Posts tagged inner critic
Game on

Last week I checked in with a friend of mine who is currently writing his dissertation. It seems my text arrived at the right time as one of the first things he said that he needed a bit of my good vibes.

Please don’t think that I’m the ‘good vibe machine’ but on a good day I’m willing to share and on a bad day I don’t mind tapping into my reserve where needed.

He was feeling drained, not motivated, thinking about what toll this has had on his year already. I could almost hear him making sounds like Ugggghhhrrr, bluhhhh …but as this was through whatsapp I likely let my imagination go a bit.

I believe we can all recognise the feeling when we ‘have to’ start something important and POOF, there goes our creativity or our energy levels. Thoughts might arise like

“I don’t think that I can do this?” “Will I be able to make it on time?”  “I don’t know where to start?” “I really don’t have the energy to do all this shizzles.”

Oooh how we wished someone else would come along to take it out of our hands or at least to make a start so we can take over when the easy part begins.

We came all this way and suddenly, we go from a Yay to Nay and start thinking why the bleep we started this in the first place.

Procrastination is a funny thing…By funny I mean we likely will have a laugh when it’s all over. Thinking of how silly we were and how we’ve been playing mind games.

So, if you recognise yourself let’s have a moment and stand still with this draining feeling. Who is sucking up all the energy while you’re on this mission?  For the fun of it let’s turn on our inner game show host.

(Game show host voice) Is it contestant….:

Number 1? The procrastinator: “Ooo let’s do this very unimportant thing right now as I can’t start without having done that first!”

Number 2? The inner critic: “I’m utterly shit at this (full stop)”

Number 3? The victim: “Can’t believe I’m here again. Boohoo…”

Number 4? Blank - Feel free to add any other potential parts of your character.

If it’s stopping you in your tracks they are likely getting a little too much airtime. So now that you realise this let’s put the spotlight on them and ask:

Contestant number X: What’s the name of the game that we’re playing?

(Is there a title – e.g Would I lie to you? Patience? Risk?  Jeopardy?)

What do you want for me?

 (Is there anything that needs to be addressed? E.g: are you hungry, tired, afraid or avoiding anything etc?)

Is there any way you will help me towards the finish line?

(Are you open for bargaining? Do you need an accountability buddy? What do you need?)

What else do you have lined up for me?

(Spot the patterns; have you been here before? Are you going to pull an all-nighter? Calculate it in)

Now that you roughly know the game let’s turn the spotlight on you; the one who made it this far; the one who likely came up with this idea; the one who knows the gain of this game… Yes YOU!

What was your initial plan?

(What was your goal? What was your interest in doing this? What were you excited about?)

And the final question is:

Umming and Awing aside – Will you do it…eventually? (Regardless of the game, will you see this through? Or at least give it a try?)

If the answer is Yes: what’s the use to keep on playing mind games? As you’re going to do it anyway! So keep going and create a game plan.

If the answer is No – what’s the use to keep on playing mind games? As you’re not going to do it anyway!  (If you’re keep on going anyway you might want to ask yourself the question again)

When I asked my buddy where he was, he said he was on his way to the library. I secretly had a quiet giggle as hey – even while feeling drained he didn’t completely believe his victim voice as otherwise he would have stayed in bed, and turned on Netflix.

I know… I know… it’s easier said than done….but now that you know the game you’re playing it's GAME ON!

Thank you for reading (or procrastinating?) and don’t hesitate to get in touch where stuck.
















One of those days

It might be because of my upbeat personality or because I’m a Coach, but some people act surprised when I describe my off days.

I wouldn’t be able to tell you the amount of times that I’ve woken up wondering what the hell I’m doing.  Nor could I tell you the number of times when self-doubt kicked  in, or when I’ve let this little voice take over and decide that I can just as well just switch on Netflix or social media to hide for a while.

Personally I think that everyone has these types of days and I’m still to meet the super human who can honestly say that they have completely defeated their inner critic or the voice that we coaches would call our ‘saboteur’.

One thing that I can tell you is that this critical voice that causes the ‘I can’t’, ‘I should’, the ‘I’m not good enough’, the ‘I don’t have the money’ and so on… this voice does not define you.

But what can we do to stop this broken record of negativity? How do we shift from an off - day to an on- day? Yes, let’s change the tune.

Changing the tune is sometimes easier said than done, but there is a choice we can make: to spiral down or to build the muscle to get back up.

So, let’s first start with something very basic…a human need that we can’t live without:

1. Take a breath

Breathe In…1 2 3… breathe out… 1 2 3 4…  When anxious, uncertain, stressed or in a grey cloud, pay attention to your breathing. It might sound very simple, but in this moment there is a big chance that you’ve been holding your breath without you realising it.

Taking conscious breaths is a real necessity in the right here and now. So let’s wake up your body & mind by taking in some oxygen.

2. Reflect

We sometimes are afraid to stand still with our own thoughts but funny enough we don’t have any issues standing still with the thoughts of others. Our saboteur can take on different tones, creating a crossover of thoughts or opinions about yourself and the world or the opinions of another.

Instead of taking your saboteur’s voice as a truth, simply notice the fact that it’s there. Be curious about what set it in action and what is it stopping you from doing? 

Don’t even bother beating yourself up when having these thoughts, as that would only make it worse. Reflect and wonder if this thought is really true and if you really have to believe it.  More importantly, think of who can you be without the I can’ts and the I shoulds?

3. Connect

While breathing and reflecting it’s now time to connect. On our off days, when believing our inner critic, there is however always this tiny voice in the background waiting to be heard.

If you listen very carefully, there is this voice that knows ‘the why’ behind all of this.  I’m not talking about the dramatic, the desperately seeking an explanation type of ‘WHY OH WHYYY?’

 I’m talking about the voice that knows the deeper meaning, the purpose of what made you decide to go into a specific direction.  The voice that connects you to your gut and that when thinking of ‘the why’ creates that spark within you.  It’s that calm voice that whispers ‘you can do this’, ‘trust yourself’, ‘let’s create’.   When connecting with this voice, turn up the volume, give it a platform and hand it a megaphone.

So BRC:  Breathe, Reflect & Connect.  Nice and short and definitely something that you can put on a post -it note as a reminder for when you are slowly slipping into one of those days.

We might not always be able to change the tune instantly, but as practice makes perfect you can just start by breathing and by being conscious about the thoughts that you decide to believe.

If you get stuck at the R or the C and are getting tired of hearing the same tune then don’t hesitate to reach out to me for a free sample session and we’ll start with building up this muscle.

This said if you are reading this and you’re one of these super humans who already have completely defeated their saboteur, then please do contact me ASAP as we need to talk!

Thank you for reading.