By Susan MacKenty Brady
I don’t know about you, but I spend more time noticing and thinking about my “Inner Critic” than I do about my “Inner Champion.” I like thinking about an “Inner Champion.” I have visions of my own very tall Inner Champion, the ever-positive-Goddess-true-believer-in-my-worthiness, staring down my Inner Critic in an intimidating don’t-mess-with-me kind of way. Like:
“Don’t you mess with her. She’s the bomb and I’m making sure that my energy outshines yours, oh practiced Critic.”
My “Inner Champion” has been getting an Olympic-style workout lately. Last week, colleagues at work arranged to have a company-wide viewing of the recorded keynote presentation I delivered at Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute™ last month. I was terrified. Not only did I have to watch myself on camera, I was going to do so while others with whom I work daily viewed it, too.
My Inner Critic was at the ready—pen in hand—to document everything (and I mean everything) that could have been better. To my surprise, and much to my delight, I didn’t have as long a list as I thought I would. There were a few flubbed statements, a few pauses I shouldn’t have taken, way too many uses of the word “right?” at the end of making a point (as if to say “You with me? You get what I’m saying, right?”). But all in all, it was good. I wasn’t just okay. It was actually … good. I was good.
The loudest voice in my head was saying:
“You were so brave to do this. This is helpful to hear! You walk your talk.”
I went back to work following the viewing and felt—well—good. I sat, deeply comforted by the notion that right in the moment, I did not feel lasting shame. Some helpful do-differentlys, but because my Inner Champion—that voice in my head that tells me I am terrific despite my imperfections—was on her game, my Inner Critic barely got a word in edgewise.
Score one for the Inner Champion.
Does your Inner Critic bully your Inner Champion? Or do you empower the Champion to take her rightful place? Share your stories in the comments below.
Susan MacKenty Brady is the wife of Jamie Brady, the mother of Caroline and Abigail Brady, a daughter, sister, aunt, and friend to many (too few hear from her often enough), the Executive Vice President of Global Programming and Market Strategy, and Principal Consultant at Linkage, an Executive Coach, and a champion of advancing the acceleration of women leaders. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Susanmbrady1.