Inner Critic #3: False Control

February 21, 2021

Today we’re going to talk about something I call False Control. 

This happens when we mistakenly believe that if we do THIS then we’ll prevent or get THAT. 

And it happens to be one of our inner critic’s favorite ways to torture us. As you know, all through February we’re looking at the various ways our Inner Critic tries to “help us” but of course, doesn’t REALLY help us.

And on this one, our critic is trying to convince us that if we just try a little harder or do a specific thing, we can make the situation turn out the way we want. 

This is a good one because it comes up for so many of us in our career or life.

So, let’s dive in. 

Control is a loaded word, right?

On the one hand, we all want to have control over our life – at least wherever we can, right?

I mean, like I was saying with my other Dallas friends from the North. They knew what sub-zero weather and ice meant. And they took every precaution to take the smart actions to protect themselves and their families. 

And guess what?  

The thing they didn’t want to happen, happened. And a week later, they STILL don’t have water.

So, when it comes to our career, this plays out all the time. 

For those of us in corporate America, we’ll do everything we can to prepare for that meeting and still end up with an outcome we didn’t want. 

Or we’ll go above and beyond all year, fully expecting to be first in line for that promotion, only to get passed over. Again.

And when this happens, our Inner Critic swings into high gear as our negative internal talk track starts tearing us apart, blaming our actions or lack of preparation or foresight for the reason the thing didn’t turn out. 

As if we could have somehow gotten a completely different outcome if we had done things differently.

As if life or our career is EVER that predictable.

Now here, I’m not saying we shouldn’t look ahead and prepare and take actions we think will best position us for the outcome we want. We should.

What I AM saying is that we’re not in control of everything that happens. And it’s important to remember that SOMETIMES we can see around all the corners and identify all the smart actions and perform them with absolute perfection and STILL not get the outcome we want.

And listen, the “trying to take smart control” over our life and career makes sense. It positions us to get the things we want from our life. To achieve our goals.

The problem comes into play when things DON’T work out as we hoped – which, let’s face it, many times they don’t – and then we fall victim to this false narrative from our Inner Critic that somehow, it’s all our fault.

·         We weren’t smart enough.

·         We weren’t prepared enough.

·         We weren’t good enough.

And so, it’s all our fault that we didn’t get the thing we wanted. 

The problem with this is that sometimes, we actually BELIEVE IT

And the danger of that is…

We stop having confidence in ourselves.

We stop trusting ourselves to do the things we need to do in order to get the things we want.

We stop believing in ourselves.

But the problem here is…it’s all a lie.

The truth is, we were NEVER in control. We ARE NEVER in control of the things that happen to us.

All we can do is bring our best to the situation.

Check out the full episode to learn more about False Control, the damage it can do and how to overcome it. 

False Control

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