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Coaching With Your Inner Critic – Do You Try to Shut Down Your Negative
Inner Voice?
by Doris Helge,

Your inner critic can flatten your coaching confidence like a tack collapsing
a helium-filled balloon. It can be very difficult to focus on a client’s
challenge when you’re being bombarded by mental chatter like, “You
don’t know what you’re doing,” “This isn’t working”
or “You’re not good enough.”

IAC Mastery #1, establishing and maintaining the client’s trust, is the
foundation of masterful coaching. Since we read each other’s energy, it’s
impossible to build trust and rapport with our clients if we don’t trust

How does your inner critic feed self-doubt?

All of us have an inner critic that thrives when we second-guess ourselves.
Although you may think your inner critic will take a nap if you take extra care
to ask the perfect question, perfectionistic pondering is like calling attention
to a giant billboard that encourages your inner critic, “Attack now!”

Your inner critic is empowered when you invite your magnificent left brain
to focus on analyzing, evaluating and critiquing your coaching questions instead
of trusting your intuition and the client’s guidance of the session. You
gain tremendous freedom when you relax and focus 100 percent on engaged listening
(IAC Mastery #3).

One of the most common stumbling blocks for coaches is resisting their
inner critic instead of discovering its innate value.

Discover the truth about your inner critic

When you hear putdowns like “You’re not good enough” or “You’ll
fail,” it’s difficult to imagine that your inner critic has been
slaving away, nonstop, for most of your life . . . with your best interests
in mind. If you’re thinking, “What?”, know that your inner
critic is misguided, but its intentions are so pure and positive that most coaches
eventually tear up with gratitude once they fully understand this puzzled part
of themselves.

You gave birth to your inner critic in early childhood. You very cleverly (but
unconsciously) designed it as a protective shield to avoid adult disapproval.
Your inner guardian held you back with messages like, “You aren’t
powerful enough to do what you want.”

Children have many limitations. Even though you’ve grown up, your confused,
strong-willed inner critic has no understanding of your true capabilities.

Today, your negative voice continues to hold you back with a barrage of dis-empowering
comments and emotions. This creates anxiety and can lead to self-sabotage. Until
you re-educate this extremely powerful part of yourself, your internal censor
will continue its struggle to protect you from harm, disappointment, disapproval
and failure by putting you down. You may feel inadequate, unworthy and frustrated.
You may drag your feet when it’s time to market your business.

Your inner critic needs a new job description

Most coaches are relieved when they discover their inner critic is not their
enemy. They’re amazed to learn that trying to banish it makes it stronger.
They gain freedom when they discover that our inner critics want to help us
and were originally designed to keep us out of trouble. It’s very
empowering to learn that you can reinvent what you created.

It’s time to learn to use the strong-arm antics and derogatory voice
of this high-energy, potent part of yourself to your advantage. Masterful coaches
have discovered how to derive immense value from their internal censor. They
know how to embrace their inner critic and re-channel its remarkable persistence
and energy in helpful ways.

After you explore the myths about your inner critic and you comprehend its
potentially positive power, you can easily and rapidly transform your internal
censor into a loving, supportive internal coach. You’ll thrive and become
the strong, confident coach you’ve always been destined to become.

What can your inner critic do for you?

With a new job description, your inner critic will deliver gift after gift
to you. Here are just a few examples:

  • Since you originally gave birth to your inner critic as a protective mechanism to hold you back, you’ll give yourself permission to own your greatness.
  • You’ll discover hidden coaching strengths, so you’ll be more
    confident being your authentic self during sessions.
  • You’ll radiate confidence and competency when you promote your coaching
  • You’ll discover that taking intelligent risks when you’re coaching has become a joyful, spontaneous process instead of a source of anxiety.
  • Many of your clients also have an energetic inner critic. They’ll
    gain immensely from your new understanding about how to work with their inner critics.

This article was excerpted with permission from the #1 bestselling
book, “Conquer Your Inner Critic” by Doris Helge, Ph.D.

Doris Helge

Helge, Ph.D., MMC is founder of the IAC-licensed training school, Confident
Coach Connection. She created the New Coach Virtual Chapter of IAC. Download
a free chapter from Doris's #1 bestselling books, including “Conquer
Your Inner Critic,” "Transforming Pain Into Power" and “Joy
on the Job” at

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