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How to Replace Your "Inner-Critic" with a helpful "Coach"?

Updated: Sep 17, 2023


Hello! Welcome to my Second blog post EVER! I’m glad you are here. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to read my first post before proceeding with this one: Inner Critic Reflection.


In that post, we explored how the “inner-critic” might intend to help us… however, it tends to be more harmful than helpful. In fact, the inner-critic tends to kick us while we are down, often fails to be compassionate, and it may contribute to issues like low self-esteem, chronic stress, anxiety, and depression. Unfortunately, the inner-critic is usually not very helpful… and that is why I propose that we ought to replace our “inner critic”… with a helpful Coach!


So who is this “Coach” character?


First of all, Coach is a great listener, and Coach always has your best interests in mind. Coach is curious, understanding, and compassionate. Coach is on your team, and Coach is happy to jump in and defend you when necessary. Coach has your back. All that being said, coach is not a pushover, and Coach can also smell your “BS” from a mile away.


Coach keeps it 100% real and has high expectations for you. Coach believes in your abilities, and it is Coach’s job to encourage and push you to be the best you can be. Coach holds you accountable and lets you know when it is time to make some adjustments.


What does Coach do?


First and foremost, Coach listens and tries to understand what is going on before making any judgments or criticisms. Rather than blaming you and talking down to you like you’re some idiot (hello, inner-critic)... Coach treats you with respect and care.


Coach is also solution-oriented. Coach is positive, encouraging, and gives useful advice. Coach helps you come up with a game plan and make positive adjustments, whereas the inner-critic tends to stay focused on the past.


Also unlike the “inner-critic,” Coach also shows up when you are doing well. Coach recognizes your efforts and gives you praise for a job well-done. Coach is there to celebrate with you as you put in solid effort and make progress on things that are important to you. Coach would tell you with a smile “Great Job! Let’s keep it up!” Got it?


How to replace your “inner-critic” with a helpful “Coach”

So, as promised… here is my brilliant strategy for replacing your “inner-critic” with a helpful Coach.


STEP ONE: Inner-critic reflection

If you have not already done so, please read the inner critic post and actually write a letter to your inner critic.


STEP TWO:

Try using this coach/critic chart. This should help you gain clarity about how each character talks to you differently in different situations. You can think of a particular situation where your “critic” might show up, and write down what each character would say.


STEP THREE: Practice “Coach Says”

As time goes on, I encourage you to think to yourself - "If Coach were to show up right now to give me some support, a pep-talk, and some useful advice, what would Coach say?" …Write that down!


I call this practice “Coach Says…” and it has been very useful for me and my clients. In fact, my personal notebook is filled with a lot of “Coach says…” paragraphs, as well as other miscellaneous thoughts and reflections.


It is important to write (yes, actually WRITE!) what Coach would say to you. Writing it down will help fortify and connect you with this new “Coach” character. It might feel unnatural or silly at first… AND I trust that you’ll get the hang of it and find it useful. I hope so.

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Thanks again, and I wish you well!

-Sam



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