3 Inner-Critic Thieves that Prey Upon Your Success in Life


Have you ever heard your inner-critic whisper these words?

“It doesn’t matter how much weight you lose, you’ll never look good.”

“You are just too old to do most things, so just give it up”

“Why didn’t you just…”

“You could have done better, in fact you should have!”

“You’ll never get that contract completed and on budget for that client’s project.”

“It’s wrong to take time for yourself, your family needs you to be available.”

“He doesn’t really love you, look at how much affection “Kat’s” husband gives her.”

“You’re not worth spending that kind of money on.”

For so many of my clients, these are the kind of things that their inner-critics whisper – or sometimes shout – in their ears. And believe me, I’ve been there. In time, I’ve learned how to quiet that voice and stand in my own power. But here are just some of the ways that my inner critic sabotaged me before that happened:

  • My body image suffered and I constantly compared myself to other woman.
  • My health was a deep concern, and I used excuses as to why I couldn’t be successful staying healthy.
  • My self-esteem was so low that I couldn’t see that anyone valued me as a person or that I was someone worthy of love.

Until I realized that the voice in my head was being a downright bully who was stealing my chance to be happy or successful, I was left lying on the sidewalk like a victim.

Robbed of all the connection to my inner strengths, past successes and supports systems that would keep me at the top of my game, I made all of my choices based on the low thoughts that ran through my mind. It brought with it bad choices in partners, low paying jobs, friends that were more of the frenemy variety, and unhealthy habits like binge drinking and eating instead of healthy living.

If you’re a sensitive soul, your inner-critic’s voice can damage you in many ways. It undermines your ability to feel peace within and have confidence to pursue all the goals you’ve set your heart on. It robs you of the confidence to choose the things you really want in your life and feel worthy enough to receive them.

In my work, I’ve isolated several different ways that your inner critic speaks. Here are three of the most common voices your inner critic uses to keep you safe and stuck:

The Self-Esteem Bandit

The self-esteem bandit constantly sneaks in comments about your physical appearance, berating you for your mistakes and pointing out how you do not measure up to the expectations you have set for yourself. It can rob you blind of your self-esteem.

It separates you from being aligned with your authentic self and seeing the strengths and positive aspects that you embody. At the same time, it hides who you might become in the future, because your potential-self and the one your critic envisions for you may be two very different outcomes.

This can cause you to find a lack of acceptance for the perfectly, imperfect human that you are, and when that happens, you won’t be able to fully use your strengths to create a life that’s satisfying and fulfilling.


The Procrastination Pick-Pocket

When the inner-critic picks apart the projects that you work on, it steals any confidence you might have in your abilities to create and actualize your ideas. This is often done so stealth-like that you hardly recognize it for the procrastination promoter that it is because it often hides under the veil of perfectionism.

The critic creates an environment that convinces you that no matter what you do, it will never be perfect. It tells you that it’ll be a failure, so why bother. You begin to put off all the steps you need to take to move forward with your goals and dreams to get those projects done.

Or sometimes, it encourages procrastination out of a fear of success. Well, how can that be? Don’t you want success, after all? Wouldn’t that just make everything wonderful?

You see, underneath a success there can be a fear of being seen or recognized. For some, that leads to the uncomfortable feeling of accepting compliments. For those of use who place high expectations on our accomplishments and expect perfection, compliments can be difficult to accept.

Once we reach such a high expectation successfully, the critic then reminds us how high the bar has been placed and we fear we can never live up to that standard, so we hide by procrastinating. 


The Mindset Mugger

The mindset mugger shifts your thoughts of success by praying on your insecurities. You may feel positively about your relationship when suddenly it slips in and flips your thoughts to comparing your relationship to another couples’ relationship or comparing yourself to another person that your partner may find attractive.

Pretty soon, you find your mindset in the gutter. Your mindset only sees the deficiency in the relationship and not the pure love and attraction that brought the two of you together in the first place.

You can’t seem to pull yourself out of it and find confidence in the fact that you and your partner having a relationship worth fighting for. From this perspective, it appears that you no longer have anything in common.

It can be hard to pull yourself out of this mindset pattern on your own once it has settled in as a habit.

You already have your best defense

There are many voices to the inner-critic and just as many disguises that it uses to undermine your happiness and success. You have the ability to recognize it before it has the opportunity to sneak in and steal your confidence, undermine your positive mindset and destroy your self-esteem. Success and Happiness are within arm’s reach when you become an expert at the inner-critic’s covert operations.

Being observant is the first step

You wouldn’t walk in a dark area in the bad part of town without being observant. Keep your senses on high alert to build some security and protection from the inner-critic. Look for the stealthy ways that it sneaks in and robs you. Watch specifically for times you are looking forward to happiness and success.

Which of these thieves most often visits your mind fortress and scales the walls looking for your fortune? Did one of the descriptions above stand out more to you than another? Stay on the lookout for it’s appearance and be armed to confront it at the door.

It took developing a vigilant eye for the inner-critic’s voice by creating an awareness for when it stepped in to steal my joy. Building upon the skill of observance allowed me to gain more confidence when I recognized that the thoughts that were going through my head prevented me from pursuing my goals and dreams.

When I developed a positive, supportive voice inside, I could see my own greatness. It took a lot of awareness-building and positive mindset work to gain back my self-esteem and find self-love for myself.

So when you hear some of those sentence at the beginning of the post come from within, perk up and take notice, you owe it to yourself to recognize how that voice is impacting your success and happiness.

If you would like to find out more about working with me to put your inner-critic on lock down and develop a positive and supportive inner voice, schedule a free 30 minute power chat with me.

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About the author

Charlene Anestis

Charlene Anestis, is a Empowerment Coach for Healers, Coaches and Empaths who want to use their energetic power to uplevel their life and business. The mission of this blog is to empower healer, coaches and empaths to embrace their life in a way that creates massive impact on the world without sacrificing their energy. She has previously been featured on the blog Tiny Buddha.