Do you have an Inner Critic?

Do you have an Inner Critic?

You know, the little voice in your head. Tells you not to do the cool stuff. I think quite often it’s described as the devil on one shoulder and the angel on another. I’ve had an inner critic for a long time.

Angel or Devil

Only one Inner Critic?

Over my time in the coaching industry and working with so many different people over the years I’m beginning to think that there’s more than one inner critic at play. In fact, I know there is. I work a lot in self-sabotage and see people who are doing things that don’t make sense.

On the one hand they really, really want to achieve something, but they keep on getting in their own way and stopping themselves from ever reaching that goal. In my experience what I’ve come to realize is that it’s not just one inner critic that’s at play. It’s lots of them!

Have you met these guys before?

If you watched the Pixar movie Inside Out then this helps to describe some of what I’m trying to explain.

Pixar Inside Out

We all have parts of us that are really important and when we try and do something without acknowledging all of the different parts of us, that’s when we can get into trouble.

My Inner Critic at work

Let me use a personal example to try and explain this.

Like many women I have over the years wanted to drop a few kilos. I certainly gained a few after I had my kids and it was something that I wanted to address. But no matter how I put the common-sense in front of me of,

“I know it’s good for my health and I know I’ll have more energy and I know that there are all these benefits of losing weight.”

Somehow, I just couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t make it important enough to actually do I needed to do in order to get the results that I wanted to get.

The first thing I needed to do was find a way to motivate myself to take the action that I needed to. And that came back to my values.

Use your Priority Values to get Results

If you’ve watched any of my videos or read my blog posts before then you’ll probably see that there is a theme of values and that’s definitely where I come from in my coaching, from a values foundation.

The thing is health, whilst it’s important, wasn’t really that high up on my list of priority values but integrity was. Integrity was my top priority value. If I could be motivated by my top priority value, then I’d be much more likely to succeed.

What I realized was that part of my job is to go every month and talk to patients of weight loss surgery about the mindset required for sustainable weight loss. Hey, I have even written a book about it!

Think Program

My book discusses the psychological blocks to weight loss and the mindset shifts required to help make weight loss easier.

Yet I wasn’t doing it myself. The key for me was integrity. I didn’t feel like I was in my integrity by showing up carrying this extra weight.

But then these guys, remember these guys?

Pixar Inside Out

These guys came back and let me explain what I mean.


I was angry. I was angry that I had let myself get to a point where I had to make a radical change in order to satisfy my top priority value and lose this weight.

I was also angry that my 44 year old body doesn’t operate the same way that my 24 year old body used to.


I was sad. I was grieving for a lifestyle that I had enjoyed. That I had to give up in order to have this goal. There was an element of grief.


I was disgusted. Well, I felt ashamed that I knew better. I knew what needed to be done, hell I wrote the book on it! But I hadn’t done it, so I felt ashamed of past failures….


…which led nicely onto fear of failing again.


But I was also joyful and excited about the prospect of integrity being the value that fitted my need to lose weight. Feeling not only OK in my own skin, feeling like I could stand up in my integrity and say hey I wrote the book on this and I’m here in front of you now helping you with the mindset shifts that you need for sustainable weight loss.

PS I am speaking to you now having lost in excess of 20 kilos and kept it off for over 12 months, without all the challenges I had in the past when I did not acknowledge all my Inner Critics.

What are Your Inner Critics?

When you think about your inner critic, think about all of these different parts of you that are at play. They all need to be acknowledged in order to work together to go forwards. Because otherwise it just ends up being a bit of a bun fight and you can end up staying where you are.

I hope this has been useful. I’m Lorraine Hamilton from Coach School and also the author of the Thin[k] Program so if you would like to know more about coaching, you’d like to know more about the book or you’d like to know more about becoming a coach then I’d love to hear from you at Coach School.

Coach School

And if you would like help on changing your behaviour to change your results then click below to contact me for a Breakthrough Session.

Is Your BUSY-ness Getting in the Way of Your Goals?

Is Your BUSY-ness Getting in the Way of Your Goals?

I know, I know you’re far too busy to read this blog post.

There’s just so much to do. You’ve got work. You’ve got kids. You’ve got parents. You’ve got pets. There’s pickup, drop-off, reading, learning, exercising, laundry. The list goes on and on.

There is just so much to do.

When was the last time you actually checked in to see if all of this busyness was taking you closer to or further away from what you really want? Have you ever done that? Or are you just got caught up in all of the busyness?


