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‘I’m not good enough’, and other lies we tell ourselves

by Fiona Gout

Does anyone else have a critical voice in their head that plays on repeat? A voice telling us that we’re not good enough, or not ready yet, or something equally unhelpful. That voice likes to keep us small. It holds us back from putting ourselves forward to the world in the way we really want to be. It can make us feel anxious when a new opportunity comes up that will put us out of our comfort zone.

If you too have this voice, you are not alone. Many, in fact probably most of us, have a critical voice playing in our heads. For some it might be quite quiet, but for others it can begin to really dominate our thoughts and actions.

I’ve battled with this voice all my life, but it wasn’t until I set up my own business that I realised I couldn’t let it dominate me anymore. The irony was not lost on me, that this is one of the areas I help clients to work through in themselves in order for them to move forward. Whether they are going for that promotion, experiencing a leadership challenge, or changing careers. Holding them back too is that critical narrative.

Trying to ignore the voice doesn’t really work, and nor does arguing with it. It only seems to feed the voice into becoming more dominate. Instead, I’ve found a way to accept the voice and almost make friends with it. I learnt to appreciate its role, which is to try keep us safe and protect us from what it perceives is a risk. But ultimately, we have a choice as to whether to listen to or not. Instead we can choose to tune into a different guiding voice. A guiding voice which knows why it is important for us to take this action. An action that may feel a little uncomfortable at first, but an action that is moves us towards what is really important in our lives and in our work. This guiding voice is there within us all, but we need to re-tune our brains into listening to its wisdom.

So yes, my critical voice is still in there, but finally I feel freed to move forward in doing the work and being the person that it is important for me to be.

This is one many areas I help clients work through themselves. Whether working with organisations to coach their people or working directly with people looking to make a change.

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