It’s inevitable that you’ll hit some bumps in your career from time to time.

Sometimes you’re at fault. Other times you’re the victim. 

Either way, these experiences have the potential to undermine your confidence and stall your growth.

I’m talking about things like:

  • An embarrassing mistake or failure
  • Getting laid off, fired or not getting the promotion or job you want
  • An argument with a colleague or boss
  • Harassment or discrimination
  • Being talked down to or criticized
  • Regularly comparing yourself or being compared to others

Often, these experiences bring out your Inner Critic.

Your Inner Critic is that harsh voice of self-doubt in your head.

It’s the voice that plays a highlight reel of your screw-ups, much like a broken record.

It’s the voice that blames you for what went wrong.

It’s the voice that sees everything in black and white. 

It’s both irrational and persistent.

So what can you do to build yourself back up after a professional setback has your mind playing tricks on you?

  1. Re-Focus On Your Natural Talents – Remember what you’re good at and the unique strengths you bring to your career. Remind yourself of your past wins, particularly in tough situations. Identify some affirmations and repeat them daily. Positive self-talk can be a good buffer during challenging times.
  2. Keep Things In Perspective – Keep your emotional response in proportion to the situation and work to manage your self-doubt. Most likely, it’s not a life-or-death situation or the worst case scenario. Take a break to de-stress and do something you enjoy; this can help you re-group, repair your ego, re-ignite your creativity and figure out what really matters. 
  3. Reflect And Then Let It Go – Think about what you learned from the situation and what you can do differently next time. Then forgive yourself and others from any mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up; practice self-compassion and move on. 
  4. Plan Your “Comeback” – Visualize what success looks like and create an approach to make it happen. Start small and make note of these initial wins. Let them fuel your growth and re-build your confidence and continue to expand upon them.

If you want to learn more about how to quiet your Inner Critic, boost your confidence and be the most badass version of yourself, check out my signature digital program, The Badass Professional Woman’s Code. It’s 10 modules packed with training, coaching and real-world exercises and it’s only $297 right now. 

? You don’t have to let some setbacks and self-doubt keep you down. Take back control of your story and move forward with confidence. ?


  • Elena Lipson

    Principal and Founder, Mosaic Growth Partners

    My 20 years of consulting and coaching experience has afforded me an inside look at how different organizations operate and what it takes to succeed. I spent the majority of my career as a healthcare strategy and change management consultant, serving federal, commercial and non-profit clients and mentoring emerging companies. I've had the privilege of working with hundreds of companies in the digital health and life sciences industry, supporting projects on consumer and patient engagement; telehealth; health and wellness; caregiving and independent living; and innovations in gene therapy, medical devices, rare disease drug development and AI-driven digital therapeutics and diagnostics. In 2015, I founded Mosaic Growth Partners, a consulting and coaching firm based in Washington, D.C., to help my clients develop new solutions for growth. I support clients in the digital health and life sciences industry with strategic and operational planning, commercializing new products and services, and workshop facilitation. I also coach professional women to take control of their careers and build professional lives that are congruent with their personal aspirations and natural talents. For professional women, I offer digital, group and 1:1 executive coaching programs. Prior to founding Mosaic Growth Partners, I led AARP Services' business development efforts in health and caregiving. At AARP, I was responsible for securing strategic partnerships, developing new business models and serving as an innovation champion. In this role, I built deep market knowledge and a strong industry network by working with hundreds of emerging and established companies. I also spent nearly 10 years as a management consultant, primarily with Deloitte Consulting, where I led strategy, human capital and technology engagements for federal health clients and the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. I also led sales and capture strategy, teaming, strategic business development and client excellence for the Department of Defense Military Health System account. I'm a Project Management Professional and a certified Agile Scrum Master. I graduated with a Master of Public Policy from American University and a B.A. in Political Science with High Honors from the University of Michigan.