When your inner critic sounds like a real jerk... | The Franker Message
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When your inner critic sounds like a real jerk...

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Angry looking toy squid | Photo by Mahdi Bafande on Unsplash

I've set myself a deadline and I've told all of you. How's that for accountability, gulp. Not surprisingly, my inner critic is making waves. He (yes, my inner critic is a he) has been saying things like:

You're making way too big a deal about this, you'll never be able to deliver the quality people are expecting now.

What if no one buys your stupid course, just like last time.

Who do you think you are thinking that you can just swoop in here and be brilliant, you're a puppy and you know nothing.

Yes, he can be a real jerk. Needless to say that I'm a bit more tense than usual this week.

Tension, or even anxiety, doesn't have to be a bad thing though. It's a signal that you probably care about what's happening. You're invested in what you're doing and you want to do a good job. So, feeling tension or anxiety about something doesn't necessarily mean that we shouldn't do it. We can recognize the emotion for what it is and explore where it's coming from. Then we can choose how we respond to it.

There're generally 2 ways most people respond to tension:

  • They freeze up and leave it (sometimes beating themselves up for doing that)
     
  • Or they overcommit and work harder.

I've been both of these at different stages of my life but, mostly, I'm the overcommitting type. I would go full throttle on work. I'd overcommit to my hours, I'd overcommit to the content, I'd overcommit to doing research. Thinking that I could only remedy my perceived lack of skill by obtaining more knowledge. Reading book after book and article after article, writing and editing my texts over and over. Because a single mistake would be too costly: "They" would "find out". When imposter syndrome and your inner critic team up, it can be a deadly combination.

The result of overcommitting in this way is that you spread yourself way too thin, all energy management is out the window, and you actually start procrastinating on the work you set out to do. Because, yes, overcommitting can quickly lead to procrastinating. If you're like me, you may try to procrasti-learn your way out of a problem, or you stress about the idea that you've now overcommitted and start to believe the inner critic's harsh judgments.

What I learned is that needed to take a step in between: Exploring where the tension was coming from. Sometimes, when we explore we discover that we actually don't want to do the thing. In that case, hell yes, give yourself permission to leave it behind and live your beautiful life. But sometimes, we discover that we actually do want to do the thing, but we feel insecure or daunted by it. It may be as simple as giving yourself permission to slow down for a couple of days or to take a smaller step on your journey that can ease a lot of that tension.

Wishing you a lovely flow today,

Mariella

PS. 

The mini-course introduction page is ready! Thank you to Vicki from my wonderful online community for naming the page so perfectly 🤗 Getting the page done was the first thing off my list. For some of you, this is perfectly logical, but I also have a bunch of people in my innie community that may be thinking: Aren't you working backwards? Yes, I am. I'll explain more about that next week 😊

You can check out the finished page (+ a video about me and the contents of the course) here.

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