The Struggle is Real – 

Do you ever struggle with receiving compliments? I know I do. My inner-critic often responds with, “Oh, anyone could do that… It’s a work in progress, still lots to do… Thanks but…”

Or, my inside voice gets caught in a loop telling myself that I must not want it bad enough if I haven’t achieved it yet. “Pamela, clearly you don’t want it bad enough. Women half your age have already crushed that.”

Most of us experience those nagging “not good enough” thoughts at some point. Even when we accomplish something, we find ourselves looking at what others have done, and we’re left feeling small and unworthy.

It’s because we allow our inner-critic to occupy expensive real estate in our headspace.


Let’s call this inner critic Malvolia.  I chose the name because 1) I like Shakespeare, and this is the female version of Malvolio, and 2) according to a baby name website, Malvolia means “ill will” which seems like a good name for a critic.

Unfortunately, Malvolia keeps us from trusting ourselves enough to reach our full potential. Because it’s tough to go for our dreams, desires, and aspirations when we’re continually undermining ourselves.

When we allow Malvolia too much airtime, we start to believe that success is beyond our grasp.

Malvolia is very greedy. She strips your mind of logic, devours your confidence, and steals your happiness.

So, what can we do to get Malvolia to shut the **** up? Regrettably, there is no one-size-fits-all quick fix. Silencing our inner-critic takes a lot of work. 

However, an excellent place to start is to become more self-aware of your inner voice. It’s important to remember that the habit of putting yourself down isn’t something you were born with, and it is something you can change.


Here are a few steps to help you evict Malvolia from the important headspace she’s occupying.

1. Recognize That Your Inner Critic Lacks Credibility.

Malvolia is full of it. Her opinions are founded in fear and uncertainty.  Malvolia wants to keep you where you are – because it’s comfortable and familiar. 

2.  Replace, or at least edge out Malvolia, with a caring committee.

Imagine a caring committee exists inside of you made up of characters that represent kindness and support. For me, my kindness committee includes my husband and son, Wonder Woman, and Glinda the Good Witch, “You’ve had the power all along my dear.”

3. Re-Think It.

When you’re critical of yourself, you condition yourself to be critical or judgmental of others. We’ve all felt that quick hit of self-righteousness when we judge others.   But when we can trade judgment for love everything changes. As the late Dr. Wayne Dyer said: “See the light in others and treat them as if that is all you see.”

Now that you’ve kicked Malvolia to the curb, it’s time to celebrate! The next time someone gives you a compliment, accept it graciously, because you deserve it.



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