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How to beat the inner critic and harness your inner mentor with Liz Nottingham Executive HR Director EMEA at R/GA

With an extensive HR background, Liz has a passion for the health and wellbeing of HR professionals, she advised at our senior HR event how we dial down our inner critics and dial up our inner mentors.

My favourite quote is “life begins at the edge of your comfort zone” and if I could credit it, I would. What happens when we stay in our comfort zone is that we feel safe, familiar, comfortable and settled. The world looks and feels great. That is until we start thinking that we want a promotion, want to change career or want to ask for a pay rise; and then our inner critic is aroused.

“What? Don’t be ridiculous”, it says, “you are not ready for a promotion, you will never be able to do that job, what are you thinking of?” Our doubts ring loud in our heads, and if we listen to this constant negative self-talk, we end up believing it and fail to move forward into the space of who we really are.

If we pay too much attention to this internal critic we play safe, don’t move and as Tara Mohr says, we don’t “play big”. By doing this, we live a life of fear, and if you fill your being with negativity, you will most certainly never be your best self. But we need to acknowledge that our inner critic is there also to keep us safe, fortunately, there are not too many tigers on the central line, but if there were our inner voice would tell us to move – FAST!

So we need to quieten down the voice in our heads, thank it for keeping us safe while noticing that we are not the voice. It is just a voice, and we can choose to listen to it or minimise it. Some people have a name for it and say, “Uh oh, Sally is panicking about me moving jobs again, its ok I have got this under control.” At the end of the day this is a script, a story we run, and it no longer serves you well.

We are also full of inner wisdom but don’t know how to access this as the negative noise drowns this out. I often say, if you can ask the question, it is likely that you know the answer. To find your inner mentor go onto www.taramohr.com and follow her guided meditation.

Our language also holds us back from being our best selves.

Delete JUST in your emails TODAY. You do not hear Teresa May say, “I would just like to tell you a little bit about Brexit.”

A “little bit” minimises the importance of what you are saying.

Donal Trump does not say “I am thinking of building a wall in Mexica, does that make sense to you?”

So all those, “I am no expert but have you got a minute”, “thinking off the top of my head”,” just wondering”,  get in the way of your best self.

Be friendly. Be clear. Ask for what you need and STOP apologising!

We need to consider the role of the HR professional as the “conscience of the organisation.”

This is a heavy responsibility, often for a stand-alone person who is balancing payroll, visas, contracts, employee relations, staff disputes and working on the L&D strategy for the upcoming year. More and more life appears in the workplace, and we need to be fully supported to respond to it.

My interest is who HR’s the HR? Where do HR go for support and guidance? Who can they turn to?

My recent coaching supervision studies told me that “the quality of the intervention depends on the interior of the intervener,” (R. Shoet), meaning that if we are not resourced ourselves what impact are we having on others in our daily work? I am calling for our profession to consider supervision support as an integral part our being, not just for our personal development but to also resource us in our daily work as we work with and in service of others.

This was from our ‘Be Your Best Self’ for HR. If you would like to attend an event like this, sign up to our mailing list. All our events are free and great for those in HR.