Today's Episode


Hi and welcome to another episode of the Jessica Cooke podcast.

Thank you for being here and I hope you're keeping well.

Let's get stuck straight into today's topic which is quietening, silencing your inner critic and how to do that.

I'm going to share with you five steps that worked for me and how I am able to quieten my inner critic.

I don't believe we're ever able to get rid of our negative inner critic.

And I'm going to share with you why I know that 100% because I thought I had gotten rid of mine and I realized, no, I didn't.

I've just gotten really good at quietening it down.

So I think it's more about how to quieten your inner critic and understand it.

This stuff for me is absolutely fascinating and I believe it's where you have all the breakthroughs.

It's when you understand all this stuff is where you're finally able to let go of the things that have been holding you back and actually move forward and take action.

For example, have you ever been stuck in a cycle where you have been wondering why you're not able to achieve your goal?


So for me and I just want to share you a little quick background story for years.

When I moved home, I finished college, I got into the workforce.

I started to become really unhealthy stress and anxiety and working too much.

Just got the better of me.

So I was three stone overweight.

I was unhealthy.

I was drinking too much.

I was comfort eating.

I was really, really unhealthy, you know, that really unhealthy feeling where you're kind of feeling like you're sweaty all the time and you're touching your stomach and you're feeling it coming over your jeans and you just feel bit into your clothes and you feel really uncomfortable and you can't look in the mirror, that type of unhealthy where you're just, I was sluggish and tired and I almost felt like I had electricity running around my body.

It was just like all this excess energy while at the same time feeling sluggish.

I used to feel very kind of frustrated inside of myself, but I used to go around and around in circles.

I tried everything.

I tried dieting calorie, counting, weighing my food, weighing myself.

I tried going to the gym and I always managed right back at square one.

I always managed to get right back at square one.

So one day I decided I saw an ad in, in a, in a newspaper.

It was actually the Galway advertiser and it was like, trained to be a fitness coach and learn how to, um, be a nutrition coach.

And I thought, oh, my God, that's it.

I know exactly what I'm going to do.

I'm going to go and find out how to get healthy for good.

I'm going to learn how to be fit.

I'm going to train to be a fitness coach, so I have no excuse and I'm going to train to be a nutrition coach.

So I have no excuse.

And I actually see a lot of people do this, um, especially with nutrition that they train to be a nutrition coach so that they can know how to eat healthy.

And that's exactly what I did.

Um, and it worked, it worked temporarily.

I got fit.

I got healthy.

I ate well.

I started to feel good in myself.

My confidence grew, my self esteem got really good and I started to feel really, really good.

I started to get more connections in my life.

My relationship with my family was better and then old habits started creeping back in.

I wasn't even finished the course three weeks when I started to massively backtrack, you know, that expression, bad habits started creeping back in which I now know is a sign that what you were doing wasn't working nothing to do with you and your motivation.

But I just thought to myself, I don't believe it.

Here I go again.

I had spent about 3.

5 €1000 on these two courses.

And here I was getting straight back to square one.

I happened to bump into one of my coaches and he brought me for a cup of coffee.

And I told him, I said, I'm feeling so desperate.

I'm back.

I'm almost back to square one.

I'm beginning to feel really bad on myself.

I'm missing workouts.

I'm not eating healthy and he turned around and he said something to me.

I'll never forget.

He said, Jessica, I have never met anyone in my life as hard of themselves as you are.

And he said, think of it like this.

It's like constructing a house.

How can you possibly expect to build a good house if the foundations aren't in place and think of the foundations like self love.

It's the self love piece at the beginning.

That foundational piece that helps, that makes the house stay standing.

You build your healthy habits on top of the foundations, the foundations being self love.

I've noticed you are really critical on yourself, really hard on yourself.

How do you expect to keep your healthy habits going if their foundations aren't right?

And you know what?

From that one conversation, I immersed myself in so many studies in courses in programs.

I studied Tara Brach, Tony Robbins.

I went on so many journeys with programs to uncover and learn how to love myself.

And if you're listening in, I mean, it's easy to think.

Well, I love myself.

I'm able to buy myself clothes and nice perfume and nice makeup and you can do all that and still have a lack of self love just to touch on it briefly.

Some of the symptoms of a lack of self love are not having any boundaries for yourself, not having any time for yourself.

Working too hard, having a loud negative inner critic being, having perfectionist tendencies.

I mean, there's so many symptoms of us not loving ourselves or not feeling like we're enough like comfort eating, drinking too much alcohol, scrolling on our phones, all of these symptoms but the problem with social media and the internet and fitness and weight loss industry is that they're always trying to treat the symptoms, how to scroll less on your phone, how to eat less by eating more.

And they're always telling us exactly what we need to be doing, but we're never really getting to the root cause of the problem.

And it's the reason why we're always going back to square one.

And it's the reason why I always went back to square one until I went on this journey of self love.

And then I was able to implement all my healthy habits and they stuck and then I transformed.

And now I identify as this new healthy person.

