Inner Critic #4: The Dark Side of Safety

February 28, 2021

Episode9Transcript_The Dark Side of Safety

In the context of our personal lives, security is important to most of us. We want to know that our families and our loved ones are safe and free from danger. But very often, the need to be safe has the exact opposite effect when it comes to our careers – whether we’re on the corporate or entrepreneurial track or somewhere in between.

There’s a dark side of safety when it comes to our professional lives.


Because in the context of our careers, safety usually means we’re holding ourselves back.

We’re playing small.

Not living up to our fullest potential and likely, not allowing ourselves to realize our dreams and ambitions.

I know this has been true in my own life. Especially as it comes to starting this business. But it also played a smaller role in my corporate career when it came to one specific thing, which we’ll talk about in a minute.

This need for security is something I’ve seen so many of my colleagues and clients contend with.

And that’s why today, we’re going to talk about THE DARK SIDE OF SAFETY.

So, let’s dive in.

As you know, all month we’ve been talking about our Inner Critic – that persistent negative internal talk track that runs on a continual loop for most of us.

We learned in earlier episodes how our Inner Critic is not our enemy, but our misguided friend. So, it’s important to soothe it instead of fighting it or whatever.

And we learned that our critic uses negative motivation and false control to try to get us to do what it can to keep us protected.

Today we’re going to talk about the last – and I think the most problematic or pervasive – technique the Inner Critic uses, which is all about convincing us that if we put ourselves out there or go after a big new thing, it’ll BE…A…DISASTER.

For me, this played out in one prominent way throughout my corporate career, which was around speaking in front of large groups.

I just wouldn’t do it. Period.

So, whenever an invitation came, I invented a grand excuse to get out of it.

And I did it so often and for so long that honestly, I didn’t think anything about it.

I certainly never thought about how it might be holding me back.

It was quite the opposite.

Actually, it felt like a GREAT IDEA to say no. It felt smart.

And on the rare occasion when I DID accept an invitation, I would ALMOST IMMEDIATELY be overwhelmed with fear and self-doubt.


Because my Inner Critic had flipped on a talk track that told me I’d screw up.

That I would freeze or stumble over my words.

That I didn’t KNOW ENOUGH to be up on that stage, sharing my knowledge and experience.

Basically, that I just wasn’t GOOD ENOUGH.

So, when my Inner Critic told me those things, I believed it.

After all, that voice in our head feels wise, right? And listening to it feels like something we should do.

The things our Inner Critic tells us FEEL TRUE.

Not because they ARE true, but because the voice isn’t coming from outside us. It’s coming from INSIDE.

And there’s something about the Inside the House source of it that feels profound. Like something we should listen to.

Listen to the full podcast episode on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform, to hear all the ways our Inner Critic tries to undermine our belief in ourselves by convincing us that our stronger need is to stay safe. And learn the four things to do to overcome it.

Give it a listen and then share it with a friend.

Dark Side of Safety

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