Are you feeding your inner critic?

If you are looking for Unlocking Stage Presence you will find it here: Episode 52 Apologies for the duff link!

There are things you can do that make your over critic stronger, and there are things you can do to make it calm down.

This episode/video is all about how to stop feeding your inner critic making it louder and more vicious, and how you can quieten it.

If you think it is time you sorted out your inner critic so that you could start performing with real confidence and enjoyment, I'm opening up my signature programme The Fearless Performer Programme as a group mentorship in a couple of weeks time.

It will be for a third of its usual cost (£195 instead of £595) and there are limited places, but if you are interested you can go on the waiting list for a place right now.

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Read the episode transcript here:

[00:00:00] Are you feeding your inner critic? Hi, I'm Hattie Voelcker from Find Your True Voice, and this episode is all about the inner critic and how you can inadvertently be feeding it when you think you're trying to shut it down. So what does the inner critic feed off? Well, it feeds off fear, nervousness, anxiety, and worry.

And it is also, it also feeds off a battle. So when it thinks it's in a fight with you, it'll up the ante and it'll fight even harder. So what a lot of people do when it comes to the inner critic is they think the best thing is to ignore it or to shut it down or shut it up. But that actually makes things worse because the inner critic is there because it's worried about you.

And if you try and shut it down, what it thinks is, Oh, I need to be louder. I need to [00:01:00] talk louder. I need to say this more firmly. I need to act in a way where I am not going to be ignored because if they ignore me Then they're in trouble and so if you try and ignore your inner critic or tell it to shut up and go away it'll just get stronger and The trouble is you're in it because you're in a critic is you it's just as strong as you and because it's probably based in your subconscious it actually could be a bit stronger than your conscious mind and certainly more adept and battle ready.

So trying to shut it down doesn't work, trying to ignore it doesn't work because it just gets louder. Being worried also doesn't work because it feeds off fear. If it's worried, then it goes, Oh, well, there's a good reason to be worried. Look, look how worried Hattie is. She needs to be worried. It's obviously genuine, this fear and this concern.[00:02:00]

And it then Ups the ante as well. Let's just stay at home today, let's not put you out there to be judged by the world. Just stay at home. You don't feel very well anyway, you're not ready for this. Maybe next week you'll be ready. And it starts tapping into this, So it almost sounds like it's concerned about you and it is concerned and it's almost like it's looking after you But what it's doing is it's keeping you small.

It's going right you're afraid. So let's keep you small Let's not put you at to risk Yourself now now that sounds like it's supportive, but that's still a critical voice It's a critical voice because it's implying that you're not up to it That you're not capable. And it's not just implying it, is it really?

It's actually saying, maybe you'll be ready next week, you're not ready now. You're not ready. Or maybe, you are [00:03:00] ready. Maybe it's just your fear making you feel like you're not ready. And can you see how that becomes, then, this vicious cycle, where you're worried and then you go, Well, maybe I'm not ready.

And there comes the critical voice that makes you feel low and that beats down your self esteem. But it is there to keep you safe. So, if you can't ignore it or tell it to go away, and believing it also feeds it, gives it energy, what can you do? And, here's the thing, because the inner voice is you, if you start to pick a fight with it, tell it to go away, or ignore it, then that's what you're doing to yourself.

You're telling yourself to go away. You're telling yourself to not be so silly. And that's just, you know, you bullying the part of you that's bullying you and you create this sort of cycle of self abuse. you've got your critical voice telling you that you're [00:04:00] not good enough, you're useless, you're terrible and then you tell the critical voice to shut up and go away so you're being mean to the critical voice and it all becomes very murky and horrible in your head.

But if you think about the critical voice. Being worried and it is trying to keep you safe. It's like one of those worrying parents that goes, don't worry Just don't put yourself out there. You're not really good enough. I want to keep you safe I don't want you to make a fool of yourself. I don't want you to mess this up I don't want you to ruin your career by doing the wrong thing.

They say that because they're worried. They're genuinely worried about you and want to keep you safe So think about it from the critical voices perspective. If we give it a personality, what would make it feel less worried? Telling it to shut up and go away makes it feel more worried because, it feels like you're not hearing it and therefore you won't listen to its concerns and you'll go and do something stupid.

Buying into it and becoming afraid [00:05:00] also feeds it and goes, right, yeah, no, we're right here. We need to keep you small. I'm doing the right thing. The other thing you can do is flip it on its head and start to listen to your inner critical voice. Now that scares people because they worry that if they listen to their critical voice, they will believe their critical voice.

because they've been listening to their voice all the time for years and years and years, and it's just got worse. But I would say that you've been listening, probably been listening to your inner critical voice whilst trying to shut it up. You've not been welcoming it in and going, tell me your worries.

Tell me what you're worried about and doing that has an amazing impact because when you get to express your worries, then it can calm your worries down. When I When my, one of my sons comes and says they're worried about something, if I were to say, don't be silly, it's nothing to worry about, [00:06:00] or you'll be fine, it's all going to be fine.

One is critical and the other is sort of dismissive, even if it's slightly positive. It doesn't make them feel better and it doesn't reduce their fears. It doesn't help them. However, if I go, what are you worried about? And they get a chance to tell me and express it. Then, almost always. their fears calm down.

The mere having someone listen to your fears will , calm you down. And nine times out of ten that works, and that one time out of ten it doesn't work. Might be because there's a genuine fear that it's important you do something about. So listening to yourself is not only important to calm yourself down, but also it can have that impact of you realising actually there's something that you Are genuinely worried about and you could do something about that you could [00:07:00] sort out and fix and make better So listening to my boys means they calm down.

It also means that I get to hear, when there's a genuine concern, there's a genuine worry that we can do something about in the same way listening to yourself Will calm you down because it's that question. What's the worst that can happen? You go 'Well, it'll ruin my career' Okay, tell me about it how it will ruin your career.

Tell me how it will impact you so you'll never work again. Explaining all of that gets you to process it all. And then you can say, well, if it does, what do I do then? Or, if going for this and messing up will ruin my career, my choice is not to go for it. And do I want to make that choice? And then you start to be able to make conscious choices without ignoring your fear or pushing it away.

Or pushing it down, but owning it so that you don't choose to do something or choose not to do something despite the fear and ignoring it and not [00:08:00] processing it. You choose to do something knowing that that fear is there, that potential consequence is there, and deciding to do it. Or maybe you decide not to do it because you don't want to take that risk, but then you have agency in your life.

So, listen to your inner critic. Maybe they have something genuine to say. Mostly, these are just worries that have grown out of proportion. And when you listen, they completely calm down. I'm Hattie Voelcker from Find Your True Voice. Thank you very much for listening.