In episode 5, Take a Seat Inner Critic, Elaina and Tracy discussed the various ways to deal with your inner critic to avoid thinking negatively of yourself and to stop limiting your potential.
“Your body hears everything that your mind says,” – Naomi Judd.
Are you a victim of negative self-talk, and it is limiting your potential? How often has that inner voice told you that you weren’t good enough or you didn’t deserve something? Isn’t time to take back control and begin to reframe those thoughts so you can achieve all your goals and dreams?
In episode 5, Take a Seat Inner Critic, Elaina and Tracy discussed the various ways to deal with your inner critic to avoid thinking negatively of yourself and to stop limiting your potential. They explored negative self-talk. And how we can be able to control and silence our inner critics as well as look at some ways that we can overcome the negative self-talk and continue to live up to our potential rather than limiting our potential.
The inner negative talk creates self-doubt, the self-loathing. It’s rooted in anxiety. It creates these beliefs within us that we are not able to achieve our goals. Where we can work on something and never feel like we can finish, and even when finished, we still feel like it’s not good enough.
The inner self-critic can lead to us having the desire, perception, or setting perfection as a goal. We have to retrain ourselves to understand better that there’s no such thing. That’s that inner self-critic, and it can take us down this path, and the results of that can be, you have anxiety, which can lead to depression, your self-esteem is lowered. It limits our thinking.
When our thinking is limited, then we’re limiting our potential cause we’re not allowing ourselves to take that risk to get outside of our comfort zone and to look beyond what we think we’re capable of because we’re limiting our abilities by allowing that negative self-talk to take over.
Elaina highlighted when you think about being able to overcome the negative self-talk, like everything else, it’s a process because, for a lot of us, that inner critic has been beating us down for years.
Elaina suggested that another way is to be intentional. So, when we talked with the Hope Warrior Project, they talked a lot about being intentional. And so I walked away from that thinking how could I be intentional.
We all have this inner critic and sometimes they just run amok, and it puts us in a situation where we start to believe, we tell ourselves that we can’t, if we tell ourselves that we’re not worthy, we tell ourselves that we’re not good at something, then guess what? That’s what we become.
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[00:00:00] Elaina: Hey everybody, welcome to Cope Queens. I’m Elaina.
[00:00:03] Tracy: And this is Tracy.
[00:00:05] Elaina: Today we are going to explore negative self-talk and being able to control and silence our inner critics as well as look at some ways that we can overcome the negative self-talk and continue to live up to our potential rather than limiting our potential.
[00:00:25] Tracy, we had talked, in a previous episode, I had mentioned that I talked to the heffa that I referred to as anxiety, we’re talking about the inner self critic. We’re talking about that little voice in our head that tells us that we’re not good enough to have something or we’re not good at doing something or we don’t deserve something or we’re not worth it. You ever had that little voice?
[00:00:51] Tracy: Yeah, that’s happened to me on a couple of occasions, so I definitely know where you’re going with that.
[00:00:57] Elaina: It creates the self-doubt, the self-loathing. It’s rooted in anxiety. It creates these beliefs within ourselves that for example, I’ve always wanted to write. I’ve wanted to write fiction. I’ve wanted to write nonfiction. I mean, I wanted to write since the earliest memory was probably the fourth grade, and I write, but I’ve never published and I haven’t published and haven’t finished anything to publish because I get halfway through it and I’m like, nobody’s going to want to read this.
[00:01:28] And that’s that heffa. That’s her telling me that I’m not good at writing and no one is going to want to read it. Even when I thought of doing the podcast was like, no one’s going to listen. Why do it? And that’s why it took me so long to do it. Or like when that one bad thing happens, let’s say one bad thing happened 10 years ago when a similar situation comes up, we tend to relate back to that bad experience.
[00:01:56] Tracy: I definitely feel you with that, Elaina. Mine is more of a perfectionist critic, where I can work on something and I never feel like I’m finished and even when I’m finished, I still feel like it’s not good enough. It’s like, no, this isn’t it. I can have 1,000,001 people look at the same thing and tell me how great it is, but that inner critic within me is like, no, this could always be a lot better. And it sometimes leads me to that procrastination, where I feel like, okay, this has to be perfect, and I put that pressure on myself and I ended up procrastinating. But it’s that critic just wanting everything to be perfect and realizing I’d never reached that perfection.
