Make Some Noise with Andrea Owen

As you may know, a foundational piece of the work I do with women is working on managing their inner-critics. Creating a new way of speaking to themselves that is kind and compassionate instead of beating themselves up.

And every once in a while, I get this question “What if I see my inner-critic as my motivator? The voice that pushes me to be better in all aspects in my life?”

And your thoughts might look like this:

“Oh, Janice lost 30 pounds recently. If she can do it I can lose 40.”

“I really was an idiot and screwed up that work project. I’ll stay late and come in early for the next month, and do a WAAAY better job next time”

"You know your husband is an ass-man. Amp up the squats, Ms. Flat Ass"

Basically, your inner-critic is comparing you to others-- saying you can do better, pushing you to do better based on you falling short or failing, and really just using any “shortcomings” to try and make you a better person.

(You know where this is going, right?)

People, let’s just be honest here. Your inner-critic is being an asshole by doing this. Does this ever feel good? Unless you’re a masochist (which, to each his own. Seriously.) this isn’t good for you. You know what always works and wins?





Giving yourself the internal beat-down might change your behavior on a dime, but I can assure you it’s for the short-term, ends up making you feel like shit, and diminishes self-confidence.

So, no. The answer is no to “can my inner-critic be my motivator”. Your inner-critic is the voice that is sending messages from beliefs you have about yourself. Beliefs that we ALL have that don’t serve us. Beliefs like:

I’m not good enough

Everyone else has it figured out but me

I’m a fraud and soon everyone will know

I don’t deserve a healthy relationship

And on and on. It’s like our inner-critic’s job to remind us of those beliefs on a regular basis as well as point out evidence that it’s true.

See? You screwed up at work again. Looooser.

See? Another fight. You’re doomed to be alone.

See? Those pants are tight. You’re enormous.

Y’all. It doesn’t have to be this way. No one beats themselves up into happiness, success, being in shape, or a kick-ass life. The solution is to start small. First, recognize the bastard. Hear it and see it. This isn’t a fun exercise, but awareness is half the battle. If you don’t know what is there and when it happens, you’ll just go on listening and believing all the bullshit. Second, slowly work on changing your thoughts and beliefs. Over and over again. Or, believe the a-hole and feel like shit. Your choice.

I’m being really forthright here because I’ve seen this one thing change people’s mother-loving lives. Mine included. And if you want free and amazing support here, join me for a free online event: The 7-Day Courage Challenge where I'll teach you to speak kindly to yourself. We start June 1st! 

Direct download: Episode100MixedUnedited.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Welcome to episode 99 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! You are in for a very special treat - Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (or SARK-- isn’t that the best name EVER!?) is here with us. She’s like the big sister you always wished you would’ve had and she’s bringing her big sister wisdom and guidance to this episode!

SARK has known since she was a little girl that her purpose is to transform and uplift others and she does that with her books, her products, programs, her art and through speaking. She is a best-selling author who has been acknowledged and celebrated by such notable thought leaders as Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson and Maya Angelou.You big deal.

On this episode, SARK and I talk about how to feel multiple feelings at the same time and how to navigate them all, how to care for your feelings (including a 5 second technique to doing so) and the role curiosity can play in helping us solve many of our issues.


Direct download: SARK_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Let’s get one thing out of the way: I talk about the inner-critic a lot. I do it because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this beast— the voice in your head that keeps you small— has the capacity to be the ONE thing that prevents you from living your most kick-ass life. And when it’s uncovered, managed, and transformed...everything changes.

This post is about a real-life situation that happened to me a few years ago, and how I’m dealt with my own inner-critic. I'll also weave in a couple of examples that might happen in your life...

A couple of years ago I wrote a book. I got a book deal, the book went out to the world and in its first 14 months of publication sold over 10,000 copies.

And I totally freaked out.

It wasn’t an “OMG-this-is-so-amazing!” kind of freak out. It was a “I’m-so-incredibly-uncomfortable-with-all-this-success-and-attention-I-can’t-be-a-functioning-human-being-ever-again” kind of freak out.

