The Introvert’s Inner Critic: Don’t Let it Block Your Success

Introverts face specific challenges with their inner critics. Don’t let your inner critic sabotage your business confidence and success. Discover how to transform your inner critic into a supportive internal business coach. Once you understand the potentially positive power of your inner critic and practice proven tools, you’ll easily and rapidly transform your internal censor into a powerful ally. You’ll become Your Authentic Self: the empowered, confident person you’ve always been destined to become.

Does your inner critic ever nag you with negative self-talk when you’re trying to network or make a presentation? Thoughts may run through your mind like, “Introverts can’t get ahead in an extroverted world” or “I could do this better if I were an extrovert.”

When you attend extrovert-oriented events, would you like to take full advantage of the innate advantages of being an introvert without your inner critic exhausting you with a critique that you’re not networking or socializing “the right way?” Do you want to work with other people efficiently so you don’t have to endure meaningless chit chat, overstimulation and exhausting social gatherings in a struggle to succeed?

It’s time to discover how to avoid an inner critic attack by elevating your confidence, risk-tolerance, curiosity and action-orientation. Your inner critic won’t badger you when your self-esteem is high and you’re enjoying the hidden blessings of being an introvert.


Confident introverts nurture their nature. Instead of struggling to alter their innate temperament, they creatively adapt the world of work to their personal needs and preferences. Many introverts substitute social networking for in-person networking. Instead of cold calling, many introverted people use the Internet to mass prospect. Others make virtual presentations 24 hours a day by posting webinars and audios. When they do venture into the world of extroverts, they boost their confidence by being curious about how they can use the social skills they’ve developed on the Internet or telephone in an extroverted environment.

Savvy introverts set their objectives for an event in advance. Because they plan how they’ll pace themselves, they avoid energy depletion by setting time and space boundaries. Then they use some of their advantages, including abundant intuition and deep reflective thinking abilities. Both of these qualities empower them to quickly and easily scope out a room, discovering the precise people with whom to connect. This focus of meeting their needs distracts their inner critic, so the successful introvert leaves the event energized instead of drained.


Confident introverts know that introverts have a natural advantage regarding listening skills. They enjoy engaging prospects in fascinating conversations, getting to know them, discovering what the prospect wants or needs and noticing when the potential client becomes more enthusiastic and optimistic. They enter conversations with the joy that’s natural when we have a blank beginner’s mind. Our intention is to “sell without selling,” by expanding our professional network and our knowledge about people and life. We thrive by establishing enjoyable relationships.


Confident introverts aren’t rigidly attached to specific outcomes. If a potential prospect says, “I’m not interested” or the time isn’t right, confident introverts don’t judge themselves or their interactions as off-track. Because these introverts are much more curious than judgmental, their inner critic cannot enter their consciousness. They ask themselves, “I wonder what this potential prospect needs or wants right now” instead of fretting, “I wonder what I can sell them.”


Confident introverts learn something valuable from every interaction because they trust that there is some reason the individuals are involved with each other. Even if a certain potential client isn’t a buyer, each person gains value from the interaction. Because the confident introvert doesn’t need to be “right” or achieve a certain result and they’re passionate about what they can learn personally and professionally, they avoid the trap of labeling some experiences as failures. Every day becomes more enjoyable, which is another deterrent to the inner critic. (Your inner critic thrives on negativity and criticism.)


Introverts who trust themselves and the process of their lives have moved beyond the performance anxiety that’s fed by the inner critic. Whether the introvert is selling themselves or a product, networking and sales conversations are simple sharing conversations in which the person with the product or service enjoys a sincere connection with a potential buyer. That’s why so many confident introverts say, “We made such a great connection that, although he didn’t need what I’m selling, he referred me to other people who were very interested.”


Savvy introverts avoid the traps of comparison and competition, which solicit the inner critic’s criticism. Self-assured introverts attract abundance and build confidence by holding the intention to be 100 percent authentically themselves. They’re very clear, “If I weren’t My Authentic Self, my ideal clients, the people I truly resonate with, wouldn’t be able to find me . . . and I wouldn’t enjoy my work.”


