Given the strain and adversity of the last year, your inner critic may have subsided to a low roar by now. This critical internal voice may exacerbate “imposter syndrome,” or the belief that you are unworthy of achievement. This roommate you would never pick could say something like this: “I’m not as smart as my colleagues and am unprepared for this job,” “I should be further along in my career; I’m stagnating,” “That person is so organized,” or “I’m overwhelmed!” And when you listen to this inner voice, you may believe that you are the only person on the planet who is wired in this manner. The fact of the matter is that you are not alone.
As human beings, we are constantly engaged in an internal dialogue with ourselves. Each day, the typical individual has between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts. Around 80% are negative, and 95% are repeated from the previous day. We are catastrophists. We inject drama. We ascribe superfluous importance.
Nonetheless, despite the overwhelming quantity of automatic negativity, there is some positive news!
The good news is that you do not have to live with this terrible roommate who is always giving harsh comments. You have the ability to select your ideas and alter the story. (There is an audible sigh of relief!) Begin taming your inner critic now and reclaim control with the use of the following four techniques.
Eliminate Power Outages!
Everyone encounters a brief loss of power or confidence as a result of unfulfilled expectations, errors, breakdowns, disputes, and other people. While some power outages are minor, others, especially on New Year’s Eve, may seem like a city-wide system collapse. It may be very difficult to operate during a power outage, spiraling you into a downward spiral and then into another downward spiral. Fortunately, our three-step approach can significantly reduce the intensity and duration of these power outages.
Breathe three times deeply.
Locate someone you can confide in to help you through the power loss. Assure that this individual knows their role is to provide a chance for you to be heard, not to fix problems or provide advise. When you disclose all the facts out, it will be therapeutic and will help alleviate the drama that has been building up in your mind.
Decide when you’re ready to let go. Determine the steps you can do to assist yourself in resetting.
Individuals constantly make disempowering tales to themselves – about their surroundings, themselves, and others. Then we gather evidence to demonstrate our position is correct.
When I was in my 30s and working in corporate America, I was placed under a new boss as a consequence of a reorganization. This alteration came as a total surprise and disappointment. I was enraged. I assumed the new boss disliked me and was unappreciative of my efforts. I was certain it would never work.
I spent the following several weeks gathering data to support this view — every reason why this was a mistake and why I should not be reporting to him. I was taken advantage of, and this boss was not a good fit for me. After weeks of suffering, sleep deprivation, and ranting to a select few about how imprisoned and uninspired I felt, my husband eventually asked me, calmly and supportively, “Am I going to have to listen to this every night or are you going to find a new job?”
That was a rude awakening. I had no desire for a new work. I valued my coworkers, my clients, my pay, and my upward mobility. However, my sleep, work happiness, and sanity were all on the line at the moment! I saw the high expense of this bad narrative. This could not continue, but I was averse to making a professional shift. That’s when I spoke with my best friend Wendy (co-founder of Fast Forward), who offered me sound advice — I could either continue down this road or pick a different narrative and be happy.
I adopted a new narrative: “I can learn from any manager.” This new narrative presented me with a new lens through which to see the world, prompting me to take actions I would not have done otherwise.
I asked my manager’s advice on a number of issues and, to my surprise, he was helpful. I arranged brunches with him to get to know him personally and discovered he wasn’t quite as terrible as he seemed. I offered suggestions to enhance the company’s operations and culture, and he listened! I had proof supporting the new narrative within months and was flourishing at work and at home.
You, too, may choose a new tale by following our three-step process:
- What is your counter-narrative?
- How much does it cost to believe the story? Recognize the cost of believing that narrative and the ways in which it is impeding your development and pleasure.
- What additional narrative options do you have? Select a fresh narrative that enables you to go ahead.
Because we are often connected to our tales, it is very beneficial to get feedback from someone we trust, like I did! The empowering habit of selecting a fresh narrative enables you to maintain a positive perspective. You may choose to be correct or to be happy.
Create Your Own Race
This phrase originates in thoroughbred horse racing, when jockeys blindfold their horses to keep them focused on the course ahead, rather than watching the horses to their left and right. This is a very effective metaphor! Comparing yourself to others is often disempowering and focuses your attention on what you lack rather than on what you do have.
Concentrate your attention on running your own race so that you may capitalize on your abilities and perform at your own best. Here are some suggestions on how to proceed:
Limit your social media scrolling: The term Instagram vs. reality exists for a reason. Spending hours delving into the manufactured picture of people’s lives and experiences will not get you any closer to your objectives.
Concentrate on your advantages: Maintain a glass-half-full perspective. Rather of dwelling on your faults, create a list of the important contributions you make – at work, in your personal life, and in the globe!
Change your attitude from jealousy to admiration: If you see someone rising more rapidly in their profession, seek guidance from them. Solicit their assistance in serving as your mentor. Inform them that they serve as a role model for you. You never know where such discussions will take you in terms of personal and professional development.
Maintain a daily journal
This easy daily exercise requires just six minutes and has a significant effect. Journaling has been shown to enhance sleep quality, reduce stress, and boost confidence and relationships.
Each morning, jot down three things for which you are thankful.
Each evening, jot down three items of which you are proud and/or performed well that day.
While there are many aspects of life that we have no control over, you DO have power over your inner critic. Begin implementing these four principles immediately. You only have one life; you are deserving of it.