#116: How to Tackle Your Inner Critic and Unleash Your ‘Badassery’

We all have one.

A nagging inner critic that won’t go away.

The one who keeps telling us we can’t. Or we shouldn’t. Or we’re not good enough. Or we don’t know enough (or have enough experience).

She has a name. It’s Hilda.

Unfortunately, no one is immune to Hilda. Not even the most experienced pros.

And as you’re about to see, the secret it NOT to try and silence her for good (not going to happen!).

The key is to learn how to tame her.

Fortunately, there are some practical ways to do that. And that’s the topic of this week’s episode, where you’ll hear from Coach Jennie Mustafa-Julock.

Coach Jennie knows Hilda intimately. She knows all her tricks. And she’ll explain what you need to know about Hilda in order to tame and control her impulsive nature.

I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did!

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

Tell us about yourself

Coach Jennie Mustafa-Julock is the Audacity Coach. She helps driven individuals squash self-sabotage and get out of their own way through cathartic shoves.

Her coaching approach isn’t for everybody. But some people need a coach who’s willing to tell the truth and get in their space.

Why do so many of us self-sabotage?

Most of us don’t realize how common self-sabotage is. We don’t talk about it. We think we’re the only ones doing it. But everybody—even the most audacious and ambitious—sabotages themselves sometimes.

We do it because we’re human. We let it become a habit. We spend too much time listening to our inner critic. That voice that tells us we suck, we shouldn’t, that this will never happen.

Have you found some patterns in your study of self-sabotage?

Jennie has given the name “Hilda” to the self-sabotaging voice in our heads.

Hilda’s rants tend to fall into one of four categories:

  1. We believe that we can’t
  2. We believe that we shouldn’t
  3. We believe that we don’t know enough
  4. We believe we don’t want it badly enough.

The “I Can’t” Hilda

This Hilda questions your capabilities. She questions what’s inside.

The “I Shouldn’t” Hilda

This Hilda is more concerned with what’s outside. She’s obsessed with the judgment of others. She wants you to change your behavior to please others.

The “I Don’t Know Enough” Hilda

This Hilda is terrified of the starting line. She perpetuates indecision and inertia, and causes you to second guess everything.

The “I Don’t Wanna” Hilda

This Hilda is scared of the finish line. She justifies procrastination and makes you feel unfocused. She convinces you to avoid the things you want the most.

What about the voice in our head that attributes the success of others to their circumstances?

This falls in the “I shouldn’t” space. You’re not keeping your eyes on your own paper. You’re comparing yourself to others to get a “get out of jail free” card. It builds in excuses.

The negative voices in your head want you to stay small and safe. They want to make sure you don’t get too big for your britches. It’s another form of self-sabotage. It’s a massive distraction that holds you back.

Can you truly silence your inner critic?

We never entirely eliminate this voice if we’re doing things that matter.

You can’t silence your inner critic. But you can work with it and control it.

You can use these techniques and tools to shut Hilda down in the moment:

  1. Recognize that she doesn’t speak the truth. These negative messages aren’t yours. They’re external to you. They’re collected by Hilda and designed to keep you small. Start differentiating her nonsense from what’s actually true.
  1. Prepare some comebacks. Don’t let Hilda blather on with her nonsense. Hit her with some comebacks.

By responding to her messages, you’ll change how you feel. And that will change how you act.

Hilda is like a demented documentarian. Our job is to remember that she’s only showing the crappy part of the documentary. So shut down the documentary and replace it with memories and evidence and comebacks that shut her up.

  1. Process your fears. When we experience fear, we feel it and obsess about it without thinking through it.

Instead, put your feelings on a shelf for five minutes and ask yourself:

  1. What’s the worse case scenario?
  1. What’s the best case scenario?
  1. What’s your role in this?
    1. Where do you have complete control?
    2. Where do you have influence?
    3. Where do you have no control?

For example, when you’re pitching a new client, you have no control over their business. But you have complete control over your pitch. And you can influence their decision.

Once you’ve answered all these questions, take your feelings off the shelf. How do they feel now? Are you still afraid? Or do you know what you have to do?

Fear can be paralyzing. But by going through this exercise, you make things do-able.

Hilda spins these crazy, ridiculous stories to sabotage. But with these tools, you can pause and realize that Hilda’s wrong. And this will cause Hilda to pipe down.

  1. When Hilda gets loud, that means you’re on to something. When Hilda is particularly vocal, that doesn’t mean there’s something is wrong with you. It means you’re onto something big. And Hilda’s freaking out because you’re doing something that matters.

When your inner critic gets loud, that means you’re doing something important.

Freelancers spend a lot of time by themselves, so Hilda can get loud. But now that you’ve met her and have some perspective on her, you can keep moving forward.

Tell us about your book and how listeners can learn more about you

Coach Jennie’s book, Hilda: Tackle Your Inner Naysayer, Get Out of Your Own Way, and Unleash Your Badassery, is available on Amazon.

You can learn more about the book at Hilda the book.

Coach Jennie’s website: Coachjennie.com