We’ve arrived at the letter I: Insufferable Inner Critic. According to theNational Science Foundation, 80% of self-talk is negative.

We’ll wait while you pull yourself together…

This week, a new client shared her trifecta of inner critic judgments:

  • Who do you think you are?
  • You’re not smart enough to pull this off.
  • You are going to have to work 3x as hard as the other presenters.

WOW! Let’s admit none of us would ever tolerate being spoken to the way we speak to ourselves.

We can’t promise that we can make your IC go away, but we do have a three-part strategy to turn the volume waaayyyyyy down.

1. Don’t ignore the inner game. Your speech preparation doesn’t start with PowerPoint or Excel. It starts on the inside. And that means getting clarity on your definition of success, your core strengths, and visualizing success. But that insufferable inner critic wants to scream at you questions like, ‘Do you even know which data points to share?’ ‘Are you even qualified to do this?’ ‘ Why did you say yes to this presentation?’ No wonder our stress level spikes. You need a counter-weight.

2.  Recognize who’s really talking. Whether your inner critic is a perfectionist, a criticizer, an underminer, or all three, know that these messages, which turn into negative feelings ARE NOT FACTS! This overwhelming authoritarian, fear-mongering voice can only do harm when we believe it’s speaking truthfully.

3.  You are the boss of you. So, talk back. When a normal wave of presentation jitters grips you and the critic blows its fear-based stack, you must talk back. It sounds like this:

a)    “I appreciate you’re worried, I have a plan. I can do this.”

b)    “I’m learning. I don’t need to be perfect. I got this.”

c)    “Thanks for the concern, but I have plenty of time.”

Try it. You deserve it.

Want to learn how to turn the volume down on your Inner Critic?

Join us for CLOUT: Communication Skills for Go-Getters in Boston on Oct 13.