I nearly exploded from the irony.
There I was, in a group video call on a training about self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-criticism – actually taking notes about the problems excessive self-criticism causes – and all I could think was "God I have a ridiculously small pin-head."
It seemed I had a little more work to do on quietening down my negative inner voice. Or my Inner Dickhead, as I like to call it.
The thing about our Inner Dickheads, though, is they don't just poke at our appearances.
Their job isn't only to point out that spot or the fact we're having a bad hair day or that it looks like we got dressed in the dark.
Our Inner Dickheads are far more insidious than that. They pick away at our sense of self and do everything in their power to stop us becoming more and better.
Our Inner Dickheads hate change. They love the status quo (not the band).
There's no point trying to silence that voice, either; it won't go away. It's a part of you.
Once, that voice had an important job to do – and even though its position is now largely redundant, it doesn't let go of power easily.
Once, your negative voice helped you survive: 'Don't do that, you might get eaten by a sabre-tooth badger!'
That voice kept your ancestors alive.
But today, it keeps you stuck.
Today, it's the voice that says, 'You can't do this. You're crap. You're a terrible writer and nobody will ever want to read what you've written so don't bother. People will laugh at you and your world will end.'
And if you beat those words down, it counters with, 'Who the hell are you to write a book?'
Rather than silence it, it's our job to keep it quieter so we can hear that other voice instead – the one that says, 'Yes you can. You can do this. You're worthwhile. You're good enough.'
The other voice is much quieter, but it's there. Let it out more often.
That's the voice that'll help you write your book and sell a truckload of copies.
The key to letting that voice out? Like everything else: practice.
p.s. my confidence trainer pointed out that my Inner Dickhead is really trying to help me. She's right, of course, and remembering that can help. Acknowledge what it's saying, then call your other voice out to counter it.
p.p.s. That's all very well, but when my Inner Dickhead says mean things to me, calls me stupid, and tells me I have a ridiculously small head, it's just being a douchecanoe. Same as yours. Get into the habit of speaking kindly to yourself, and treat yourself as if you're someone you care about.
Start Writing Your Book Today
If you want to learn more about how to write, self-publish, and market a book for your business, snaffle yourself a copy of How The Hell Do You Write A Book? Then check out the blog and podcast for more articles and guides. If you want a little (or a lot) more help, find out how you can work with me.
Vicky Fraser is the founder of Moxie Books and author of How The Hell Do You Write A Book and Business For Superheroes. She helps business owners write life-changing books, connect with readers and new customers, and grow their businesses. When she's not doing that, she's hanging from a trapeze by her feet.