We all have it – that negative voice in our head that tries to keep us in our comfort zone. Even if we just THINK about doing something scary, it starts chirping in our ear to get us to change our mind. But life truly happens OUTSIDE our comfort zone so we can’t let our Inner Critic make decisions for us.

I’ve coached hundreds of people and discovered these top 10 things our Inner Critic says to us to get us to never ever ever leave our comfort zone….

Billy’s Top 10 Ways Your Inner Critic Holds You Back

1_Critic_Stupid

1. It tells you you’re not smart enough

This is extremely common. Before a presentation, before you ask for a raise or go into an interview. Especially when you feel you have less training or experience than the other people in the room.

2_Critic_NoOpinion

2. It tells you your opinion doesn’t count

This often comes from not being listened to in your childhood, or if you have a spouse or friends that don’t often listen to what you care about now. It makes us feel like we don’t matter.

3_Critic_Unqualified

3. It tells you you’re not qualified

It convinces us we need more training, or we should do more research, or we can’t possibly be as good as everyone else. But how many diplomas do you need to have on your wall before you believe in yourself and really put yourself out there?

4_Critic_BadTiming

4. It tells you this isn’t the right time

Your Inner Critic is the king of procrastination, telling us to put it off until later. But since stepping out of our comfort zone is scary, it will NEVER feel like the right time. In fact, if it feels a bit scary it’s probably the right time right now!

5_Critic_Fake

5. It tells you you’re a fake

This is so incredibly common. We grow up looking up to adults because they know “everything” but when we become an adult we can’t possibly believe we know very much. It’s hard to believe that YOU are now the person who makes big decisions and knows what to do.

6_Critic_Excluded

6. It tells you people don’t want you around

This hurts deep because we are born with a desire to fit in and belong. It really really stings to feel like we’re not wanted. So our Inner Critic says “If you do this scary thing you’re considering, they won’t want you around anymore.” Back into our comfort zone we go!!

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7. It’s tells you there’s no point

It tries to convince you that your efforts will be futile. Maybe when you were a kid you didn’t get the support you needed. Or perhaps your boss never listens to your ideas or asks for your input. Or your spouse doesn’t consider your wants and needs.

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8. It tells you you’ll look selfish

We’re so programmed to look out for others and not put ourselves first. So, our Inner Critic says “They’ll think you’re selfish if you do this.” It knows that may convince us to shy away.

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9. It tells you you’re not good enough

This is the most common and everyone feels this at some point, sometimes often. If we feel we’re not good enough then we’re scared we won’t belong. Feeling like we won’t belong gets us to play it safe at all costs.

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10. (Read #9 again)

Seriously, that’s the biggest one. But in fact, you sometimes WANT to feel like you’re not good enough because it means you’re pushing yourself. It means you’re trying new things. If you ALWAYS feel like you have all the answers, you’re not trying anything new. You’re coasting through life and not challenging yourself. What a waste of your talents and gifts!


Well… as you can tell from this list, the Inner Critic SUCKS. But being aware of how it holds us back is the first step to dealing with it. If you want more help dealing with it, make sure you check out our Inner Critic Calls – an AMAZING way to start getting your Inner Critic in check and results are guaranteed (or you don’t pay!).

Learn more on this and other courage-related topics in Billy’s book “Your Comfort Zone is Killing You” (available here). Or get in touch with Billy at sayhi@couragecrusade.com.

Have a courageous day!