I soldiered on through the book promotion and hid out for about 4 months when it was over. Then I went head first into working on my own shit because what happened during that time was a HUGE indicator that work needed to be done.

Then about a year ago the call came from my literary agent. He and my publisher are ready for me to write a second book. He asked for an outline and I told him I would have it emailed over by the end of May. May 30th came and went and I hadn't started. I procrastinated like it was my JOB. I’m was ready to write the book except OMG THAT’S SCARY!

Why so scary, you ask? Because here’s what my inner-critic says to me the minute my agent tells me they are ready for book #2 and they want an outline:

"What, I think I’m an author now?"

"This one needs to be better than the first"

"My new idea isn't good enough"

"They're going to pass on it or make me change it"

And when I dig really deep and ask myself what I’m really afraid of-- it’s failure a little bit, yes. But what scares me the most…is success.

It’s the big message of “Who do you think you are?”

I’m no stranger to this question. I’ve been hearing it and working on it (over and over) since I started my business nearly six years ago. Well, to be honest, most of my adult life.

And as I’ve been going through it again and working through it, I knew I needed to tell you— my dear ass-kickers—what the steps are exactly to make my way through it and carry on. So, here they are:

Before I jump in--  this doesn't have to be directly related to doing and accomplishing big goals. Maybe you want to speak up in a meeting, ask someone out, initiate sex with your partner, have a hard conversation with someone, or set a boundary. Any of those examples has the ability to make your inner-critic go nuts, so these steps definitely apply here.

As a bonus step- before ANY of this happens, is that it’s hugely helpful to know what your actual triggers are. What makes your inner-critic go crazy? My work is a trigger for me. Writing is both art and career (and a calling) so I know I am very vulnerable to shame here. Wait-- did someone just say SHAME? Yes, I did. Something this big for me has the opportunity to bring up so much discomfort: criticism, failure, rejection, and feeling not good enough. All things that are a shame shit-storm for me. And when we’re in shame, we hide unless we PRACTICE another way.

Step 1: I know it’s happening. This might sound obvious, but for many people, they’re so used to living in fear and being paralyzed by the a-hole voice in their head, they don’t even realize it’s happening.

For me, I know when I’m not returning phone calls (in this case it would be specifically to my agent), hiding out, procrastinating, telling NO ONE what’s going on, feeling anxious about what’s happening,  beating myself up, and going over “what if” scenarios over and over, I know I’m in trouble. That’s when I know I need to:

Step 2: Reach out and tell my story. Like Brené Brown teach us: It’s the right story, at the right time, to the right person. Lucky for me I have those people in my life. I can call them and say, “Hey, this is happening and I’m so freaked out by it”. And they don’t judge me, they don’t try to fix it, and they don’t tell me I’m crazy for thinking that and to get over it. They see me and hear me and love me in all my human-ness/human-mess. When we tell our stories to the right people shame can’t survive. It’s as simple as that.

Step 3: Do the hard thing anyway. As I type this, earlier this week I sent my outline to my agent for feedback so we can send it to the publisher. I even told him what I wanted in my contract this time (SCAAAARRRY). And I didn’t die.

Once I had acknowledged what I was really afraid of and told my story to people I trust, it was easier to keep going. Was it less scary? Maybe, maybe not. But, the inner-critic voice had lost its power. And when it loses its power, we can make room for taking the action that lines up with what we really want in life.

Need support with your inner-critic? Join me and lots of women just like you as I personally take you through the 7-Days of Courage Challenge! It's one thing to read about it, but a whole nother animal when you put the tools into ACTION! We start June 1st! Sign up for free here.

Direct download: Episode98.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Welcome to episode 97 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! Thank you for being here and for listening to my chat with the lovely and talented Hannah Marcotti. Hannah is a coach for highly sensitive people (are you one too?); she herself is also a highly sensitive person.

On this episode Hannah talks about some of the telltale signs that you or a loved one are highly sensitive, such as only being able to wear certain clothes because they feel right and nothing else does or not being able to tolerate loud, crowded places, etc. She also shares why it's so helpful to know this about yourself and appreciate the gift that high sensitivity offers you.

Direct download: HannahMarcotti_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT