Podcast: Your Inner Critic Isn’t Helping

Date

Your inner critic isn't your ally. She's your harshest critic, constantly berating you. It's time to silence that critic and embark on the journey to become the free, empowered woman you've always wanted to be.

Asha B. Wilkerson

Episode Summary

In this conversation, Asha Wilkerson discusses the negative impact of the inner critic and the importance of silencing that voice. She debunks the belief that self-criticism is necessary for personal growth and success, sharing her own experience of setting unrealistic expectations and feeling like a failure. 

Asha emphasizes the power of self-belief and the need to change relationships with oneself through self-compassion. She explores the origins of the inner critic and the influence of external voices. Asha provides strategies for silencing the inner critic and highlights the transformative power of healing.

Takeaways

  • The inner critic is not your ally and can hold you back from reaching your goals.
  • Self-criticism is not necessary for personal growth and success.
  • Setting unrealistic expectations can lead to feelings of failure and self-criticism.
  • Silencing the inner critic and cultivating self-belief can lead to a more empowered and fulfilling life.

Timestamped Summary of This Episode

  • 00:00 The Inner Critic
  • 01:19 Debunking Self-Criticism
  • 02:18 Setting Unrealistic Expectations
  • 03:14 The Impact of Self-Criticism
  • 04:12 The Power of Self-Belief
  • 05:08 Changing Relationships through Self-Criticism
  • 06:05 The Origins of the Inner Critic
  • 07:01 Separating External Voices from Your Own
  • 08:06 Silencing the Inner Critic
  • 09:01 Dismantling the Power of the Inner Critic
  • 09:30 Healing and Transformation

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Asha:

Asha Wilkerson (00:04.27)
Do you ever find that your inner critic is the loudest voice in your head? The one that relentlessly points out your flaws, mistakes, and imperfections?

Well, it’s time to tell that inner critic to take several seats because she’s not actually helping you get to where you want to go. We all have that nagging voice inside of us. The one that whispers doubts and insecurities. It’s the voice that says you’re not good enough.

You’ll never achieve your dreams or you don’t deserve success. But here’s the truth. Your inner critic is not your ally. She’s actually your secret.

Asha Wilkerson (00:51.626)
But here’s the truth, your inner critic is not your ally. She’s not your secret weapon for self-improvement. In fact, she might be holding you back more than you even realize. So let’s debunk a few common myths real quick.

The belief that self-criticism is the key to personal growth and success is just false. I used to think that if I wasn’t critical of myself, I’d never get anything done, but that’s not actually true. I had to challenge that notion when I realized that the high standards I carried weren’t really helping me.

So let me give you a ridiculous example that every time I tell this story, I cringe a little bit because it’s just that crazy. For my 30th birthday, my cousin asked me if I had made a list of 30 things to do while 30. And at the time, I’d never heard of such a thing, but I thought it was such a great idea. I’ve always been a habitual goal setter. I love making lists. I love checking things off the list even more.

Asha Wilkerson (01:48.522)
I’ve always been a habitual goal setter. I love making lists. I love checking things off the list even more. And I’m always a woman with a plan. So right after I turned 30, I made a list and got to work. Now my list, of course, wasn’t just an ordinary list.

I had things like go to Brazil, learn conversational Portuguese, book one speaking engagement. And the engagement that I, that I booked that I actually was really proud of was speaking at a law school graduation in Haiti.

I also had to attend a Cirque du Soleil show, have Lasik eye surgery, and those were the things that I actually accomplished. But I also had things on there like put five business clients on retainer, travel to Europe, save $15,000, max out my IRA, stick to a budget for six months, and pay off my law school loans.

And those are the things that I didn’t get done. And there’s a couple more on there that I didn’t mention as well. And do you know what my crazy brain did?

I criticized the hell out of myself for not getting the 10 things done on my list. I had done 20, but the 10 that were missing were more important than the 20 that I had done. 20 out of 30 is a 60%, I think it is. It’s a D. And that’s how I talk to myself. But who does that? Looking back, I can see how absolutely ridiculously self-critical I was, but in the moment I felt like I had failed and that I hadn’t lived up to my word and that if I let these 10 things slide, I’d never get to my goals.

Ridiculous.

So as I turned 31 naturally I was depressed. I was uninspired. I felt like, what am I going to do now? I didn’t hit my things while I was 30. And it totally made my birthday and my 31st year on this planet, like just damp. I just was not into it because I couldn’t stop criticizing myself.

And you might be thinking, but if I wasn’t critical of myself, I’d never get anything done. But I want you to really think about that and challenge that notion.

We aren’t actually born with a natural inclination to be overly critical of ourselves. We actually learn it along the way. Self-criticism comes from a place of feeling insufficient or lacking. But imagine what would happen if you could approach life from a position of power and strong belief in yourself and even patience,

Asha Wilkerson (04:12.19)
knowing that if you don’t get it right the first time, you’re eventually going to get it right. So let me share with you another quick story. In the summer of 2020, during the height of the pandemic, I had an astrology reading with an amazing woman named Yolanda. I don’t remember exactly what I had asked her, if I even asked her anything at all, but she told me this.

She said, Asha, your relationships will change when you stop being so critical. And I sat there for a moment in confusion because.

I felt like I was actually way more tolerant in relationships than I should have been and I was working on that, that I should be more discerning and maybe more critical and accept less that was coming my way.

But she corrected me and she said, no, Mija, not critical of others. Your relationship will change when you stop being so critical of yourself. What? Like what? What? I didn’t get it right then, but it made perfect sense a few months later. I finally saw how self-critical I was and how I was shaming myself for things that really didn’t deserve any shame.

And just as a side note, shame is a totally useless emotion. It makes you feel bad for things and feel embarrassed and it keeps you from taking action, but shame is really a choice. Anyway, it had become clear that my critical voice wasn’t helping me and instead I was allowing it to erode my self-esteem and self-confidence.

But I’m really, really proud of myself for starting on the path to self discovery and healing because through coaching and breath work and other healing exercises, I realized that the critical voice I was hearing at the time wasn’t really mine. And I’m willing to bet that your inner critic’s voice isn’t your own either.

My inner critic was comprised of critiques that my dad would make of me when I was younger. The man loved the term constructive criticism,

but he was real heavy on the criticism and real light on the constructive part.

I also had my mom’s admonitions in there about protecting her reputation and mine. I learned very early on that as a black person in America, I would be afforded fewer chances. I would have to work twice as hard. That was always the phrase, you’re gonna have to work twice as hard to get half as far. I also suffered from comparison syndrome. I would look at others who seemed to be effortlessly successful and I would look at my struggle.

Asha Wilkerson (06:33.75)
Which I know now was really just a part of the journey to success and I would criticize my missteps and my slow learnings as if that would help me reach my goals. I expected myself to be superhuman and to be above mistakes because I had never learned the difference between high standards and destructive criticism.

And the funny thing is I could tell other people to be softer with themselves, but I couldn’t give myself the same grace and space.

But thankfully, through the process of healing work, I got back.

But thankfully through the process of healing work, going back to look at some formative childhood moments and impactful experiences, I began to separate their voices from my own. And when I could finally hear my own voice, I realized that it was actually much softer, more encouraging and even proud of me.

If you’re listening to this podcast, I bet you have a strong inner critic too. Whether it’s about your organizational skills, your relationship skills, your body image, learn how to shut down the critic.

Imagine this. What if you believed in your ability to land that dream job rather than chastising yourself for wanting more? How would your actions change if you trusted your judgment in picking the right partner instead of beating yourself up for learning to interpret the red flags that you learned in your previous relationships? And what if you saw your younger self’s sensitivity and intuition as a strength rather than a weakness that would now allow you to advocate for your needs unapologetically.

Your inner critic isn’t your ally. She’s your harshest critic constantly berating you. It’s time to silence that critic and embark on the journey to become the free, empowered woman you’ve always wanted to be. Now here’s what I did to lower the volume of my inner critic.

Asha Wilkerson (08:29.962)
I began recognizing the critic inside of me. I’d catch my thoughts and acknowledge their helpfulness or hurtfulness.

I started asking whose voice it was. Was it mine or was it somebody else’s? And then I went back in time to see when that critic started and also why it started so I could understand where it was coming from and what circumstances led to its arrival.

Then I got to work dismantling its power by reminding my brain what was true and what was helpful.

And I did this over and over and over again until the voices started to soften. It wasn’t easy work and it’s still work that I do today, but it’s so worth it.

So if your inner critic is screaming at you on a regular basis and you’re ready to shut her up so that you can step into the life that you’re creating with love and confidence and power, I’d love to work with you through a combination of energy healing, neurocoaching, and life coaching.

I’ll help you find your voice and self trust so you can live free, empower light and love. All you have to do is head to ashawellkerson.com/coaching and we’ll make a plan specifically for you.

And remember it’s because I’ve healed that I’ve been able to repair old relationships and start new ones from a different perspective. It’s because I’ve healed that I’ve been able to leave expectations behind that no longer serve me. It’s because I’ve healed that I’m currently living my dream life out loud with no regrets.

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