Everybody has an inner critic — that voice that lives inside your head, putting you under a microscope. Much like the drill sergeant who wants to save his soldiers’ lives, the Critic’s job is to point out your failures so you don’t get your head blown off in combat. 

You can’t get rid of Critic, so don’t even try, but you can develop a relationship with it. Next time Critic blinks in your mind like a neon sign, think of it as a part of you, not all of you. Listening to it as a separate part, instead of as you, gives you distance from it and keeps you from attacking yourself. Once you hear Critic as a part instead of as you, there’s room for Confidence — that nurturing and encouraging voice, cheering you on with goodhearted affirmations like a best friend would. 

Start giving Confidence equal time, letting it acknowledge your accomplishments and positive qualities. You might imagine Confidence sitting across from you in a chair, as you listen to what it has to say. The more you watch Critic from afar — without getting frustrated or trying to get rid of it — the easier it will be for Confidence to show up and give you a friendly hand.

Excerpt from #Chill: Turn Off Your Job and Turn On Your Life with permission from the author and publisher.

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Author(s)

  • Bryan Robinson, Ph.D.

    Founder and CAO of ComfortZones Digital and Author of 40 books.

    ComfortZones Digital

    Bryan Robinson, Ph.D. is Founder and Chief Architect Officer (CAO) of ComfortZones Digital--the digital companion to mitigate workplace stress. He is a professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, psychotherapist in private practice, and award-winning author of two novels and 40 nonfiction books that have been translated into 15 languages. His latest books are CHAINED TO THE DESK IN A HYBRID WORLD: A GUIDE TO WORK-LIFE BALANCE (New York University Press, 2023)#CHILL: TURN OFF YOUR JOB AND TURN ON YOUR LIFE (William Morrow, 2019), DAILY WRITING RESILIENCE: 365 MEDITATIONS & INSPIRATIONS FOR WRITERS (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2018). He is a regular contributor to Forbes.com, Psychology Today, and Thrive Global. He has appeared on 20/20, Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, ABC's World News Tonight, NPR’s Marketplace, NBC Nightly News and he hosted the PBS documentary "Overdoing It: How To Slow Down And Take Care Of Yourself." www.bryanrobinsonbooks.com.