Are you heading in the right direction?

It’s so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness and the minutia of day-to-day life that we can lose sight of what really matters to us as individuals. And knowing what you want at that high level, allows you to check in and make sure all that day-to-day busy-ness is actually taking you where you want to go.

I talk to far too many people who have done all the right things and suddenly end up in a place without knowing how they got there and don’t like where they have ended up.

Big Goals and Little Tasks

Let’s talk a little bit about big goals and little tasks. In coaching we work with two different levels of tasks or actions or goals. Initially we talk about this high-level goal, the stretch goal sometimes it’s called. This is this overarching theme of what you want in your life. It’s probably not quite within reach right now but that’s okay because we can get you there.

Your coach will make sure that you’re completely aligned to this goal and what that means is that it’s not just a head goal. It’s not just something that you intellectually want. It’s a heart goal too. It’s something that is really important to you at an emotional level. Sometimes we can set goals that we think we SHOULD want but actually they’re not something that we want in our heart.

head and heart


Once that you’ve got that goal aligned with your head and your heart, it’s a coach’s job to make sure that some of your day-to-day tasks are helping move towards your goal, those things that are going to fall into your day-to-day to-do list along with everything else like the laundry and the email and the kids and the exercise and the pets and all of that stuff.

What do I really want, in my head AND my heart?

As coaches we’re working at two levels. Holding that overarching goal and keeping that aligned with our clients and making sure that they’re taking the right action towards it. That way you can be sure that in amongst all the busyness you’re taking steps towards what you really want.

You don’t need a coach to be able to do this, although of course I recommend it. You can take five minutes out of your day and just stop and think what is it that I really want, in my head and in my heart? And is what I am doing day to day getting me closer to that or further away from it?


If you would like to find out more about coaching others on their emotions, mindset and making a real difference to their lives, join me at Coach School.

Coach School

And if you would like help on changing your behaviour to change your results then click below to contact me for a Breakthrough Session.

4 Types of Self-Talk to Build Confidence

4 Types of Self-Talk to Build Confidence

Confidence or the lack of it, is at the core of the majority of my clients’ and students’ challenges and I’m guessing that maybe it is for you too.

Confidence comes from a sense of self belief and self-worth and creating and keeping high levels of confidence really should be a lifelong task. I know it is for me.

Noticing when our thoughts that chatter in our head, the self-talk, is beginning to diminish our confidence rather than boost it is really important. Because if you can notice it then we can change it.

I’m going to share four different types of self-talk that you can start to use to build that self-belief, build that self-worth and therefore build your confidence.

Alerting Self-Talk

First, we need to break the pattern and this is alerting self-talk. We need to alert ourselves to break that pattern of negative self-talk or diminishing our confidence and that is as simple as saying,


“Wake up”

“Think, look or listen.”

We just need to break or interrupt that pattern of negative self-talk.

Alerting Self Talk

Calming Self-Talk

Once we’ve broken the cycle of diminishing or negative self-talk, we want to create a nice, calm, peaceful place where we can start to build more resourceful self-talk.

We go from alerting to calming self-talk.

And calming sounds like,


“Be still”

“Quieten down”

“Keep calm”

“Cool down”

We have to stop and then we have to relax. We alert and then we calm everything down to break the pattern.

Calming Self Talk

Coaching Self-talk

From there we can move on to what I call Coaching self-talk.

This is where we become more resourceful and is helpful when you’re not taking action and you know you should be.

Any procrastinators out there this is really useful for you.

Coaching self-talk reconnects you to the bigger picture. Negative self-talk keeps you in the details and really small. But coaching self-talk helps you to think a bit bigger.

“What is it that I’m trying to achieve?”

“What is my purpose here?”

And that can be enough to galvanize you into action.

Coaching Self Talk

Affirming Self-Talk

Finally we need to look at affirming self-talk.

Affirming self-talk tells us that everything’s going to be OK. It acknowledges our strengths, those things that we’re really good at and that helps build confidence.

Affirming self-talk is,

“Everything’s going to be okay.”

“I believe in myself.”

“I can do this.”

Affirming Self Talk

Put them altogether…

We’ve gone from alerting, through calming, coaching and then affirming. These are really helpful individually however you can put them together which might sound like

“Stop, relax and stay calm. What’s the bigger picture here? What is it that I am trying to achieve? If I take one step at a time I know that everything’s going to be okay and I can do this.”