Confident introverts say, “No, thank you” to perfectionism. They take intelligent risks instead of struggling to maintain a specific, shaky, short-term image. Because they value growth and success in the long term, they don’t feel the kind of pressure that invites the negative chatter of the inner critic. Confident introverts also make mistakes — lots of them. They value failure because they know errors are essential to eventual success. Like Thomas Edison, they celebrate every mistake as a milestone on the road to victory.


Confident entrepreneurs notice any tendency to procrastinate. Instead of wasting energy judging themselves for being human, they walk in the direction of their fear. In fact, they celebrate fears and self-doubts because they know how to use negative feelings as tools to elevate their confidence.


Self-assured introverts trust their intuition. Even when intuitive clues don’t seem to make sense, they honor the innate gift of intuition. Because intuition and the inner critic cannot coexist, following your intuition is a shield against an inner critic invasion. You’ll feel confident taking intelligent risks so you can grow and watch your success soar.


One of the most common stumbling blocks to achievement in any field is resisting the inner critic instead of discovering its innate value. One of many advantages of being an introvert is self-awareness. Happy, successful introverts understand, “My inner critic is just part of who I am. Although it’s misdirected, it has my best interests in mind. It’s desperately trying to protect me from disappointment, failure and embarrassment. I’ll turn it into an essential success tool that will help me evaluate my strengths and compensate for my weaknesses.”

These introverts have learned how to re-channel the profound power of their inner critic. Instead of wasting energy battling it, they transform it into an internal employee that works tirelessly for them. Think about it: Your inner critic has been slaving away, 24/7 most of your life. Wouldn’t you love discovering how to employ this abundant powerhouse of energy in positive, productive ways that give you more success and fun?


When you read “Conquer Your Inner Critic”, you gain an innovative, freedom-producing approach that emerged from years of work with other introverts who were facing the same challenges you’re struggling with. They were haunted by critical self-talk. Promoting their skills was difficult in the world of work when they were anxious or their confidence waned. It was often frightening to take an intelligent risk.

Are you truly ready to calm the crippling voice of your inner critic? Take advantage of a proven program tested by hundreds of clients before sharing the tools with you. You’ll gain special value from the illustrations and the workbook that are part of the book. Order “Conquer Your Inner Critic” at

You may have seen Dr. Doris interviewed on “The Today Show,” CNN and NPR. Doris Helge, Ph.D. is the #1 Bestselling Author of books like “Conquer Your Inner Critic,” “Joy on the Job for Introverts and Shy People” and ”Transforming Pain Into Power — Making the Most of Your Emotions.”

© 2013. Excerpted with permission from the #1 Bestselling Book, “Conquer Your Inner Critic” by Doris Helge, Ph.D. You may reprint this article as long as it is in tact and proper attribution is given.

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  1. Good suggestions Doris.

    But all you say applies to extroverts as well. Listening for instance is crucial. Ideally we listen 80% and talk 20.

    However I don’t think you always block success by being critical of yourself. Stage fright makes us perform better and can hence lead to success. So maybe a happy medium is ultimate?
    Catarina recently posted…Can you do better PR than this?My Profile

  2. Jeannette Paladino

    This is a very thoughtful article. As Catarina said, this advice applies to extroverts, too. I think that some people believe that extroverts are always full of confidence and enthusiasm and can’t wait to speak before listening. They know it all. Well, that’s not true (speaking as an extrovert, if you believe Meyers Briggs). We can actually be introspective, too!
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Do Community Managers and Social Media Managers Have Different Roles?My Profile

  3. I think I fall into the category of the self-accepting introvert. And that is good enough for me.

  4. Thanks for your insightful comments. Re: the first two comments, I agree that both extroverts and introverts have inner critics. One point of the article is to illustrate some of the different ways the inner critic hounds the introvert than the extrovert. This self-awareness helps us create our strategy for preventing unnecessary negative self-talk.

    Also, when we recognize THE INNATE ADVANTAGES of being an introvert, our inner critic doesn’t make some of the habitual critical comments (like “If I were an extrovert, this would be easier.” or “I’d do a better job if I were an extrovert.”)

    When we are aware of the advantages of being an introvert, our inner critic takes a long rest because it is almost impossible to simultaneously be self-judgmental and grateful for being exactly who we are. So, David, you brought it all together with your comment and I thank you!

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