Silence that inner-critic… I dare you!

by | May 21, 2014 | Emotional Intelligence, Relationships (Self and Others)

Silence that inner-critic… I dare you!

Many of us were raised to believe that acknowledging our strengths and being proud of our achievements was arrogant and the quickest way to success was to be hard on yourself. Furthermore, we were led to believe that cynicism is synonymous with intelligence; i.e. be a bit skeptical when good things come your way (as they are probably too good to be true) and don’t set your heart on your dreams because they probably won’t happen. Scary, isn’t it? Especially because it translates into… Criticise yourself and don’t be too optimistic about life. It gets even scarier when you look at the research conducted the past 20 years showing that if you want to be successful and happy, the exact opposite is true. So, let’s take Key Steps this week and…

Silence your inner-critic

1.Being hard on yourself does NOT work. Many believe that being hard on themselves will make them better people. However, research does not support this belief. Self-criticism has been shown to reduce motivation, increase procrastination and increase rumination. There are much better and scientifically-proven healthier ways to take an honest look at yourself and learn from your mistakes (we’ll talk more about this next week). Instead of criticising, practise self-compassion; learn how to be your own friendly challenger and best friend. In other words treat yourself the way you would your best friend.

2.Stop living in the past and take steps forward. Think of one thing you have done this week that you feel badly about or wish you had done differently. Practise viewing this action from a place of self-compassion and understanding. Stay focused on what you learnt, and come up with a plan of how you can do better next time. Constant criticism of yourself isn’t going to make you better. In fact, it could make you bitter. Tell the negative committee in your head to, “Sit down and shut up”, so that you can access your thinking part of your brain, be more emotionally intelligent and take Key Steps to…

“be the difference that makes the difference




NOTE: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free bi-weekly  ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.

Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, EQ Expert, Founder and CEO

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 25 years’ experience in leadership development and organisational transformation. Her PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that was published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of numerous business schools and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. In 2020, Sharon was inducted into the Educators Hall of Fame, which is a lifetime achievement award, recognising excellence and her contribution to the field.

Sharon is one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – the Oscar of the speaking industry. She is also a COMENSA Master Practitioner (CMP), a qualified Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT™) and an accredited Global Virtual Speaker. Sharon is also a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner.

Most important to Sharon is that she has become known for her genuinely caring manner, practical and transformational approach, and for providing valuable tools and that allow people to take Key Steps to really… ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’