When your biggest critic shows up as you

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Last week I did it!

I organized my very first world premiere TED-style signature talk called “Living Life Unapologetically!”

Roughly 50 people attended, many of them meeting each other for the very first time. We had food, connection and heart — all in one room.

And I put it all together in less than 6 weeks, from the idea to execution.

(Click here to read my original blog on why I decided to do this talk in the first place.)

Here were a few comments from the evaluation forms from people who attended:

“It was uplifting and soul enriching.”

Joselito is an excellent storyteller — succinct with a flair of comedy and life lessons interwoven in between.”

“Maybe it’s time for me to live my life unapologetically.”

I’ll tell you, it’s no small feat to bring something new into the world, especially something that brings you out of your own comfort zone.

Plus, when you create something new, you wonder whether anyone will respond favorably to it, if at all.

It’s not uncommon for doubts to creep in. Obstacles can show up, including naysayers and critics, as you venture forth on your path.

And sometimes, the biggest critic you have to face…and overcome…is you.

Have you ever had the idea of doing something incredible or out of your comfort zone, only to have thoughts creep up that try to stop you in your tracks?

Thoughts like, “Are you sure you want to do this? What if it doesn’t work out?”

Or uncertainties like, “Why did I decide to do this? I don’t know why I even want to do this. I should just stick to what I know.”

This might surprise you, but even I had a few of these thoughts come up as I put together the event for my talk.

I shared with one of my clients that my goal was to get 20 people there, and I wasn’t even sure I’d get that many people. (Fortunately, she gave me this look and said, “Are you kidding? You’ll get at least 20 people, and probably a whole lot more!”)

In another doubting moment, the idea popped up in my head about pushing it off for a month, just so I could put in more time to get everything ready and make sure people could book this ahead of time in their calendar.

A couple days before the talk, I even had a momentary thought that I might get sick, and have such a bad cold that I’d have to cancel the whole event.

Although these were fleeting thoughts, my biggest critic…my inner critic…was making its presence known to me.

Yet, what kept me going was that I made a commitment to deliver my talk. And here my talk was called “Living Life Unapologetically.”

How would I look if I wasn’t willing to apply my own life lessons to this very talk, to live my life unapologetically?

In that moment, I realized, living your life unapologetically isn’t a destination.

It’s a choice, and a commitment, to a never-ending journey.

In other words, once you decide to start living your life on your own terms, it doesn’t mean that you’ve now mastered life, that you’ve reached the mountaintop, and now it’s over.

Living life unapologetically means that you will continually uncover new areas to grow.

When you live life on your own terms, you begin to blaze a new trail for yourself, one where you have to make new choices that are in alignment for you.

New trails means you don’t necessarily know where you’ll end up or how it will look along the way.

And here’s the rub…who is there standing at the edge of the unknown, always there to greet you?

Yup, you guessed it. Your inner critic!

What I’ve come to recognize, though, is that your inner critic serves a purpose.

Your inner critic is there to make sure you stay safe, and that you don’t get hurt as you venture into new lands.

Ultimately, in its own way, your inner critic is looking out for your safety.

When you realize its purpose, you can soften to allow greater compassion for your inner critic, and then begin to engage in a dialogue.

Here’s one thing I say when my inner critic tries to stop me:

“I see you and I hear you. I know what you’re doing. You think the unknown is a scary and dangerous place. You’re trying to protect me so I don’t get hurt. I get it. But here’s the truth. It actually hurts more to stay right where I’m at, to not grow and to feel stagnant. Thank you for doing your job in warning me. You help keep my eyes and ears open as I step out. I’ll show you that there are some exciting things to discover, but that’ll happen only if and when we take a step and get out there.”

With this lesson, here’s your coaching assignment for this week:

  • Can you think of one thing you’d like to do that takes you out of your comfort zone?
    Example: One thing that I’ve wanted to do is to try this new exercise class. I know it sounds simple, but I’ve been hesitating to do it for a while now.
  • As you consider taking action, does your inner critic pop up? If so, what is it staying to try to stop you?
    Example: I haven’t signed up for this exercise class because it’s something I haven’t tried before. If I’m being honest, I’m a little scared to do it. I don’t know anyone in the class. I don’t know if it will be fun. Sometimes, it just seems easier to sit at home watching Netflix rather than trying this out.
  • See if you can say something to your inner critic to acknowledge its role in your life.
    Example: Okay, this is weird, but I’ll try. Hello, inner critic…I see you. I know you’ve been stopping me from going to this class because it’s scary to go to a place all by myself where I don’t know anyone. But I know that I’ve also been wanting to meet new people, so this might be the perfect opportunity to do that. Netflix will always be there waiting for me when I need it, but what I need also is connection with other people and to try new exciting things for my life.
  • Now thank your inner critic, let it know it’s done its job, and make the decision to take one baby step towards that one thing to take you out of your comfort zone.
    Example: Thank you, inner critic, for doing your job. Now I’m going to let the other part of me, the inner adventurer, have time to do her job now too.

If I had followed the advice of my inner critic, I wouldn’t have had this amazing event where 50 people gathered to listen to my talk.

And these people might not have heard the very life lessons they needed to hear to live their lives unapologetically.

On the feedback form after my talk, I asked participants to share one thing they were taking away from my talk that they could apply in their own life.

Here is what one person wrote:

“My takeaway is that I realize that I need to make a change in my life. I need to get rid of the ‘same old, same old’ way of living. After tonight, I’m willing to take a risk…to find happiness and to live my life unapologetically.”

Left to its own devices and unchecked, your inner critic will keep you tied to the “same old, same old” way of living.

But here’s the Truth:

There are other voices you can listen to besides your inner critic.

One of those other voices is the inner adventurer, whose purpose is to lead you away from stagnation and to new areas of growth.

Why not start listening to your inner adventurer?

Give voice to the life inside of you that’s calling you forward…a life of vibrancy, joy, deeper meaning and discovery.

Listen, and take a baby step. That’s all it takes to start.

And when you do take that baby step, watch as your world starts to break open, and Life itself shows up to help guide you along the way.

Abundant Blessings and Namaste.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about today’s article. Please feel free to leave a comment below. Feel free to give some “claps” while you’re at it!

A little about me…

My unique ability is helping people figure out what’s really holding them back and to fully support them in a safe and sacred space, with the result of people feeling excited about life and believing they can claim the driver’s seat of their lives. I’ve been called the “Aha Whisperer.”

If you’re feeling the need for support in creating a life filled with more spaciousness, purpose and joy, I offer a complimentary life coaching consultation that may provide you with the insight and resources you need in this moment. To learn more about this, click here.

Originally published at https://www.abundantgood.com.

Written by

I’m a spiritual life coach at http://AbundantGood.com where I help people create a practical and joy-filled spiritual path to career and financial freedom.

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