Silencing the Critic Within

I have a quotable magnet on my bulletin board in my office that reads “What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail.” When I take the time to ponder it, my mind spins off countless big ideas and new creative marketing ideas to move my business forward. I spend a day or two planning, fiddling with my website, and making some new contacts. I even hand out a business card here and there all while daydreaming of wild success and what my business will look like when it flourishes.  I feel confident, smart, and innovative and my inner cheerleader is somersaulting through me with encouragement. That’s just how I felt when I joined VEND Raleigh. I was thrilled to learn of the prospect of collaborating with other moms like myself,  and of meeting new friends and colleagues, who knew firsthand exactly what it was like to start a business while raising young children. The inner cheerleader said this was exactly the boost my business needed and that it was great opportunity to communicate and network, to look for ways to be supported, and to offer my insights and expertise in my field.  Instead of getting involved in the group, I only lurked on the Facebook page, read the emails, the blog posts, and took special note of the events being hosted.   I didn’t show up to the events, did not link my business or get involved. Why? I did what many outwardly appearing confident women do all too often, I  fell prey to my inner critic, the voice inside that abruptly drowned out the cheerleader’s encouragement and positivity and replaced it  with fear. The critic made it very clear that everyone else’s business was way ahead of mine, and there were already enough people in my field who belonged to the group that probably knew more than me. Every time the cheerleader tried to offer support, the critic provided a long list of excuses of why I could not move forward.  My website was rudimentary; I didn’t have a blog, and did not have enough experience. And then as if to seal the deal, I had guilt. I was too busy at home a with my kids to work on my business,  and convinced myself that mothering was my real job and what I was trying to do was just a hobby to practice on people I knew.  The cycle continued until I quickly became trapped in the space between where I was and where I could be.  Sound familiar?

The irony here is that I am a life coach. I am trained to help people remove their self- imposed limitations, and to set realistic goals, yet, I am human and have suffered from the same paralyzing fear, self -doubt and perfectionist tendencies as everyone else. The emotions I experienced had nothing to do with my ability to have a successful coaching career and everything to do with fear of not being good enough, and with not being “perfect. “

Fortunately for me, I am aware of the many tools used for breaking through patterns of fear and limiting beliefs.  I have actually have created an entire workshop for women who are caught in this trap. But teaching women to use the tools isn’t enough. I still have to make the conscious choice to do so for myself too. Yes, I am a life coach, but I am also a woman, a wife, and a mother and a business owner. I am just like you.  It has taken me courage and hard work to overcome  my perfectionist tendencies because it has required me to  admit I am human and imperfect  in a world that demands perfection in all arenas of life . Most of all, it has forced me  to acknowledge what is actually true , to accept that I have made mistakes along the way in life, and possibly the biggest mistake of all has my drive to be a perfectionist.  My critic will always be in there, telling me I am not ready, or not good enough.   I simply choose not to listen to her anymore.

Join us for a unique coaching event May 31st!
Mindset Makeover: 3 Mindshifting Techniques to Grow Yourself & Your Business

Raleigh Life Coaching

Melissa Mahar
Life and Health Coach
Windrose Life Coaching






Cary Heise
Latest posts by Cary Heise (see all)


  1. Melissa- I love your openness and honesty. I think as women, we all tend to be so critical of ourselves.

    Your right that no matter what business you are in- it can seem like everyone is doing more, or better- but to learn and understand that we have tools to be successful is so hard to admit.

    I look forward to hearing about the great success stories that come from the women who choose to learn these tools at your Mindset Makeover workshop. Working with a Life Coach is one of the best things any mompreneur can do to gain clarity for whom she really is and her true purpose.

    I’ve been blessed to have worked with multiple coaches, Gaye Esser and Claire Luffman, to help keep me afloat in my journey. I couldn’t have done it without them! Or the amazing women I have met through Vend Raleigh.

  2. Melissa! I didn’t know this was you!! Congrats!! Look forward to hearing more from you! BTW, Finn was adorable this morning at graduation!

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