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Hush the inner critic with a pile-on of love

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Last Updated on 26th August 2020 by Dan Maby

Sometimes our inner critical voice can be louder than usual. Times when perhaps we’ve felt judgement, heard apparent poor opinion, or have a few hiccups in life. Those times when it feels like nothing is going right. That’s the time when our inner critic steps forward.

Recently, having a tough day in which I felt all I did was wrong and not good enough for my family, for my business, for me, I shared my feelings of unworthiness on Facebook. I keep that as a more personal space, the friends there are actual friends, not simply numbers to boost my reach – I would gladly open my door, welcome in with tea and cake, chat with, listen to each of them. The response was encouraging, of course – not that I expected or sought this, consciously, but it was welcome and sometimes that is the best thing to do for yourself – to raise a hand that says “I’m feeling rubbish just now”.

And this had me wondering, what if we listened to the kinder voices of other people instead of the voice in our head? Just what could we achieve? In discussing exactly this with my Facebook chums, some pointed out that we ourselves can slay the inner critic – we have our own positive voice that can see off that negative voice. But sometimes we also need to feel loved and appreciated by our friends and peers. And we should really listen to their voices, drink in what they say, and believe them. How mighty would that make us feel?

By being open in places we can sometimes hear more truths about ourselves than we might realise. On Slack I’d shared a wobble from my inner imposter and one friendly response especially had me wondering why on earth I listen to myself. I am constantly surprised at other people’s opinions of me. How about I actually felt that for real?

We here on the Big Orange Heart site share great posts about that pesky impostor syndrome, and share plenty more on social media. One in particular resonated – Leo Gopal recently wrote “The bright side of imposter syndrome” and starts off with:

In my decade in the tech industry, I have never met a person who has experienced imposter syndrome who was terrible at their vocation.

Might this be true for us, for you, for me? You know if you’re really good at what you do – not just from peers, employers, clients telling you, but you know inside yourself, when you let yourself believe, that how you do what you do is pretty darned good, and areas that need improvement – well I’ll bet you know what those are and take steps to achieve that “betterment”.

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