A part of that is silencing your negative inner critic, quietening your negative inner critic.

If you're starting a new program, if you're, if you're embarking on your fitness journey, if you want to eat healthy, you're almost failing before you even get going.

If you don't even acknowledge that you have a negative inner critic and a part of my lack of self love was having a massive, massive negative inner critic.

So for example, I would decide to become fit.

So I would join a gym or I would start a workout and straight away bang the thoughts I would be telling myself was, oh my God, you're so unfit.

Look at how out of breath you are, look at how red faced you are.

Oh my God, you can't even do a press up.

Oh my God.

I'm so sore after my workouts.

I must be so fit.

I'm never going to stick with this.

I'm not able, I, I'm, I'm not young enough.

I'm never going to be able to stick with this.

That is a story that I told myself over and over again that I am not able.

And that story came from a false belief and that false belief came from a lack of self love.

So quietening, that inner critic when you are focusing on changing your healthy habits is a really, really important step.

I signed up to a course um a couple of weeks ago and I'm finding it really, really difficult and all my inner negative loud critics came back.

Literally, I would be walking around the house having taken a break from study and my mind would say to me, you're never going to amount to anything.

And I was like, what was that?

How cruel?

And it was saying to me, oh my God, you can't even get this right?

Why are you even trying?

What else did it say?

It was like I can, I can, if I can just focus on this for a second, it can all come back to me.

You're never going to amount to anything.

Why are you even trying?


What good do you have to say?

Why would anybody even listen to you?

And I just, I just thought, oh my God.

And thankfully, I have done all the work so I can hear my negative inner critic and then do these five steps to let it go and continue on my journey.

But it was the reason why I wanted to do this episode because before in the 20 years prior to this, that negative inner voice that, that negative loud critic would have been there talking like that and I would have been absorbing those thoughts as facts.

I would have been absorbing those thoughts as facts because I wasn't aware of them.

I'd just be listening to them and it would impact my action.

A couple of things would happen.

I would probably quit.

If I didn't quit, I would probably make a mountain out of an absolute molehill in the sense in the past, I'd be like crying, tearing my hair out, going when am I going to do this?

I don't understand.

And it would like consume my whole day rather than compartmentalize it into what it is a half an hour or one hour of study.

I would use the feelings of how difficult the course felt to tell myself and to reinforce the fact that I was a failure which would inevitably end up with me quitting or I would continue on with the course and do the course but never use it because I wouldn't feel good enough to use it because it was so difficult.

But now I don't listen to my inner critic, but I hear it.

I know what's going on.

I know why it's there and I follow these five steps to quieten it down.

So it doesn't impact on the action that I had decided to take with the course you guys know what I'm talking about.

Look back at a time that you started a fitness program or you, you joined a program and you thought this is it.

This is my moment.

This is the time I change.

I am going to change and I am going to do all these new action steps and it's going to be great.

And then for some reason or another, it doesn't work out.

And if you're not in tune with your negative inner critic, you may think it didn't work out because of external forces.

Like you didn't have enough time, you didn't have enough resources.

It's never about not having enough resources.

There's always something else going on.

And for some of you, it may be to do with your loud, negative inner critic that is stopping you from moving forward.

And in fact, I put a poll up on my Instagram stories.

If you're not following me, go to Instagram, Jessica Cook and I asked you guys what you would like help with in a podcast episode.

And so many of you got back with either building confidence or quietening your negative inner critics.

So I thought, wow, perfect timing.

Mine has just come back fast and furious and really loud.

I'm going to implement these five steps, which I did to quieten it down.

And these are the five steps I want to share with you.

I have written them down.

Let's go.

Number one, hear your inner critic and hear what it has to say.

Hearing your inner critic is so much more different to listening to it, to understand yourself and to understand our inner critic and where it's coming from, we first have to hear it.

That just means really simply.

We have to observe and be aware of our thoughts.

Simple, no extra time involved in that we can go about our day as normal.

All we're doing is simply observing and becoming aware of our thoughts, which is really cool.

I used to think thoughts were facts, thoughts are not facts.

We have thousands of them every day.

Most of them are incorrect when we don't know this and we have a thought, we absorb it and it only reinforces the bad feeling if the thought was bad.

So number one, number one is just to hear it, don't listen to it, just hear it.

Number two, understand what it's trying to do and where it's coming from.

So where it's coming from, this can get a little bit deep.

Generally speaking, our negative voice is somebody else's that was put on us.

It might be a grandmother, a grandfather, a mother, a father, a sister.

Um, a previous partner, maybe you were bullied growing up.

Generally speaking, the negative voice is somebody's voice.

So if you want to be an absolute legend and uncover whose voice?

It is amazing.

Amazing because you can really realize that it was just put on you and it's not you.

And that's really cool.

However, if you can't really identify where the voice came from, just understand what it's trying to do and nine times out of 10, it's trying to keep you safe.

We have a 4 million year old brain that hasn't really developed in the sense of safety.