[00:02:38] Elaina: Perfectionism is definitely a, oh, how do I want to put this? It’s an impact. That inner self critic can lead to us having the desire, perception or setting perfection as a goal. Because I’ve definitely suffered from that as well. We have to retrain ourselves to better understand that there’s no such thing. It’s never perfect, right? You and I are both in learning and development, and you can create a training program and you can go back and look at that slide a thousand times or that e-learning 500 times, and you’re always going to see something that you could have done differently.
[00:03:17] But at some point, you have to just be like, it’s done. And it’s so funny because I was talking to, I believe it was. Stephanie at, Hope Warriors, and she was telling me about an acronym that she had learned, and it was called GETMO. And it means it’s good enough to move on. And I have been holding onto that because I do tend to kind of look at the things that I do, I’m like, that’s not good enough. You could’ve did better. You should have done better. That’s that inner self critic and it can take us down this path and the results of that can be, you have anxiety which can lead to depression, your self-esteem is lowered. It limits our thinking.
[00:03:57] When our thinking is limited, then we’re limiting our potential cause we’re not allowing ourselves to take that risk to get outside of our comfort zone and to look beyond what we think we’re capable of because we’re limiting our abilities by allowing that negative self-talk to take over.
[00:04:17] Tracy: Yeah, absolutely. I was looking at what, while we were preparing for the topic, just outside of my own experience, cause I have plenty of experience with the negative self-talk. I’m like, let me look and see. What else out there? There was a great article that just talked about some negative thinking patterns and how people either suffer from one of the three or they have a combination of all three. One is pretty much negative rumination. And that’s where you just sit up and you think about a circumstance, a negative outcome of this circumstance over and over and over again. And you just can’t stop that process of thinking about it. The overthinking, which is the over-analyzing, which is something I suffer from, and that’s pretty much where I’m working on a project, I’m over analyzing it to death, want it to be perfect and wanting things to just not go wrong.
[00:05:11] But I put so much pressure on myself and overthink the situation where I end up exhausted. And then the last was the cynical overthinking, and that’s, this is another one I suffer from. And that’s the one where you pretty much characterize and mistrust other people. And one good example of this is when I’m behind the wheel driving and someone cuts me off, instead of me thinking, okay, well they didn’t see me or whatever, my thought is they did that on purpose. They were trying to cut me off and it sits with me all day and then negativity sits with me for a long time. When I was reading about those patterns, I never thought about one, categorizing those in that manner, but then two, I had a piece from [00:06:00] each one and just how prominent they were at times. So, it was just really interesting.
[00:06:05] Elaina: Yeah. And I would say like if there were a check boxes, I would have to check all of those boxes. Cause I think that’s probably on a daily basis, I go through that. Especially in my commute, I will catch a attitude in a heartbeat. Road rage is real people, but I don’t believe that it should get to the point of violence, but I have used a few choice words about a few drivers who probably should not be on the road with the rest of us. If you running late, maybe you should have left five minutes earlier, brah.
[00:06:36] And that’s one of the things that as a mother, I can see some of the hesitation even in in my daughter. As far as her putting herself out there to take that risk, even though it’s something inside her, she really wants to do some things she’ll shy away from because she doesn’t know how people will respond to it.
[00:07:00] She gets that from me because I’m the same way. I would say this podcast was probably my first steps. To be like, you know what? I’m going to just do it. And if they listen, they listen. If they don’t, they don’t. Either way, I’m okay. I hope you guys listen.
[00:07:13] Tracy: Please listen.
[00:07:17] Elaina: Every week.
[00:07:20] Tracy: Another thing that I’m guilty of is just the whole trying not to think in absolutes, which kind of falls into that negative thinking, where you get to the point where you fail a test and instead of automatically jump to, oh my God I’m not a good test taker or I’m just dumb, or whatever, looking at it from the point of view you just weren’t prepared to take the test. And I’m one of those people, I’m really trying to get the words always, never, those absolute words out of my vocabulary and hoping that it helps where I mentally stopped thinking in those absolutes because it can lead you to start thinking negative instead of looking at situations as, these one off scenarios and not thinking that they’re just proof that your life is over.