Four different types of self-talk that you can use independently or together to help build that self-belief, self-worth and therefore your confidence. But like everything it’s a practice.

You have to practice, practice, practice.


If you would like to find out more about coaching others on their emotions, mindset and making a real difference to their lives, join me at Coach School.

Coach School

And if you would like help on changing your behaviour to change your results then click below to contact me for a Breakthrough Session.

Find Your Limits (so you can smash them!)

Find Your Limits (so you can smash them!)

One of the things that is most satisfying in my coaching business is when I can help my clients get to the bottom of their limiting beliefs and then get over them. Getting over limiting beliefs can be quite a straightforward and sometimes a very fast process. The tougher bit is identifying what the limiting belief is in the first place!

Limiting beliefs

Today I am going to share with you a few tips and tricks to help you identify where you might be setting limits on yourself. You can hear it in the language that you use with yourself and other people. You might even hear other people’s self-imposed limits as you practice noticing this language.

1: All or nothing thinking

Do you ever catch yourself saying things such as,

“there’s no point in even trying if I’m not going to succeed.”


“That person, they didn’t show up so they’re completely unreliable.”

That gives you an indication that there might be some all-or-nothing thinking going on. That idea that something is either right or wrong and there is nothing in between. I see that quite a lot in my coaching practice. You can read more about all-or-nothing thinking in my blog post How to find the space in-between.

2: Over-generalisation

The next thing that I want you to be aware of is over-generalisation. Using words like always or never are an indicator of over generalizing things. When my clients use “always” or “never” then I simply ask,

Always? Hasn’t there ever been a situation where it was different?


“You’ve never done that, really, never?”

And it’s just enough to tease away that belief that things again are very static and there’s no elasticity in your situation. Coaching is all about just finding a little bit of wiggle room and getting around or over or through the blocks and obstacles.

We don’t have to smash through everything as long as we’re making progress towards what it is that we really want. So that’s over generalization,

“I’ll never get that promotion”


“She always does that.”

3: Catastrophising

Catastrophising is my next one. This is when you see things as dramatically more or less important than they are. This will often include creating a scenario following that thought.

“I ate the chocolate brownie, that means I’m a complete failure and I’m going to put it back on the 20 kilos that I’ve lost. “

We have gone from “I ate the chocolate brownie” to “I’ve put on the 20 kilos again.”

One doesn’t necessarily lead to the other. Another example is that I hear quite a lot is,

“My life isn’t perfect, so I can’t possibly be a life coach. So, I’m going to be stuck in my job forever.”

We can discuss the fact that you don’t need to have a perfect life to make real change with clients but that’s a big leap from,

“my life isn’t perfect”


“I will never be able to be a life coach” or “I’m going to be stuck in my job forever”.

4: “Shoulding”

The next one is one is very common, and you might see it in yourself. If you don’t, then listen for it with other people. It’s “shoulding“.

Using the word should, or ought to, or I need to, or I must.

These are all variations on should and just puts pressure on us.

“I should have done that this weekend.”

“They should be more considerate of my feelings.”

“They should know that’s going to upset me.”

No good from should

5: Labelling

Labelling is where you attach a negative label to yourself or other people when you maybe only have one instance of that particular behaviour.

“I didn’t stand up to my colleague, I’m such a wimp.”

I’m not a wimp because I didn’t stand up to my colleague, it’s just one instance.

“What an idiot he is, he didn’t even see me coming.”

We don’t know that they’re an idiot. We know that there was some unfortunate behaviour.

Be careful of labelling when there’s not enough evidence to support an all-encompassing identity which is what we’re giving ourselves or other people when we’re labelling.

6: Jumping to conclusions

Jumping to conclusions or as I like to put it mind reading. When we think we know what other people are thinking and feeling and saying.

“She thinks I’m exaggerating again.”

How do you know what somebody else thinks? You can’t know what somebody else thinks.

“He still hasn’t forgiven me for telling people his news. He still hasn’t forgiven me for gossiping.”

Unless he tells me then I don’t know if this is the case.

“No one understands.”

Really is that really true?

A helpful tool that I use for mind reading is – Is that true, is it false or do I actually not know?

someone else thinking

7: Discounting the positive

This is when you do not acknowledge when things are going well. I see this one a lot with my clients.

“It doesn’t count because anyone could have done it.”

