Brilliant women often wonder: well, how do I know if I’m hearing my inner critic, or if I’m just being realistic?

Is that my inner critic telling me that I am not ready to start the business – or is that realistic thinking?

Is that my inner critic telling me that I won’t find a commercial market for my art – or is that simply the unfortunate truth?

Is that my inner critic telling me that I shouldn’t apply because I’d never get the job – or is the voice of wise realism?

These are really good questions.

Please know, I’m all for realism. I believe in bringing our practical assessment of reality to bear in every decision. I have an MBA for goodness sake!

The good news is, there is a simple and fast way to tell whether you are hearing from the voice of your inner critic and the voice of realistic thinking. In this video (3 minutes) I share what it is.

Quieting self-doubt is one of the topics we cover in-depth in my women’s leadership program, Playing Big. The program is a journey to help you Play Bigger – in your work and your life. Hundreds of women have participated and seen incredible results in their businesses and lives. For details about the program, click HERE .



Join the discussion 27 Comments

  • Amanda says:

    This is absolutely brilliant Tara! Thanks so much for this wonderful video 🙂

    There’s a big difference between that critic talking, and realistic thinking.

  • […] friend, Tara Mohr, made a great video this week about how to tell the difference between our inner critic and being realistic, I highly […]

  • Gail says:

    This is deeply helpful, Tara. I would add that the anxious, non-solution oriented thinking of your inner critic can also be distinguished when it leads you back to old stories of past failures or self-limiting identities (“I’m just not the kind of person who can pull this off”, etc.) It’s an endless loop vs. forward motion, as you pointed out. Thanks again for an awesome post.

  • Amari says:

    Tara – by far one of the best explanations I have heard for determining who is talking. I loved it! I can think back recently of my realistic thinking trying to help me do the practical things that need doing.

    I also think sometimes the inner critic is really fear speaking. I sometimes take a moment to sit with the fear and see what it is trying to say. I let it know that I have it handled. : )

  • rani primmer says:

    OMG… this has been a question that has toying with me for such a long time. I love this way of looking at it. I think this concept will help in so many ways…. the biggest of which I think it will encourage me to identify a solution even when the inner critic starts her ranting…. could it be that I could mindfully convert the inner critic into a solution finder??? Thank you.

  • […] all the time. Except that I wasn’t being realistic. I was being mean. To myself. Here’s a great way to distinguish between your inner critic and realistic […]

  • Carmen says:

    Thanks for this Tara! The examples you gave were a really clear way to describe how to distinguish between the critic and realistic thinking. What opened my was the idea that our best “realistic thinking” is thinking that moves us forward into achieving our dreams in a way that works well for us. It’s not something that holds us back. Sometimes the word realistic gets a bad rap. Thanks for the reminder that being realistic doesn’t mean you’re not still going for what you want-you’re just doing it in a positive, sustainable way.

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