What if your inner critic is right?

What's that, invisible friend?

What's that, invisible friend?

We all know the advice to "silence the inner critic". You know the voice (or voices) that whisper (or scream) that you're a talentless fraud or you're just lucky and don't deserve success, that sooner or later you'll be found out and it'll all come crashing down. 

Yeah, definitely pay no attention to that. But what if your inner voice isn't your critic at all but your intuition? What if what you're hearing is your smart self trying to keep you from messing up? It could be your gut, your "second brain", cluing you in. How do you know which voice it is?

Here are a few pieces of advice that might help:

Is there valid reasoning behind it? Listen for the why behind the message. If it's just "you suck" then ignore it, that's rude. But if it sounds more like "you don't have time" or "you know you don't really care about this" you might want to follow that a little farther.

Ask a friend. Assuming of course they really are a friend they won't tell you that a) yes, you really do suck at everything or that b) you're so good you can do anything no matter how unreasonable. Sometimes just talking through something, saying it out loud, will let the answer present itself. If not your bestie can likely help with some perspective to get you to the other side.

The key is to listen as non-judgementally of yourself as possible. Step back and separate your feelings from the more concrete aspects of your decision. And be willing to ask for another opinion. 

How does this help your health and fitness? So glad you asked. If you've never finished a workout and thought bad things about either your performance or yourself you're not working hard enough. As coaches we hear it all the time; "I just don't feel like I'm improving", "Man, I suck at (fill in the blank), I always feel like I'm struggling." Are these legit? Maybe. And that's what your training journal is for. Go back and look up the same or a similar workout or movement and see how you actually did. Betcha you're better. You could ask us (duh). We see you all the time and we know when you've nailed it and when you're a little off. 

Remember, you're your own worst critic. Sometimes your inside voice should just shut the fork up and sometimes you might want to listen to it. Just make sure you know which voice is talking.