It’s so easy to push away that positive, so easy to push away our compliments and what that’s actually doing is pushing away the evidence that builds resilience.  The way that it works in your subconscious when you accept those positives and you absorb those positives, is that you start to focus more import on them and what you focus on expands. (I have a blog post about that too – Are you focusing on the right things?)

“I wanted to enrol 10 clients, but I only got four, I’m such a failure.”

Well no, because you got four clients and you’re going to change lives of four people.

8: “If only”

This one speaks to blame and personalization, blaming yourself or blaming other people when they’re not entirely responsible for the situation.

“If only I was younger I would have got the promotion”


“If only I hadn’t said that then they wouldn’t have done whatever they’ve done.”


“If only she hadn’t yelled at me I wouldn’t have responded in the way that I did and now we’re in a bigger argument”

Be careful of the if only statements. It really speaks to blaming yourself or other people for situations that are not entirely within your responsibility.

9: Emotional Reasoning

And then the last one that I’m going discuss is emotional reasoning.

Emotional reasoning is feeling something and believing it is true.

“I feel like such an idiot, so I must be an idiot.”

Well that’s not true, just because you’re feeling that way doesn’t mean that that’s what you’ve become.

“I feel guilty, so I must have done something wrong.”

Is that true? Is it? Let’s dig a little bit deeper, maybe you’re feeling guilty about something else. Maybe you didn’t do anything wrong but it’s an uncomfortable feeling or maybe it’s not guilt that you’re feeling at all.

There’s always something to be explored if you have a sense of curiosity around it.

What are YOUR limiting beliefs?

So, nine different language patterns for you to play with and notice in yourself or maybe in other people. It might be easier to notice in other people to begin with.

The first part is to notice and become aware of your language and then practicing changing it.

Limiting Language


If you would like to find out more about coaching others on their emotions, mindset and making a real difference to their lives, join me at Coach School.

Coach School

And if you would like help on changing your behaviour to change your results then click below to contact me for a Breakthrough Session.

Who do you need to be to reach your goals?

Who do you need to be to reach your goals?


A lot of my work as a life coach and life coach trainer is around helping my clients get what they want. It’s about goal-setting, it’s about uncovering blocks, but really what I fundamentally do is help my clients get what they want.

Are you always chasing the carrot?

As we are growing up, we fall into a pattern of behaviour that leaves us constantly chasing the carrot.

Chasing the carrot


If you think about it, when we’re born we need to look around us to know what is expected of us, we need to look to our parents and our siblings, our peers, people that are around us. That’s how we learn.

We do a behaviour and then we either get rewarded for it to do it more or we get penalized for it to try and dissuade us from doing that type of behaviour again.

That carries on as we move into school. We do a behaviour, we get rewarded or we get penalized so that we know what’s expected of us. Then we might move into the workforce and the same thing happens. We do the job so that we get paid so that we get promoted or we don’t get paid, maybe we get fired. But there’s always that sense of we’re doing something to get the reward and once we have the reward then we’ll be happy, or we’ll be successful, or we’ll be healthy.

We’re chasing that promotion to get more money so that we can have the bigger house or the holiday or the new car or maybe just to have a comfortable living.

Or maybe we want to lose 10 kilos but actually why do we want to lose 10 kilos? Maybe it’s to be healthy or maybe we just want to be more confident so that we can show up in a way that is more conducive to how we want to see ourselves.

We’re always chasing that sense of being something.

We DO something so that we can HAVE something but ultimately, we want to BE something.


If you’ve seen any of my other videos or read any of my other blogs around confidence, I talk a lot about values and understanding those values that are what are going to cultivate your confidence.

Knowing exactly what’s important to you and if you see the language of healthy, successful, confident it’s very similar to the language that we talk about when we’re talking about values.

It’s not about money or a number on the scales or any other physical thing.

Not money or scales


It’s about those core values words.

Think about what it is that you really want to have in your life. And then think about what do you need to do to have what you want?

If you want to be more successful. maybe you have to work longer hours, or maybe you have to do a certain project, or maybe you have to step up and be a bit braver in asking for things and being seen.

If you want to lose 10 kilos maybe. you have to find an eating plan that suits your body, or maybe you have to do more exercise and go to the gym more.

Who do you need to be to do the things that you need to do, to have what you want?

Who do you need to be


You may not have thought of that before and often when I introduced this concept people are a little bit thrown by that question but think about it.

  • Do you need to be a braver version of you?
  • Do you need to be a more outgoing version of you?
  • Do you need to be a healthier version of you?

