EQ,  Happiness,  Self-leadership

Relentless Self-Development may Diminish Your Potential

In this “growth mindset” and “learn it all” era, it’s often easy to be driven by our inner critic in disguise of all those positive things.

“What do you mean”? You might ask.

Allow me to illustrate this with Greg’s experience as a senior director at a telecommunication company. In our coaching session, he shared how he managed a difficult conversation at work, ultimately bringing a positive outcome. But as he talked about it, he was fixated on where he could have done better. So, I got curious and presented my observation. He was taken aback. Baffled, he said, I always strive for better, which made me successful. 

Always striving for better could be a smokescreen for “I am not good enough.” It’s the voice of the self-critic who has been running the show, constantly pushing you so you don’t take a break from that relentless “growth” mission. Imagine treating a friend like that. How would they feel? When our inner critic drives us, we eventually become one such critic for others. It not only keeps us in an unhappy deficit- mindset but also strains relationships, causing difficulty in building alliances and getting support from others.

It is time to give the self-critic a break. Thank them for their service, but don’t let them stay in charge. Instead, let your self-compassion and gratitude shine. In doing so, growth becomes a natural byproduct of contentment rather than an endless pursuit of perfection.

Feature image is by Microsoft Designer

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