you of the risks without a word about your potential success and the benefits that come with that.

It might suggest that you will embarrass yourself in a meeting where you are surrounded by your peers. Your Inner Critic will remind you that some people will not like your ideas, and they will think less of you should you share your thoughts. Although no one can hear your inner dialogue, the voice provides a reason for you to stay quiet instead of sharing your idea and taking the chance that it makes things better.

The people who created your Inner Critic can't recognize the value of your good ideas, and neither can your friends from middle school and high school, the ones that made you insecure because they were insecure themselves. Your Inner Critic is an unhelpful friend to carry around for the rest of your life, but you’re not stuck with them. Instead, you can unleash your Inner Coach.

Your Inner Coach Is a Better Friend

Your Inner Critic might be as neurotic as Jerry on Seinfeld, but your Inner Coach might sound like Tony Robbins—or anyone who has helped you recognize your potential and become something more than you believed possible.

When I was 17, I took voice lessons from Michelle Horsfield. She was in her early 70s, and I sought her help because she taught my friend Tommy to sing. After training with her for more than a year, I told her I wanted to sing as well as Tommy. She replied, "Tommy who?" I said "Gianakis." She said, "You were always a better singer than Tommy. Your range is three octaves, and Tommy has a little over an octave and half." She freed me from my doubt. (And though I had a larger range, Tommy would always be a better front man.)

Your Inner Coach is the voice supporting you and providing you with courage and the confidence to act. Instead of saying that you are ill-equipped, your coach reminds you that "You've got this!" Your Inner Coach isn't worried that you will fail or fall short. Instead, this positive voice recommends you make a few adjustments and try again, knowing you will eventually succeed.

Stop Withholding Your Gift

The problem with allowing your Inner Critic to dominate the conversation between your ears all day is that it makes you hold back. By addressing only what might go wrong, the fear prevents you from acting. Your Inner Coach insists that you share your gift, and make the biggest contribution you can in the 4,108 or so weeks you have.

The next time you notice your Inner Critic, give a nod and express your gratitude for the reminder that everything comes with a certain amount of risk. Then, turn up the voice of your Inner Coach and remind yourself who you are and why you are here. And most of all, don’t let anyone feed you their fears.

In difficult times, it's most important that your voice provide confidence and certainty—to you and those around you. This allows you to support and encourage others to make the difference they want—or need—to make. The only people who never fail are those who never try anything. Failure is part of learning how to succeed.


Mindset 2022
Post by Anthony Iannarino on May 20, 2022
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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