Our Inner Critic

It’s a slow Sunday morning here in Nelson BC. The first snow on the mountaintops, a cold breeze on the lake, temperatures are dropping. Winter is around the corner. A good moment to snuggle up in warm clothes behind my computer and to write this blogpost to you!

I have been dealing with a lot of significant changes in my life lately. Even though I initiated most of the changes myself it doesn’t mean that I have been without fear. On the contrary! Fear usually is a big factor when we deal with changes. Our ‘Inner Critic’ starts talking to us. And it mostly speaks to us when we least expect it.

Last week I realized it was sixteen years ago I started my own business. I started it from scratch, in a small room upstairs in my home in the Netherlands. And I am doing it again today. After completing 104 hours of training with The Coaches Training Institute in Vancouver I just opened up my office in Nelson BC and will start working as a Life coach & Small business consultant. But here I am, upstairs in my sunny office room, fighting my own demons. Did I make the right decision to move to Nelson? Where do I start? Will I be successful? I do not have a network. How will I find clients? What if I fail? Am I good enough?

All of us have these self-sabotaging inner voices that are holding us back. Our ‘Inner Critic’ has many reasons ready for why our plan is stupid, risky, dangerous or hopeless. The bigger the dream, the louder the voices become! They warn us: “No! Stay in your comfort zone, life isn’t all that bad where you are right now, isn’t it? Why change it?” The voices focus in on your weaknesses and work against your best interest. You will be playing small listening to them.

Recently I was in New York City attending the Emerging Women Live summit. It was fabulous! So many powerful women packed together in one room! Incredibly interesting key note speakers like Brené Brown, Arianna Huffington, Chantal Pierrat, Eve Ensler, Tami Simon, Danielle LaPorte, Tara Mohr, Gabrielle Bernstein and many more. They spoke about developing strength for challenging times, finding courage, the power of authentic expression, showing your vulnerability and the importance of playing big. They shared with us their own experiences in life, the mistakes they made, burn-outs they had and how they’ve worked hard to overcome their own fears while changing their lives around. I haven’t met any brilliant woman who wasn’t underestimating herself because of her Inner Critic.

How do you know your Inner Critic is present? Usually it shows up right before a decision you need to make or right after you made one. Or when you are presented with an opportunity. We feel low in energy when the voices are around. Often we feel guilt and shame also.

It’s good to know though, that we can overcome our fears, that we can tell our self-sabotaging voices to shut up, that we can find courage in ourselves and change our lives and reach our goals.

My own coach – yes, of course I’ve got one too! – helped me deal with my fears, break down overwhelming situations into smaller chunks and encouraged me to keep making little steps forward, to stay in motion. I can help you do the same and you will start realizing your dreams!

You can choose courage or you can choose comfortable. Tell me, what will it be?

With love, Birgit
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