November 13, 2018

26: Quieting the Inner Critic with Tara Mohr

We all have that inner critic who wants us to believe “I can’t.” As a manager, you may also see that voice taking control of your team mates. So how do you quiet the inner critic and unleash the full potential of yourself and your colleagues?

This week I speak with Tara Mohr, expert on women’s leadership and well-being. Tara is the author of Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead. Tara and I talk about different forms of fear, that annoying inner critic that holds us back, and how to respond to someone else’s inner critic when it’s holding them back.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Playing big is not about striving more or working harder. It’s about getting in touch with and taking action on your own hopes and dreams.
  • There are different kinds of fear. The first type ‘pachad’ is projecting the worst case scenario. This is the irrational fear that holds us back. The second type ‘yirah’ is the feeling of taking on more responsibility, getting an influx of energy, or being in the presence of the sacred. This is the fear that tells us we’re on the right track.
  • If you don’t address your inner critic, it will sabotage you time and again.
  • The inner critic works almost identically in all of us. When you do something that feels emotionally risky, the inner critic speaks up, trying to get us to retreat to emotional safety.
  • Ask yourself, “What is the emotional risk I’m taking – failure, rejection, incompetence, uncertainty, etc.” Once you’ve identified it, you can acknowledge it, have compassion for yourself, and decide to act from the part of you that wants to fulfill your dreams.
  • Especially as women, if you do substantive work, it will be met with praise and criticism. When you get praise or criticism, what comes up for you?
  • As managers, we get an up close view of our colleagues’ inner critic. We often make the mistake of thinking our encouragement or confidence will make someone’s inner critic will go away. But it actually can make someone more concerned.
  • Have a conversation with your team about the inner critic:
  • Being your authentic self, and sharing creative or innovative ideas often comes with self doubt.
  • Confidence doesn’t come with more experience when we are continuing to grow, take on more responsibility, and work at our learning edge.


Book: Playing Big available on Amazon

Upcoming: Playing Big Facilitators Training –


Twitter: @tarasophia

Instagram: @tarasophiamohr


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