Quieting the Inner Critic

The beginning of a year intimidates. It overwhelms. Well, if you let it.

We have to break the beast down to consume in smaller bites. It’s just 52 weeks and you handle it one day at a time.

The “new year, new you” and all that business should not be the focus. Yes, it’s a new year but why does it have to be a whole new you?

We should all evolve with time and so Jan 1 is not a reset on who you are or how you live.

Jan 1 is an opportunity to continue expanding on what you have already built. The project may take a different turn with a new year but no need to scrap the project altogether and start over.

I cannot, will not and did not throw away 2015 as soon as 2016 arrived. Instead I choose to build on it. It is a new 365 day journal that will have ups and downs, victories and failures. But having arrived at the beginning of the yearlong journey I cannot help but think of the saying, “How do you eat an elephant?  A: One bite at a time.”

Every year we express bewilderment in how quickly 365 days go. I was just toasting champagne at the final countdown into 2016 with what feels like 3 hours ago but in reality we are already 3 days into January.

We must mentally prepare for everything that lies ahead of us. The mind is brilliant and amazing. It works well for us but sometimes the mind seems to work against us.

We intimidate and limit ourselves at times with just our thoughts. Do you find yourself being your biggest critic? I know I do it far too often but it never does me any good.

The time I spend complaining or being critical of myself, I could be making real changes or positive impact in my life and others. I get some of it is human nature and not easy to turn off or walk away from our inner critic but we have to learn to quiet it so we can be productive.

As necessary as it is to be kind to others, it is also so important for you to be kind to yourself. You already have to fight so many battles and the courage to do so can best be found in the most trying times if you are kinder to yourself.

When the critical voice gets loud, tell it to be quiet or get lost.



Inside Out Leadership

Leadership starts with self. At the beginning of 2015, I created a vision board filled with hopes and dreams and goals for the year.

At the end of this year I will post more on where I stand with that list. Whenever I look at that list I don’t feel overwhelmed by it. I don’t feel pressured by it.

My vision board actually motivates me and propels me forward. Achieving things on the list is not important just so I have things to talk about. Achieving items on the list means I am proactively living my life. I am taking the lead in my own life and that is something to get really excited about.

At first I was really nervous about putting my vision into pictures and words that others could see and hold me accountable for.

What I have found along the way is that I have pursued my vision without check-ins. I needed the visual for me so I could actively look for opportunities to fulfill my vision.

Before I can impact the world, society, my community, my work or my family/friends, I have to start with myself.

If I keep myself solid and in check, I will be able to achieve what I want to achieve. I will be able to motivate and empower myself so I can turn and help others down the line. I have to lead from the inside out so I do not get lost trying to help someone else.

What do you do to develop “Inside Out” leadership in yourself?