Interview with Tara Sophia Mohr: Signs You Are Being Led By Your Inner Voice Critic

1. This is going to be the day when they find that out I don’t know what I’m doing.

2. I’m not ready yet to take on that bigger role.

3. Oh, my God, look at my upper arms.

4. He will never go for me.

5. I will never get that job.

Do any of these sound familiar? It may be a sign that you are your own worst critic.

“We all know that voice. It just affects each of is in different ways in our personal life and at work. If you’re hearing a lot of that voice and that voice is affecting what you do – the job you apply for, who you go on a date with, what you say to your boss, then you’re being run by your inner critic.” – Tara Sophia Mohr, Wise Living

I recently sat down with Tara Sophia Mohr to talk about her Playing Big program on women’s leadership and professional development. Tara and I spent some time talking about the negative voices in that ramble around in women’s heads. Tara’s Playing Big program spends a lot of time teaching women to take control of this unwanted enemy in our head. I spoke to her about how the inner critic impacts our decisions and amplifies the “quarterlife crisis”.

Christina: What is the danger of listening to your inner critic?

Tara: The inner critic is an irrational liar.  It’s kind of like being run by an insane person. Unfortunately many women, particularly 20-somethings, aren’t aware that they have an inner critic. In my sessions, there are always a couple of women who say, ‘That voice is who I know myself to be.’ And the truth is … it’s not. You have another voice that is calm, that is grounded, that is excited about your dreams and has a sense of possibility.

Christina: Do you think that letting the inner critic be in control is what a lot of 20-somethings experience as the “quarterlife crisis” – feeling anxious about the future and overwhelmed by decisions as they transition to adulthood?

Tara: Definitely. Because this is a voice of self-doubt. It’s the voice that thinks there’s a right and wrong answer. You can do it wrong so you better get it right. It’s also a very cerebral kind of voice so it loves to evaluate pros and cons. It’s the mind running on overdrive, trying to control things and make sure we get it right, which often leads to indecision or taking no action at all. Whereas wisdom is more connected to our body and our heart.

Christina: Many 20-somethings I talk to have a fear of missing out – FOMO as it’s become known — a sense that if they make one decision they will miss another opportunity. Is that also the inner critic driving us?

Tara: You described it perfectly.  There’s a jumble of things. You don’t know what you want. The voice is frantic. It can’t be soothed. When that happens you need to find the other voice that you can talk to. We have to learn to separate these two voices. It starts with being able to observe the inner critic and not take direction from it…rather than not even recognizing when it’s running your life. A lot of my work focuses on separating that inner voice from your real voice.

Christina: Other than taking your program, what is one piece of advice you have for a 20-something to stop listening to that inner critic?

Tara: Don’t argue with what your critic is saying. Just simply say to it, “Thank you very much for your input. I know you are just trying to protect me from potential harm. But it’s okay. I’ve got this one covered. I won’t let anything happen to us that we can’t survive.”


Thank you Tara for a fun and enlightening conversation! If you are interested in her Playing Big program, check it out here.   And learn more about Tara her work and her blog,  here.



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