Sometimes there is no need for DEEP WORK to deal with your inner critic.
Last week I gave my kids a scare and a good laugh simultaneously.
I’m in the garage running on the treadmill.
The kids are in the living room, which is connected by a wall to the garage (and by kids I mean my 20 & 25-year-old).
All the kids could hear was their mother shouting from the garage.
They walk out to the garage to see if I’m okay.
Yes, I am okay.
I’m still running and about to finish sprinting the last few seconds of my 4-mile run.
The kids are just staring at me as they wait for me to stop.
I finished. Stop. I wave my hands up in the air saying “YES! YES! YES!” in victory!
I am dripping in sweat.
The kids are laughing hysterically, but perplexed. Just a few seconds ago, I was SHOUTING.
You see, I have been pushing myself to do just 10% more with everything I do. What if I pushed myself just a wee bit harder? Not killing myself, but only 10% more. What would that look like exactly?
For my workout routine, I decided that I’d do just a bit more than I am used to doing. That day, it meant that I’d jog my usual first 3 miles at the pace I am used to (a fast walk for most people!), and then I would sprint as fast as I could, for the 4th and final mile (okay, just a bit more than 10%!).
It was the first time I tried it, and it proved to be harder than I thought!
I rarely run fast (unless I’m being chased by a dog, running to the sale rack at Nordstrom, or Home Goods on Tuesday morning when they stock new inventory), but in my mind, at least, it didn’t seem that big a deal.
UNTIL I started sprinting, of course.
I was halfway into that last mile, and my brain was going WILD!!!
“Slow it down!”
“I can’t… I CAN’T do this!”
“Why am I doing this?”
“Just stop already!”
“We only agreed on 10%!
“I’m overdoing it!”
“DON’T look at the screen!”
“LOOK at the screen, dammit!”
“You have ten more loooooong minutes!”
“It’s totally okay to STOP right now!”
“What am I trying to prove anyway?!”
“This is totally stupid!”
“Change the frickin’ music. It’s not helping me at all!!”
“I CAN just STOP now. I’ve already met my goal!”
“I CAN’T possibly finish!”
“I can’t BREATHE!”
“I am going to hurt my knees, darn it!”
“STOP looking at the screen!!!”
I stopped THINKING. For. a. split. second.
I kept running.
I noticed my thoughts.
I then thought to myself, “This isn’t helping.”
I started talking back to my brain.
But this time, OUT LOUD!
As loud as I could!
I wanted to DROWN OUT my thoughts.
I couldn’t hear myself because I had my AirPods on.
But the kids could.
This is what they heard.
“Shut the F*CK up!
“You are NOT going to STOP me!”
“I am gonna K-E-E-P on G-O-I-N-G!!”
“I don’t care what you say. I only have a few more minutes!”
“Deeeeeeep Breath. Deeper! Keep breathing!”
“I CAN totally do this!”
“Who says I can’t?!”
“Oh yeah?? You think you are LOUD?! Well, I can SCREAM louder!!!
“DO YOU HEEEEEEAAAAR ME????!”
“I am going to FINISH!!!”
“Shut up already! I-am-going-to-FINISH, I said!!!!”
And with that, I completed my 4 miles.
Out of breath.
Dripping with sweat.
Panting like a dog.
And now hysterically laughing with the kids. 😂 😂 😂
(*please don’t ever interview the kids about me unless you want to hear some funny sh*t!)
Needless to say, they got what was happening. After we laughed it out, we had a healthy conversation about drowning out that inner voice that wants to stop us from living our life.
When we are uncomfortable, that voice only gets louder. When we push ourselves to try something new or push ourselves an extra 10%, we can count on that voice to show up BOLDLY to deter us and warn us to be careful. Its only job is to point to the DANGER ahead.
Watch for it.
You can totally THINK this too:
The moral of the story?
When you hear your inner critic holding you back, STOP. Say “Your opinion is noted.”
Then, stand up and fight back!
End of story.
P.S. Having trouble keeping your inner critic quiet? Let’s get on the phone so you can start living the life you INTEND to.
Schedule your call HERE.
P.S.S. Introverted Women Leaders – Want to stay off Social Media? I’ve got you covered! If you want a (quieter) and safe place to engage with like-minded women leaders, join my new group HERE.