Our brain is always trying to keep us safe.

We all have our little comfort zones that we move in throughout the day and we feel good.

Now, when we start a new program or when we learn a new instrument or when we learn a new hobby, our inner critic gets loud because we're out of our comfort zones and it's trying to keep us safe.

So it wants to take out its hands, put them on your shoulders and pull you back to your comfort zone.

That's a lot of the time.

All it's trying to do, it's trying to keep you safe.

It's scared you're out of your comfort zone.

It thinks you're in harm.

So it's trying to pull you back knowing this is power, knowing this is absolute power.

Number three, talk to it.

Thank you.

4 million year old brain for trying to keep me safe.

However, I don't need your help in this instance because I am safe and I'm doing something that I'm really excited about doing.

Thank you for trying to keep me safe.

Come along on this journey with me because I'm still going to go ahead and do this.

Now, this is where I like to look at past achievements and really reinforce that I'm successful because your loud negative inner critic wants you to believe you're a failure.

Now, if you're listening to this podcast episode, my guess is you have succeeded in life, you can look back at things in your life that you've overcome or that you've achieved and you've been successful in that you have a success track record nailed on if you have a home, a car, beautiful people that you love in your life.

If you have connections, hobbies a good job, if you're, if you're fulfilled in some area in your life, if you've overcome trauma, if you've gone through something really hard, you've a track record of success.

Now, I need to reinforce this when my now negative inner critic tells me that all these false truths, these fake things that I'm a failure.

I say hang on a second, I hear you.

I know what you're trying to do.

You're trying to keep me safe because I'm out of my comfort zone.

And that to you is, is a warning bell.

Let's come with me on this journey.

Because I'm still going to go ahead and do this journey.

I'm a successful person.

Look at all these things that I've achieved in the past.

And this is another thing that I'm going to achieve.

However, for me to achieve this, I need to get ok with feelings of discomfort and continue to do the thing that I'm doing.

Honestly, I'm talking to you about this now and I'm literally thinking about how much I need to take action on this course that I, I really, I don't know what it was about it, but it just got me so petrified into taking action.

And as I'm speaking to you, I'm like, come on Jessica, you can do this, you can do this.

Like it's, it's amazing.

I just need to remind myself as I'm chatting to you guys to get OK with feeling discomfort.

I hate that expression, you know, get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

No, it doesn't feel comfortable to be uncomfortable.

Just live with it.

Bring it with you.

Notice that it's just a temporary feeling and that a little go when you're out of comfort zone thing becomes your comfort zone thing and you get really good at it.

Number four is to have an action plan.

You need to have an action plan because it's, it's the factual black and white action steps that will get you out of your head and moving forward if you're in your head and you're like, OK, I can hear you negative inner critic.

I want to silence you and you've no, you don't do anything.

You're going to stay stuck in your head.

So you have to write out an action plan.

That's number four, you have to because every morning when you wake up and you're feeling really discomfort and your discomfort and you're having to soothe your negative inner critic.

You need to be able to look at your diary and go keep following these action steps, it feels really uncomfortable.

Keep following these action steps, which leads me to number five, having your action steps planned for each day and then reviewing and planning at the end of the week, it's not enough in my opinion to just write down like these are the action steps.

I have to follow.

You have to go one more step ahead and be like this is what I do on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and then you relax at weekend, you give yourself time off to stay in your comfort zone.

Life is tough enough.

Maybe you'll do four days a week out of your comfort zone for a short period of time.


For one hour, four days a week, I do this thing that is out of my comfort zone and I go and get it done at this time on this day.

And in my opinion, that's the only way to succeed and just quieten your inner critic.

And this is what I do to myself.

And this is what has helped me quit alcohol, stop comfort eating, get genuinely authentically healthy, grow my business.

Move from a physical gym to an online coaching program.

Way back when it helped me go from cleaning gym equipment as a fitness instructor in a gym to having my own 2500 square foot studio and transforming the lives of thousands of women in Galway.

And that's what you do to you look back at your past achievements, you understand that this is just another thing that you're going to crack and you're going to feel uncomfortable.

Number one, hear your inner critic.

Number two, understand what it's trying to do and where it's coming from.

Number three, talk to it, go through your past achievements, understand it, bring it along with you on the journey.

Tell it you're still going to go and do this.

Number four, create an action plan.

Number five, tie action steps to days and review and plan every week.

I hope you found this episode helpful and it has moved you one step closer to your health journey.

Remember it's, it's not the crappy what to eat, what to exercise that we need.

It's transforming from within and turning inwards that will help us change our action steps and the outward stuff.

If you've got anything out of this episode, please share it with somebody, you know, would find it helpful.

It will help me with my mission to help women over 40 get fit and healthy and find the freedom to love themselves again.

Thank you so much for listening and have a great day.

Thanks for listening to another episode of the Jessica Cook podcast.

Did that go by way too quickly or is it just me if you want more?

You can head on over to Jessica Cook dot ie forward slash playlist.

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