Do you think about the potential you have and how you’re not achieving it?
You’ve had some success, but know there’s a next level, to put yourself out there in a much bigger way.
So while you’re aware of the potential you have, you’re frustrated because you’re not achieving it and this leaves you with one question…WHY?
There is this one commonly held belief, that is often worn as a badge of honour, but this is deception at it’s finest.
It prevents you from going for what you really want.
It robs you of appreciating your accomplishments
It steals your confidence and tricks you into thinking it’s doing you a favour.
What is this belief?
“I’m my own worst critic.”
We see it, entrepreneurs brag about how they’re “so hard on themselves” and say it like it’s something to be proud of.
It makes me sick.
In a world where you’re constantly bombarded with messages that you don’t measure up, you’re not successful enough, and at it’s core…that you’re not good enough, why would you compound this further by being your own worst critic.
You’re an Entrepreneur, you’re on a mission to find solutions to the challenges of the world. You’ve undertaken a noble mission, but one that is wrapped in stress, uncertainty, and pressure.
When we’re stressed, our creativity is diminished, our confidence in our abilities reduce, and combining these factors often leads to entrepreneurial overwhelm.
You may have experienced this or know someone who is going through it now.
You have the pressures of the world on your shoulders, but then combined with our internal critic, it gets out of control.
Why being our own worst critic is so detrimental?
While drive and passion for creating a great business is essential, there is a spectrum to it which takes it from positive drive to succeed to self-imposed limitations on actions.
It’s often tied in with being a perfectionist, which makes a vicious combination as you’re not able achieve your impossibly high standards, so therefore are constantly beating yourself up as you’re not good enough and as the cycle continues, your self-confidence continues to erode.
Some common situations are…
- Comparing you and your abilities with others (And you’re always worse off in these).
- Beating yourself up for not being as good as or as competent/accomplished as I want to be.
- Feeling inadequate and generally like a big waste of space and time and energy in the world.
- Feeling like I’m going nowhere.
- Engaging in self-destructive behaviour (eg procrastination, food, alcohol, or anger or binging on distracting activities ex: TV)
- Feeling like my life is a failure — financially, emotionally and spiritually
- Always looking at the worst case scenario
- Feeling I’m a fraud and a failure
- Feeling others will recognize this about me and look down on me.
How I Know This
There are two reasons…
First, as a public speaking trainer, I’ve learned that you can provide your clients with all the technical tools, tips, and strategies, but to make the shift to increase your confidence, the real transformation that matters the most is your internal view of yourself.
We see this with clients beating themselves up for not having “the perfect presentation” for fixating on that one detail they didn’t like and then discounting all their efforts, successes, and not allowing themselves to have enjoy the experience.
No routine to control stress or engage your audience will be nearly as effective as increasing your levels of compassion.
Second, before I became a public speaking trainer, I struggled with panic attacks and anxiety for years. When the panic attacks became unbearable, I sought medical assistance and was diagnosed with Panic Disorder.
My journey to help people increase their public speaking confidence came as a result of my own journey of self-discovery and wanting to share a message that you can overcome the obstacles that hold you back from your potential.
When I started my business, there was a high degree of resistance due to “being my own worst critic” as feelings of insecurity were frequent so I needed to “be perfect” to prove my abilities and convince my doubters. While this led to focus on tasks, the net result was my business struggled as I would have an idea, but not put it out to the public because is “wasn’t to my standards.”
The outcome was nothing was every ready to be put out, so it was procrastination nation, and you can imagine how that negatively impacted my business and confidence.
How you can make the shift
The first step in making a change is awareness as without having the ability to recognize when you’re being too hard on yourself, you won’t have the filter to make reflect and make a change.
The issues with “own worst critic” is that it’s in your mind.
It’s always there, just ready to have you second-guess your actions, avoid opportunities, because it’s with you, it can literally function anytime, anyplace.
When allowed to run unchecked, it has the ability to overwhelm you with doubts, intensify insecurities, and trick you into believing that “you’re not good enough.”
When this happens and you become a shell of yourself and your potential.
You feel isolated, questioning your career choice, it feels hopeless and you should give up.
A few obstacles that commonly come up:
*Rationalizing that it’s actually good for you to be so hard on yourself
*You see that everyone else is doing it, so it’s accepted, or a requirement to become successful
*A belief that you’re not good enough so you’re reinforcing it to fulfill your viewpoint
Strategies to change:
- Identify when you’re being too hard on yourself. The ability to recognize you’re doing this gives you the power to make a choice.
- Ask yourself: How would I talk to a friend that just did this? This allows you a perspective to see if you’re being too hard on yourself.
- Reframe the competition to internal. Compete, but compete against yesterday’s version of yourself. Every morning is your opportunity to reflect and improve.
- In the big picture, how much will this actually matter? Will putting your “not perfect message out” today move you forward compared to waiting?
- Accept learning opportunities. There’s no failure, only feedback.
- Stack Wins. A big obstacle is we view our path in short-term. Example: my next presentation is the “make or break” for my career, this next sales call, my career is on the line. Take the long-term perspective, each presentation is getting you closer to your goal. Each presentation is a success and opportunity to improve.
- Find someone you admire and read their story. We often idolize those we admire and believe they’re “naturals.” The one common trait all success cases have is they once were amateurs, they made their mistakes, and most importantly, they kept taking steps forward. This will show that they’re human, just like you.
At the end of the day, switching your perspective to celebrate your successes as opposed to obsessing over your setbacks will be liberating and help you to move forward faster.
You may be thinking, this sounds great but I don’t want to come across like I’m bragging.
Trust me, there’s a large spectrum between being your own worst critic and coming across like you’re bragging. With the amount of info telling us that we’re not good enough, try to come across like you’re bragging 🙂
This will be a good accomplishment, as you can easily scale it back a bit to become a bit more humble and the process to get here, you will have increase your confidence in your abilities, which is the bigger challenge.
We’re all humans, we make mistakes, learn from them and take these lessons forward to improve your abilities.
“The person that makes no mistakes usually does not make anything.”
-Edward John Phelps
I hope you take this, become your own #1 fan, and make a big impact!