Being a true leader starts from taking full charge of your life - your decisions, goals, actions and behaviours.
Symptoms of excessive self-critics
Often overwhelmed with work. Believe it or not, it's not always just a poor work-life balance. The true reason behind that poor balance is always (!) deeper than just that. And self-doubt is one of the major ones.
Anxiety and stress.
Second-guessing your decisions and OVERthinking what to say and how to say it.
Avoiding bolder actions that would take you to your goals sooner.
Avoiding asking for help or support.
Your confidence is dependent on praise and positive feedback.
Badly tolerating external criticism.
Pushing to strive for better - perhaps, the only positive outcome of all. Though, not in a long term (see below)
Admit the truth
The key to starting the transformation is to be absolutely utterly honest with yourself. Your feelings, emotions, habits and behaviours don't lie.
Start noticing your self-talk, your reactions, your feelings. Notice where you're holding back and when you stop yourself from taking actions. How big are your goals? Is it in line with what you really want or are they limited by what you believe you can achieve? Would you like to dream bigger?
Being able to admit the truth is the onset of showing up strong. It might seem counterintuitive, but vulnerability is one of the key powers of a confident person.
Be willing to let go
You might be seeing self-criticism as the source of your motivation to grow and do better. I can't say it's not true, but I can assure you that it's not sustainable in the long run! As you saw in the "symptoms" section, the negative outcomes clearly outweigh.
The good news is that there is a much more sustainable way to get that motivation and strive for growth - that is self-belief and joy.
When you have an unshakeable belief in yourself and when you truly enjoy what you do, you'd not suffer from lack of motivation. Trust me on that!
Build strength from within
If you're like I once was, you probably see many people around you acting with captain-like confidence. It might be inspiring or intimidating to you. But believe it or not, not all those looking confident are not truly confident inside.
A lot of people unconsciously cover up their self-critics by adopting confident behaviours. Neither good nor bad - it happens unintentionally. This is because we often subconsciously worry about what others think of us and how we're being seen, rather than what's going on inside us. We compare ourselves to others.
The genuine, charismatic leaders are those who project confidence from within. You feel drawn towards them because they are respectful, curious and warm towards others. Always listen and are willing to learn from you. They believe in themselves and in those around them. They aim for a win-win in any situation.
Be in charge of where your life is going. Take actions
We're all born with the desire and drive to improve ourselves and our lives. But after a while, life simply stays the same. Most people just let their life happen, accepting far less than their potential.
Wouldn't it be great if you had more control over where your life is going? What if you could easily, intentionally work towards the life you truly desire?
Imagine yourself at your deathbed. How would you like to describe your life and yourself? What advice would you give your younger self?
What actions you would've taken, and what you would've stopped doing? What mindset would you rather have had?