[00:08:06] Elaina: I think a lot of times we have this, it’s either this or that mentality where for example, you go for a job interview and you don’t get that job well, you don’t want to just immediately think that you weren’t qualified. It was just you weren’t the right fit for that particular position for that particular company, but there may be a better opportunity waiting for you.
[00:08:27] Tracy: Absolutely. And I think that kind of helps with the negative thinking. Just being able to, just reframe those things to think of them from a more positive standpoint instead of, and those absolutes and negative ways.
[00:08:42] Elaina: Yeah and so when you think about being able to overcome the negative self-talk, like everything else, it’s a process because for a lot of us, that inner critic has been beaten us down for years. I mentioned that my inner critic, I named her anxiety. But I don’t think that it’s sufficient. I think I need to give her a real name because I do think that sometimes you have to call that inner critic out and just let them know, like, look, I got this.
[00:09:14] Tracy: What’s her name?
[00:09:14] Elaina: So, her name is Harley.
[00:09:16] Tracy: Okay.
[00:09:17] Elaina: Yes. Her name is Harley.
[00:09:19] Tracy: I like that.
[00:09:20] Elaina: Harley and I are going to work on our relationship. So, I do think Harley sometimes is looking out for me.
[00:09:28] Tracy: Yeah.
[00:09:29] Elaina: Harley is looking out for me because she doesn’t want to see me disappointed. She doesn’t want to see me hurt, but not realizing that by telling me that I shouldn’t do something or that I didn’t do it well enough, or I need to do better it’s creating this thought process or this belief that, well, maybe Harley is right, but Harley is wrong.
[00:09:51] Tracy: Yeah.
[00:09:51] Elaina: It didn’t work out, but I just have to try again, and I’ll have to try a different way. So yes, her name is Harley. What about you?
[00:10:00] Tracy: So, my inner critics name is Tony. And Tony has been around for a long, long time Tony thinks just like Harley, where Tony’s trying to protect me, but I think Tony has protected me to the point where I can by myself closed off. A lot of times there’s a negative thinking closing me off, so I don’t get hurt. So, I’m at the point now in my life where it’s like, okay, Tony, you’ve been feeding me the same story for x amount of years, I’m not going to go there. And it’s time for me to tell this new story. This story now that is free from all the negativity that I’ve learned and that’s been taught. So yeah, her name is Tony and that’s, let’s go to another topic really quickly.
[00:10:51] Elaina: Cause see I’m surprised. Because I was expecting a Peaches.
[00:10:59] Tracy: You know what, you know what, Laina. There is no way you are going to associate me with Peaches. I’m sorry.
[00:11:08] Elaina: I think you’re wrong. I could just see when you were talking about you driving in your car, somebody cutting you off that your reaction to that cause I could see, I can see your facial expression. I can see that head moving. That tone of voice. That is a Peaches lying underneath the surface. Girl, I bet back in the club when Peaches walked in, the old dude that should have left the club 20 years before would probably like, hey girl, come on, dance with me.
[00:11:41] Tracy: I’m gonna get you. And now I have to ask everybody that I, that knows me, like, look, do you see a Peaches when you look at me? Cause I don’t see Peaches.
[00:11:48] Elaina: But they don’t know you like I know you.
[00:11:51] Tracy: I am so done with you.
[00:11:53] Elaina: I know that inner Peaches.
[00:11:54] Tracy: Now I gotta think of something to get you back.
[00:12:00] Elaina: You could try but see that’s something Peaches would do to. Peaches is all about the get back. You just keep proving my point, but you know, again, so let’s good, I’m gonna bring us back. But another thing when it comes to working towards overcoming or telling your inner self critic to go take a couple of seats, name your critic.
[00:12:24] Tracy: Yeah.
[00:12:25] Elaina: Recognize, the big thing is to recognize and acknowledge when you are being overly critical or negative about yourself. Figure out what those triggers are because it could be from a previous bad experience. And so now we’ve equated that to every time this situation comes up, this is what the outcome is going to be, because this is what happened last time. Where if we can start to take those moments and just realize why we’re triggered. And why we’re being negative then we can start working towards the next step, which would be to validate our feelings. So. It’s okay for us to feel however we feel no one should tell you like you shouldn’t feel that way, or you can’t feel that way. I can feel however I feel, but when I’m being overly critical of myself, I have to be honest with myself to say, why do I feel this way?
