8 Signs Your Inner Critic Has Taken Your Goals Hostage


by Melanie Benson Strick

Most people have a voice in their heads that generates doubt and fear. Actually, almost business owner I know has had these kinds of thoughts at some point…

“What if this doesn’t work?”

“Am I really capable of pulling this off?”

“Holy crap, is anyone really going to pay me THAT MUCH?”

“What’s wrong with me? That was a stupid mistake to make!”

The inner critic likes to nag at us and cast doubt over our goals and dreams. As normal as doubts and fears are, if your mind surfaces fear, doubt and worry over and over again, it begins to sabotage your ability to grow your business. That’s when your inner critic has taken you hostage.

Obviously, if you are in business for yourself, you can’t afford to have your inner critic take the lead when it comes to making decisions. Not only will that critical inner voice hold you back, it erodes your confidence and courage to pursue your dreams.


Here are eight signs that your inner critic has moved in:

  1. You talk yourself out of taking big risks with thoughts like, with “What makes you think you can do that?”
  2. The fear of “what people will think” keeps you from taking action towards a goal.
  3. Because you’ve made mistakes before, you’ll do whatever you can to avoid making one again, and end up staying in your safety zone.
  4. Your self-talk is often full of negative, critical thoughts that you would never say to your best friend.
  5. You’ve caught yourself bad-mouthing someone else who is more successful, perhaps judging or criticizing their approach.
  6. When something goes wrong, you relentlessly beat yourself up and blame yourself for not doing a better job.
  7. Always focused on your growing list of what you didn’t accomplish (instead of what you did), you often feel overwhelmed and stressed out.
  8. You make investment decisions for your growth based on your current bank account versus what you could do to recoup the investment.

The inner critic is often hard to detect. Many who struggle with this type of inner harshness were trained by a parent, authority figure or close friend to be critical. Left untamed, this type of self-talk can cause depression, not to mention a pile of unrealized dreams. This is often where a mindset coach can help you break free of limiting mental patterns.


To turn your thoughts around and start creating an internal “thrive” program, try this:

  1. Recognize when your inner critic has been unleashed.
  2. Stop immediately. Call yourself out and say to yourself, “This is not my truth anymore.”
  3. Give yourself a new, more empowering thought to think. For instance, replace “I’m so disappointed in these results, this is hopeless, I’m never going to get it right!” to “Okay this isn’t what I’d hoped for, I’m willing to learn and try for better results next time.”

In my Rewired for Wealth book, I outline the entire “rewiring” process that will help you permanently recode your head trash so it no longer derails your goals and dreams. It can help tremendously to identify where your inner critic came from. Often those mental patterns of doubt and fear were programmed in during childhood. When you become conscious to their origin it’s easier to remind yourself that those old doubts and fears no longer serve you so you can “upgrade” your thoughts to be aligned with today’s goals.









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