Have you calculated the true cost of people pleasing and self-doubt?

I have and I’m not willing to pay it any more. Are you?

Why don’t we go all out to break free from our Inner Critic?

I keep coming back to this:

We don’t really feel the true cost.

Health. Money. Freedom. Fulfillment. Connection. Opportunities. Generational wealth. A planet that will survive and societies where we all thrive.

There’s two key reasons why I don’t think we feel it….

  1. We live in a culture that’s used to and even benefits from people being unhappy, undervalued and unwell - a “could be worse” mindset that tells us we should feel guilty for wanting more (just look at how poisonous things are for long suffering NHS staff daring to ask for better working conditions and pay)

  1. We don’t have a bold and wild enough vision for how we want to express our own unique passions and gifts in the world. We don’t know what we’re missing out on beyond feeling a bit better or getting the absolute minimum needed to stay sane and well. We don’t have this partly because of our Inner Critic - including the above internalised views in (1) - and so we are caught in a Catch 22.

We don’t realise that our dreams are limited by all the stories we have inherited about our ability, self-worth and what the world could be like.

They’re not really our dreams but a script handed to us. Our job is to read our lines, maybe improvise a little, but not rip up and re-write the whole darn play with ourselves as the protagonist doing whatever she wants, in connection and deep harmony with others doing what they really want.

We spend our lives avoiding criticism, blame and rejection. Instead we could be pursuing pleasure, fulfillment, adventure, growth, abundance, connection, power and influence for good….

We have no idea of our true potential and the stories we could be writing for ourselves and the world.

And the world so desperately needs new stories .

I’m encouraging you to identify some of the pain points you’re experiencing right now because of your Inner Critic.

I hope this exercise will light a fire under our collective tush to push for change - for ourselves and others.

Exercise: Identifying the Inner Critic pain points you’re experiencing NOW

Is there any evidence that you aren’t an entirely happy, healthy, functioning human right now who really understands her worth?

Could this be underpinned by Inner Critic Stories?

(Check out this article to help identify these stories)

Here’s a few questions to help you identify whether you’re experiencing some of the potential consequences of your Inner Critic (may also be your People Pleaser - doesn’t really matter and they’re closely related). Can you think of any more?

Not everything will be traceable back to your IC or PP, but a surprising amount might be!

What you need to do

Read the question and take some time to answer. Reflect on how things have been with the topic in question over the last days, months and years.

I suggest you write down all your responses.

If you do find a pain point, ask yourself what’s really going on. How might your Inner Critic be contributing through guilt tripping, doubting and criticising your abilities, comparing yourself to others and catastrophizing about what would happen if you made changes?

Examples from my life:

Have you got ill and needed time off work from burnout, exhaustion, stress etc?

Yes. My Inner Critic thought it was selfish and weak to take time out from a stressful job - to be honest I was in denial about how bad it was until I threw up from IBS pain in Tescos, then couldn’t leave the flat the next day as I started having a panic attack. My Inner Critic was catastrophising about what would happen financially if I needed to leave. My Inner Critic thought it was weak to ask for help from my Dad (he offered it to me because my IC was too strong).

Have you ever considered setting up your own business but gave up on the idea?

Yes. Back in 2018 when I gave up that job. My Inner Critic didn’t think I was good enough to start coaching. I had lost a lot of self-confidence from two cycles of burn-out and my Inner Critic blamed it on an inability to function as a normal person.

Have you ever stayed in an unhappy relationship for far too long?

Yes. My Inner Critic doubted my ability to find love. She was catastrophising about how I would cope financially and practically living on my own in London.

Questions

Have you got ill and needed time off work from burnout, exhaustion, stress, over-work etc?

Do you struggle to take breaks in the day from your job?

Do you have difficulty sleeping and find yourself worrying about work and other things you need to do?

Does being busy get in the way of you eating properly or having exercise?

Do you find it difficult to find the time to see a dentist regularly (when was the last time?) or find time to see a doctor when you need to?

How often do you do unpaid overtime?

How senior do you think you could become in your career? Do you think you could be a leader?

What are your minimum salary requirements? What’s the limit on how much you think you could ever earn? What have you based this opinion on?

When was the last time you proactively went for a promotion and asked for a pay rise (not when were you last offered one….)

Have you ever considered setting up your own business but gave up on the idea?

If you run your own business, how are things going financially? Are you fulfilled in what you do? Can your business survive if you took a month off? How do you know that you aren’t underpricing your services?

How do you feel about your bank balance, savings and investments? Stressed? Overwhelmed? Coping? Entirely in denial? Comfortable? Abundant? Able to give generously to causes you care about and have a big impact?

What do you imagine your retirement will be like? Do you have a financial plan that fills you with concern or confidence? Are you vague / unclear about what you will get and how does that make you feel?

What three words would you use to honestly describe how you feel about your romantic relationship or being single right now? When was the last time you laughed together or felt really cared for?

Have you ever stayed in an unhappy relationship for far too long?

How often do you have time just for yourself? Are you able to enjoy it when you do?

Do you know what really brings you joy, rest, play etc in your free time?

Is there anything you would like to try out but have kept holding it off? (Like singing, learning a new skill, meeting new kinds of people)

How often do you cancel your own plans to help someone else?

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