Brag Baby

She called me over to the front of the room, handed me the clicker and said, “I need you to take over. Read this slide and take them through the next two exercises. I’m losing my voice and can’t continue.”

At exactly the same time the previous year, I had been sat where all the participants were sitting. This year I was in support role but completely unprepared for training mode. In the past, being put on the spot in that way would have freaked me out, a running commentary so easy for me to predict..

  • Everyone is looking at you, they are not impressed.
  • They didn’t come here to see you and you’re getting it all wrong.
  • They can see you are anxious.
  • What if they ask a question and you don’t know the answer. You will be exposed.

And so the list would go on…

Unsure of you have a strong Inner Critic? Review the list below.

The Top 12 Trait of the Inner Critic

  1. Constricts ability to be creative
  2. Stops you from taking risks because it makes you fear failure
  3. It views life as a series of mistakes waiting to happen
  4. It compares you unfavourably to others and makes you feel “less than”
  5. It is constantly warning you not to look foolish
  6. It is terrified of being shamed by others and so monitors all your behaviour to avoid this
  7. It causes you to suffer from low self-esteem, and possibly depression, because it tells you that you are not good enough
  8. It can make looking at yourself in the mirror or shopping for clothes miserable because of its ability to create such a negative view of the body
  9. It can take the fun out of life with its criticisms
  10. It makes self-improvement unpleasant chore rather than a chance to grow because its basic premise is that something is wrong with you
  11. It doesn’t allow you to take in the good feelings that other people have towards you
  12. It makes you susceptible and often victim to the judgements of other people​​

Brag Baby

I don’t do this very often, but today I want to share what’s called a brag baby, or better known as a win/celebration with you all.

In that moment in front of the participants, absolutely nothing. Internal voice silence. No criticisms or scorn, imposter, or comparisonitus. Just quiet mind and full presence in the moment. It truly was a beautiful thing. I did it, achieved what I thought was perhaps always going to be just out of reach. All thanks to my ability to dial my Inner Critic down and actively chose my response in the moment.

An Invitation

At the start of every 1:1 or group coaching session, I always ask my clients to share their wins, and brag baby’s to really get in the habit of celebrating those incremental improvements as well as big achievements. In a group setting, I find it’s almost infectious and really helps to raise everyone’s spirits as a collective.

So today, my invitation to you is to stretch the edges of your comfort zone and complete your own brag baby. Share a win with a group of friends, a colleague, or me. My inbox is always open and I would love to celebrate you. Tell me your win and why you are proud of it. Feel that boost of activation energy as a result.

Keep Opening Up,


PS Catch the latest episode of the Women in STEM Career & Confidence Podcast iTunes / Spotify 🎧 with Dr Mihaela Taranu.

Dr Mihaela Taranu, is a psychologist specialising in metacognitive therapy and a postdoc at Aarhus University Denmark. We talk about how making a shift in your career also changes your identity. The more we cling to our old identity, the more we will ignore evidence it is not a match for us. This is why taking the next step in your career is an emotional journey as much as a practical one. Mihaela talks about her favourite part of the Career Design Mastermind programme. Aligning your purpose-mission-vision to understand your next career pivot. We also bring distinction to the Inner Critic and how to have a more supportive internal narrative.