The Inner Critic is the Enemy of a Joyful Life

In this post, you’ll have the opportunity to reflect on the expectations many of us have around the idea of perfection and the concepts of the inner critic and inner guide.

“Do you think Cole Hamels pitches a perfect game, every game?”

I often hear my dad’s words in my head when I have an off day, when my inner critic is getting the best of me, when I’m not feeling as though I’m doing “enough.”

Why is it that we have this expectation that all things will go perfectly all the time? And when they don’t it’s like the world is coming down on us? We focus on that small percentage of error, instead of the large percentage of achievement and success. 

What would it look like to embrace a mindset that emphasizes continuous improvement so you can learn from mistakes, and turn those mistakes into valuable stepping stones toward future success? By focusing on achievements a bit more, you can gain a broader perspective on the progress made. This can lead to greater motivation and drive momentum.

Let me be clear — it is important to address errors or failures. We can learn a lot from our mistakes. Missteps can be catalysts for innovation. Striking the right balance between highlighting achievements and acknowledging errors can create an environment that fosters growth, learning, and resilience. The key is not dwelling on the mistakes but using it as a data point on your leadership journey. 

Let’s Reflect:

  • Where did I pitch perfectly this week?
  • Where did I fall short? 
  • How can I give myself grace when things don’t go as planned?
  • How can I strive for growth over perfection?

Silence the Inner Critic

In coaching sessions with my clients, we discuss the inner critic — the voice that oftentimes is too loud, keeping us from making decisions, leaving us feeling stuck.  The inner critic can be helpful at times but more times than not, it creates a false narrative, hindering our movement forward. The inner critic will keep your brain festering on the small percentage of error instead of recognizing the large percentage of growth and success. 

The opposite of the inner critic is the inner guide — the voice that serves as your inner cheerleader, the voice that reminds you of all the great things you’ve accomplished. 

So what can you do to dial down that inner critic, turn up the voice of the inner guide, and consider that there is beauty and growth in the unplanned? We can’t possibly pitch a perfect game, every game, but we can choose to enjoy the game, regardless of the outcome.

Tackle the Inner Critic with Life and Leadership Coaching

Looking for support in dialing down that inner critic? Click here to set up a 30-minute consultation to learn about the power of coaching!

Side note: Cole Hamels pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies during the 2006-2015 seasons, including 2008 when they won the World Series, being named MVP. He was, by all accounts, an excellent pitcher with a single no hitter under his belt in 2015.

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Hi, I’m Jessi

I created Habituelle Life and Leadership Coaching so that ambitious women can see that finding fulfillment in their personal and professional lives is possible. Redefining success in my own life has allowed me to help others do the same.

I’m here to support you in this journey of evolving identities, inner criticisms, and competing societal messages. We aren’t meant to do this life alone.