Most of us are familiar with the inner critics we talked about in our last blog post—the perfectionist critic, the do-it-all driver, the fake and fraud critic who tells us we’re not good enough, the pleaser critic who keeps telling us what we need to do so that everyone will like us and the comparer who always reminds us that someone else is doing a better job.
What happens when we’re driven by these inner critics?
In her book Rise and Shine, Anna Quindlen tells what happened to her fictional character Meghan, who was making $10 million as the host of the country’s highest-rated morning television show.
Meghan was successful, but she wasn’t happy. “Meghan has never been happy, not really,” her aunt Maureen concludes. “She has a little motor inside her, and it drives her. The problem is that when you have that kind of motor, there isn’t really any destination. So then what do you do? You go as far as you can. But it’s never quite far enough. This used to be a problem only for men, but now you girls have managed to make it your own along with everything else.”
Would we trade a little unhappiness for $10 million a year? That’s not the question!
What’s the question then? There’s more than one, of course. What drives us? Which of our inner critics yell the loudest? What does our inner voice—the voice of our true self—say? How do we define success?
As Fayteen says, “When your inner critic starts talking, don’t listen. Tell her to stop being mean and super critical. Tell her to stop and mean it.
“Then, breathe slowly while you count to five. Name three things that you have accomplished and three things you like about yourself. We all need to reprogram our inner critics, and I’ll talk more about that in another blog post.”