Motivation: News From Your Inner Critic…

The holiday season is just around the corner, and before you know it, we’ll be ringing in 2014. New Year’s resolutions will be declared once again, and whether you set an intention to lose 10 pounds, or you declare a more ambitious goal, chances are your Inner Critic will have something to say about it. We all have this voice, or, as I like to refer to it, Saboteur, that doesn’t serve us. You may have heard other names for it: The Committee, Negative Self-Talk, or, Gremlin. It’ll work hard to convince you that you might fail, or tell you why your idea is crazy, risky, or impossible. Here are just a few of the facts that are important to know about your Saboteur, how and why it shows up, and savvy ways to manage it.

Everyone has a Saboteur. I’m certain Oprah has one too!
Its primary job is to keep things status quo. ‘Don’t take a risk, it won’t be safe,’ is one of its recurring messages. Your Saboteur has been with you since childhood. These messages served you then, but they are rarely useful now.
The bigger your dream, the louder and bolder your Saboteur voice becomes. I witness this all the time, especially with new clients. We talk about it early on in the coaching so they don’t get derailed by its messages.
Your Saboteur is ruthless. It offers all kinds of reasons why your plan is dumb, dangerous, hopeless, or not a good idea, and will have you feeling defeated before you get started.
Your Saboteur exaggerates. It is brilliant at taking a small grain of truth and blowing it up to be the blanket reason for stopping or never starting something.
Your Saboteur will always be with you, but you can create healthy ways to manage it, rendering it powerless over you and your dreams.
Your Saboteur is just a voice, it’s not who you really are in your natural state.
You can have many Saboteurs. I have an entire team, and they can be quite strategic at times!

Listen for its message and how it makes you feel. If all you notice is a general unease, versus an actual message, consider the possibility that your Saboteur is at work behind the scenes. Keep reading to learn ways to confront it.
Personify your saboteur. Get curious about how it operates, what it looks like, sounds like, and how it behaves. Give it a name even! Have fun with this, because the more you bring it into the light, the less power it has over you.
Imagine sending your Saboteur away on vacation, or outside the room. One of my clients told me she put him in the spin cycle of the washing machine while we talked.
Have a conversation with your Saboteur. Thank it for its wisdom (there may be a 2% truth in its message for you to be aware of), but let it know that you know what’s best for your life.
Use counter messages to counteract the Saboteur’s message: What I really want is…(you fill in the blank), The REAL truth about this is…(fill in the blank with as many counter statements as you can think of).
Name the values you are honoring as you manifest your dream. Write them down as a reminder! Refer back to them when your Saboteur tries to return.
Call a friend, family member or your coach who will remind you of your best self and what you are capable of.
Recall times in your life when you were successful at something. Remind yourself of the strengths and qualities you made use of to create that success.
Having an awareness of your Saboteur is key to creating new things in your life. In fact, your ability to manage this voice is often the only thing that stands in your way of success.
So as you think about what you want to accomplish in 2014, and your Saboteur shows up, let it know who’s boss!

Taming Your Gremlin, Rick Carson
A Master Class in Gremlin Taming, Rick Carson
Buddha’s Brain, Rick Hanson
There is Nothing Wrong With You, Cheri Huber

Shirley Oya is a Board Certified Coach and Professional Speaker. She produces 3-day intensive transformational retreats for Professional Women who are overwhelmed and exhausted. Women get to slow down and reflect on what is most important to them, and hit the ‘reset’ button for a fresh start in life! Formerly a seasoned accounting professional, Shirley especially enjoys working with 30-something women in the accounting and financial services industry. Her practice is filled with men and women of all ages though! Check out her website:


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