When we’re always chasing that end goal we never really reach it, so let me introduce this idea as a concept.

Act “AS IF”

What if you acted as if you were already successful, confident, healthy?

Would that change the way that you do things now?

If you were already confident, successful, healthy, how would that change the decisions that you make and the actions that you take today?

What do you need to stop doing, start doing, and continue doing to be that version of you?

Time for YOUR answers

I would like you to take a few minutes to really think about all the questions that I’ve posed. Give yourself some time, scribble the answers down.

  • What do you want to have in your life?
  • What do you need to do to have that in your life?
  • Who do you need to be, to do what you need to do, to have what you want in your life?
  • And if you were already being that person, what would you need to stop, start and continue to be that person?

Let me know how you get on.

And if you would like to have a chat with me then click below to contact me for a Breakthrough Session.

Are you a rescuer?

Are you a rescuer?

I want to ask you something. Are you a rescuer?

Sometimes what we think is empathy is actually sympathy and it can do more harm than good.

Let’s take a look at what empathy and sympathy mean and when you think you might be helping someone, where you could be in fact hindering them.

What is sympathy?

First of all, sympathy is all about feeling compassion, or feeling sorry for someone, or feeling pity for them in a set of circumstances. It’s about you projecting your sense of pity on them.

And empathy?

Empathy is putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and feeling what they feel. Or feeling lots of different perspectives, which is what masterful coaches are very skilled at doing. They can really demonstrate strong empathy with their clients. They can feel what it’s like to be in their shoes, and they can also feel lots of different perspectives around the client’s situation.


The Trap

When I see empathy and sympathy being confused is in a scenario that I affectionately call The Trap. In The Trap there are three roles:

  • the victim
  • the aggressor
  • the rescuer

What usually happens in The Trap is the aggressor says something or does something to the victim, and then the victim goes to the rescuer and tells them what has happened.

Being a rescuer, being sympathetic

What the rescuer does is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

Rescuing is when that person says to the victim,

“Do you know what, that happened to me too, I know exactly how you feel, and this happened to me….”

and you tell them your story of the similar scenario. But you don’t know what happened to them. You don’t know exactly how they are feeling. When you do that you’re making it all about you, not about the victim and that’s a form of rescuing.

Of course, we do it with the best of intentions because we’re trying to show that we understand, or we think that we understand, what they’re going through and that’s the tricky bit in The Trap – because we think we’re doing the right thing.

Here’s another example, so you may say,

“Oh, there there, don’t worry about it.”

That completely diminishes what the victim’s feeling and you’re unconsciously saying their feelings are not actually important.

When you see someone who’s in pain, who has had something happen to them, you want them to feel better because we feel uncomfortable when someone else is uncomfortable.

Sympathy not empathy

Rescuing makes us feel better. It’s not really about making the other person feel better. The other way that that rescuers tend to think that they’re helping the victims is to say,

“I’ll go and talk to that person for you. That’s not on, let me go and sort it out for you. “

That removes all of the power from the victim and it doesn’t let them build any of their own resilience for the future. It does make us feel really good, we’re going to come in with our superhero cape and we’re going to solve the problem.

It’s a bit like the adage of giving a man a fish and he’ll feed his family for one day, teach him to fish and he can feed his family for a lifetime.

When you go in and rescue and solve the problem for someone, you’re robbing them of the ability to learn how to do it for themselves, and the chances are that they will happily let you do it.

What does empathy look like?

Here’s a few things to do instead. Demonstrating empathy, you could say,

“That sounds really hard. I’m sorry that happened to you. What do you think’s going on for that person for them to behave that way?”

Or you might say,

“Hey that sounds really hard. How would you like to be feeling instead?”

That really opens up the possibility of changing the way that the victim is feeling and then you can help them to come up with some scenarios and solutions. But how THEY might do it, not how you might do it for them.

You could say,

“Would you like to roleplay some possible responses? So that you can go back to the aggressor and say I’m not happy with what happened. “

You may be able to offer some roleplay that gives the victim some confidence to go and solve their own problem.

Use empathy to build solutions

Because when you rescue, and you come in with the best of intentions to solve someone’s problem, you’re robbing them of the chance of learning how to do it for themselves and that’s the same as pitying them.

Using empathy and giving the victim the opportunity to build their own solution with help from you is the real super hero solution.

Let me know how you get on.

And if you would like to have a chat with me then click below to contact me for a Breakthrough Session.