4 Steps to Conquer Your Inner Critique to Unlock Your Growth Mindset

Unlocking the Power of a Growth Mindset

Do you also have this negative voice in your head?

You can call it inner couch potato, laziness, or demon. Whatever you call it: it’s something inside of you that doesn’t want you to grow, change or go out of your comfort zone.

We are trying to fight it, but it’s stuck in our subconscious and hard to get rid of.

It took me the last few years to get over my negative mindset/daemon and I’m sure it’s never gonna get away. But here are the steps I took to get to a positive growth mindset:

Don’t Fight It: Accept It!

First thing: fighting it only makes it worse.

Think of it as improving and growing, instead of “I’m bad and I have to work on myself”.

Working on yourself sounds exhausting and it also implies that you are not good (enough). Then you can easily go into this negative spiral that you cannot get out of.

Stop it immediately!

You don’t have to change yourself. You are exceptional just the way you are.

Accepting yourself and your inner voice is the first step to a happy life. If you don’t, you will always feel not good enough and never finish.

Accept your negative inner voice. It’s part of you. What you can do is: improve. Improvement doesn’t mean you are bad, but it means you can get more out of your potential.

Everyone has good and bad thoughts. Everyone has this inner voice that can be annoying and mean sometimes. But accept it as part of you and you will grow to not listen to it anymore.

You are exceptional and special. Accept all of you! Then this inner voice is quiet and you can work on improving and becoming more positive.

“Acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook on life.”

— Carl Jung

Daily Affirmations

This is a tool, which takes max 5 minutes of your day. It’s the first step to getting more positivity into your life.

This is not a miracle tool that you do every day and you will be happy. No. But it’s the first step of changing your negative inner voice to a positive one.

A lot of people have such a negative mindset that they don’t have a single positive thought a day. This is bad.

My positive affirmations are:

  • I’m smart
  • I’m strong
  • I’m beautiful
  • I’m always 100% valuable
  • I’m inviting joy, happiness, and abundance into my life

I included this tool in my morning routine. Stand up, and speak those affirmations out loud. Don’t just think of them!

“Affirmations have the power to change your thoughts, which in turn can change your world.”

— Miranda Kerr

Go Out of Your Comfort Zone and Accept Challenges!

Being inside your laziness, you cannot grow because it’s comfortable.

Go outside, and experience something new! Being outside of your comfort zone doesn’t mean that it has to hurt or be a failure. See everything as an opportunity to grow instead of “What could happen if I fail?”

This is the negative inner voice speaking and criticizing. Realize your inner daemon is speaking, accept it, and let it go. Else you will never get out of this negative spiral of staying comfortable.

It’s ok to relax sometime because your body needs it, but don’t spend your time in front of the TV every day the whole time. Your daemon will say: “I’m lazy. I cannot achieve anything. I’m useless, so I can spend my time in front of the TV.”

Don’t let this negative inner voice control you and your life. You are not useless. You are an extraordinary human like everyone else and you choose what you want to do with your life.

The sky is the limit. Don’t limit yourself by listening to your negative thoughts.

“Don’t settle for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

— Nelson Mandela

Analyze Your Thoughts

How many negative thoughts do you have everyday? Why do you think that way?

Your mindset grows in your childhood. But back then you couldn’t control what gets stuck in your brain and becomes a belief in your subconscious.

Be present and open, and analyze yourself!

Take a look at your thoughts like it’s a book you are reading. Maybe even write them down.

Be conscious and after some practice, you can change your thoughts.

Don’t fight your thoughts but accept them and analyze them:

  • Why am I thinking like that?
  • Was there something in my childhood that established this negative belief?
  • How does it limit myself?
  • What do I want to change?

Don’t take your thoughts for granted and don’t confuse them for the truth. Figure out which inner voices are actually true, and which are only beliefs you absorbed as a child.

As a child, we think that the grown-ups know everything and all they say must be true. Realizing that this is not the truth when growing up is a gigantic step towards independence.

Just because your parents told me that money is bad doesn’t mean that you have to absorb it as a truth and belief.

By analyzing your thoughts, you will find those kinds of beliefs from your childhood. It’s crucial then to not judge or take them as the truth.

What would be better beliefs to exchange them with the bad ones?

One belief I had was that I cannot be successful because I’m an introvert. I got this from my teachers. I learned that this is not the truth.

Some of the successful introverts:

  • Bill Gates
  • Albert Einstein
  • Al Gore
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Michael Jordan
  • Meryl Streep
  • Barack Obama

You can change your mindset and exchange your false beliefs for better ones. It’s your brain so you can change it.

“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.”

— Steve Maraboli


It can take years to change your mindset. It will be slowly, unconscious but it’s gonna change if you stick to it.

I was really shy as a child. I was afraid of everyone. I didn’t like to talk.

Since then I had the mindset that everything I say is nonsense and not worth it.

It took years and therapy to be able to do the interview for college properly (and I got in !).

Even though it didn’t feel like huge changes happening everyday. I’ve grown.

  • I accepted challenges (because I wanted to and I’m stubborn).
  • I left my comfort zone

And since then I’m not thinking negatively about myself anymore (most of the time) and I’ve achieved more than I thought possible.

  • I did more than I can count presentations and I’m not shaking anymore
  • I’ve been the leader of my student organization for 2 years now and it’s been amazing
  • I did a semester abroad on my own
  • I have friends all over the world
  • I’m happy living with my boyfriend
  • I can call companies

You can do it too!

This story should motivate you that everything you can imagine is possible.

A growth mindset is the first step in the right direction.

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(c) Karina Ahrer

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