Executive Careers Blog

Execs: Answering The Inner Critic

When the internal self critic starts speaking who wins?

The Wall Street Journal attempts to answer this in their Health column today, stating that “unrelenting self-criticism can often go hand in hand with depression and anxiety.” Yes, there is healthy and unhealthy self-criticism--so what happens when you are an executive caught in the current recession and the inner critic is plaguing every decision you make? How do you juggle self-doubts, especially when you don’t know what tomorrow might bring?

While more commonly, this inner critic leads to second thoughts and double-guessing, it can also act as an efficiency measure and a toner. Do you have a personality counter to keep this voice in check or do you believe your gut and go with intuition, often colored by Mr. Critic?

Here are some ways to make sure you as an executive is making the right decisions and confidently running your corporate kingdom in a decade when most companies are struggling and decision-making has come under fire consistently for leading to the current recession. Here are a few quick tips:

1) Self-confidence. Your decisions have brought you where you are. Despite the ambiguity surrounding the current economy, have faith in your decision-making and know that it’s logical.

2) Write it down. Sometimes writing can help bolster the confidence and silence the inner critic. Write down your achievements, all the decisions you made on behalf of your team or the company. Putting thoughts to paper clears the mind and bolsters your decision.

3) Be objective. Despite earlier (good) decisions, the current economy can derail a solid judgment. Collect all possible data that can impact how your decision plays out and objectively modify.

4) Team work. Today, more than ever, teamwork is essential to keep your company (especially if it’s small) floating and through the crisis. If in doubt, consult. If your team is diverse in thought and actions, chances are you’re making a positive decision.

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Aman Singh is an Editor with Vault and works with Fortune 500 companies on reporting their diversity recruitment strategies and initiatives.

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