[00:13:18] Tracy: Yeah, absolutely. And I also think it’s important too, to just have that awareness. There’s been so many years where I wasn’t even aware of that I was having this negative conversation with myself or that this self-talk, negative self-talk was going on. And I think being aware, even when you said validate your feelings, at that point, you validate your feelings and also just be aware that at that point, yeah, you’re speaking negatively of yourself that you’re having one of those moments.
[00:13:47] Another thing I think, would help with overcoming negative self-talk would be, and we touched on this a little bit before, is just the whole reframing your thoughts. I think you and I were talking earlier, and I was telling you [00:14:00] about a book I had read. It was called, I think it’s the Self Coaching Model by Brooke Castillio, and she just talks through this whole process of how to just reframe your thoughts in the first thing is, is being aware of you having those negative thoughts and realizing that your thoughts create how you feel, your feelings create how you act and in your actions are going to create what your results are. So in those moments when you find yourself having those negative thoughts just really thinking about changing that thought and changing that thought could possibly lead to you having a change in your actions, maybe a more positive action, and then that could lead to a more positive result all based off of you changing that one thought.
[00:14:47] Elaina: Right.
[00:14:48] Tracy: So I thought that was really interesting. It’s one of those books, and it was a model that I actually practiced for a while, and I found it helpful. So, I think it’s really important to try to reframe those thoughts when they happen.
[00:14:58] Elaina: Then another way is to be intentional. So when we talked with the Hope Warriors they talked a lot about being intentional. And so I walked away from that thinking how could I be intentional especially when it comes to Harley and that negative self-talk because I’m ambitious, but I will hold off on doing a lot of things because I feel like maybe I’m not knowledgeable enough, I’m not experienced enough or who would care. And so what I’ve decided that I am going to do is, I know I’m not a perfect person and I’ve never claimed to be. And one of the things that even my daughter and I had a conversation yesterday for her is it’s okay to say that you’re flawed and acknowledge it and call out your mistakes. It’s okay to hold yourself to a higher standard, but you have to still be forgiving of yourself and you have to, so be patient with yourself. So, what I’ve decided to do, is rather than judging myself in that moment, I am going to schedule every day, even if it’s just 15 minutes time to reflect.
[00:16:06] Tracy: Yeah.
[00:16:07]Elaina: And I think that I’m going to start journaling again and use that as just a reflection journal just to say, here are the mistakes that I made today and here’s what I can do to correct them so that I don’t make them again.
[00:16:21] Tracy: I like that.
[00:16:22] Elaina: Yeah because a lot of times in the moment, I think that’s when it’s the worst. Because in the, in the moment when something happens, emotions are typically higher. You may be feeling a little sensitive. And so, if you’re going in on yourself because you just messed up, you’re only compounding that emotion and you’re not really giving yourself a break. We’re all human, nobody’s perfect and anybody that expects you to be perfect tell them to kick rocks. Perfection is not attainable. Just let that go.
[00:16:53] Tracy: Yeah.
[00:16:53] Elaina: With my anxiety I ruminate, those things repeat over and over and over again, and I’ve lost sleep over certain things that have happened. So I feel like if I scheduled the reflection time, then I can write it down, figure out a plan or how I want to handle it, or if it’s something I can let go of, and then I can just get a good night’s sleep at the end of it.
[00:17:13] Tracy: I love that. I might steal that from you.
[00:17:16] Elaina: You don’t have to steal it; you can have it. See look Peaches coming out again.
[00:17:22] Tracy: Peaches coming out stealing. Now I have to watch my words around you.
[00:17:27] Elaina: Talking about, I knew Peaches was a thief.
[00:17:31] Tracy: I am so done. But I think too Laina, my thing is I try to be a good person. I don’t know why but it’s one of the things I kind of pride myself on. I try to be a good person. I try to look at it, let me start treating myself the way I treat other people. I’m quick to forgive people especially if a person honestly comes to me and they apologize for anything that’s happened. I’m not gonna sit up and, and just ruminate on it and hold onto it. And it’s like, if I’m quick to recognize that they’re human and they’ve made a mistake and I can let it go, why can’t I have that same capacity with myself? Start treating yourself the same, if not even better than you treat other people. Because if another person, if a friend of yours came to you and said, you know what, Tracy, I failed this test. you’re not going to be, Oh, you’re stupid, or you’re not good at that.
[00:18:23] Elaina: Not everybody’s a good person.
[00:18:25] Tracy: That’s true. That’s true.
[00:18:28] Elaina: Some people would, that’s why I’m like, when you said, treat yourself like you treat others.
[00:18:36] Tracy: You know where I’m going with it. Like most people
[00:18:38] Elaina: I would caveat that with if you treat others better than you treat yourself, start treating yourself the same way.
[00:18:48] Tracy: Or this, let’s just say if you’re more forgiving with other people than you are with yourself, then that needs to stop forgive yourself.
[00:18:55] Elaina: Forgiveness a situational.
[00:18:57] Tracy: I forgot who I was talking too. I’m talking about.
[00:19:00] Elaina: Everybody don’t get the same treatment. Some of y’all did some things 20 years ago, that you still haven’t had been forgiven for.
[00:19:11] Tracy: Oh my God.
[00:19:13] Elaina: No. No. I am definitely one of those people where it’s like, I’ll forgive, but I will never forget.
[00:19:18] Tracy: Yeah.
[00:19:18] Elaina: And depending on what it is it will change how we will interact going forward. But I understand where you were going.
[00:19:24] Tracy: We could have a whole episode on that cause I feel you on that 100% yes.
[00:19:28] Elaina: Like I forgive you because me forgiving you is more about me than it is about you.
[00:19:33] Tracy: Yes.
[00:19:33] Elaina: So I can let go of it, but I see where you’re going with it I definitely can appreciate that. And again, it’s just one of those things where I think we have to be forgiving of ourselves. We have to, I don’t know where this trend started that we couldn’t own our mistakes. Think about our corporate environment. How many times have you witnessed someone or been in a situation where someone has made a mistake and did everything under the sun to hide that they made a mistake or threw somebody else under the bus to hide that they made the mistake, where I’m the person where it’s like, yeah, I screwed up my bad. It won’t happen again. I’ll fix it.
[00:20:14] Tracy: Yeah, yeah
[00:20:15] Elaina: I don’t know. When we became a society where we couldn’t just say, yup, my bad, let me fix that.
[00:20:20] Tracy: That is so true.
[00:20:21] Elaina: I just share with my daughter like, Hey, you get more respect, especially from me, if you just say, you know what? I messed up.
[00:20:28] Tracy: Oh my God. I just had the same conversation with Mekhi. It’s like, I can honor you more if you just say, you know what? I’m wrong mom, I messed up. Instead of putting the blame on any and everybody,
[00:20:40] Elaina: Accountability and responsibility and ownership.
[00:20:43] Tracy: Yup and moving forward.
[00:20:44] Elaina: Yup we can move on from there. All right, everybody we all have this inner critic and sometimes they just run amok and it puts us in a situation where we start to believe, we tell ourselves that we can’t, if we tell ourselves that we’re not worthy, we tell ourselves that we’re not good at something, then guess what? That’s what we become. And so name your inner critic, acknowledged those triggers, acknowledged when you are being negative towards yourself. Work on being able to reframe your thoughts so when you have a negative thought, replace it with a positive thought.
[00:21:27] So when you started saying I can’t, start saying I can, but maybe I got to do it differently. Validate your feelings. It’s okay for you to be honest with yourself if you’re not going to be honest with anybody else. Be honest with yourself. Figure out what’s really going on and identify why you’re feeling that way and address it, and then be intentional. Create some time in your day to just reflect on those moments and those thoughts so that you can be able to move on. We all want to live up to our potential. We don’t want to limit our [00:22:00] potential. We are capable of doing whatever it is we want to do. If we allow ourselves to do it.
[00:22:05] Tracy: Yes.
[00:22:05] Elaina: [00:22:05] Well, make sure that you subscribe. Make sure that you leave comments, make sure that you review on any of the platforms that you listened to us on because we definitely need the feedback. And if you want to send us a message, you can visit us at copequeens.com. And you all have a great day. Thank you for joining us today. Tracy anything else?
[00:22:28] Tracy: No. Bye guys.
[00:22:29] Elaina: Alright, take care everybody.