A Visit From Judge Judy


“Success comes from curiosity, concentration, perseverance and self-criticism.”

~Albert Einstein

For the past two weeks I have been working feverishly on my business plan for the Fish Tank competition. Prior to sitting down and creating the business plan (which is due mid October), I decided to spend the summer testing out various ideas, seeing what felt right, determining what worked and what did not work. Any one that know me well, knows I’m a…

BOOTS ON THE GROUND type of person.

Meaning…I can dream up crazy stuff just as well as the next person, but if there is no way to turn the ideas into reality…it just isn’t happening. Needless to say I ended the summer with a folder stuffed full of thoughts and ideas. As I started to sort through the piles of paper and assemble everything into the business plan package, my favorite critic showed up. My critics’ name:

Judge Judy

She started filling my head with my favorite negative thoughts:

  • “I can’t do this!”
  •  “I’m an idiot to think this will actually work!”
  • “I don’t have enough time to get this done!”
  • “I will fail!”
  • “I will never make money doing this.”

Imagine trying to complete a business plan with those thoughts running around in your head! Needless to say – that is why I never got around to writing my blog last week. I was spending the week battling Judge Judy and her negative self-criticism. And she is one tough cookie! I often believe that this is the #1 reason why peoples’ ideas and dreams never become a reality…

Negative Self-Criticism

So how did I get through this negative self talk? The first week I focused on recognizing the negative self talk and taking Action #1 to stop the thoughts dead in their tracks.
ACTION #1: Traditionally I’ve been told to wear a rubber band around my wrist and snap it every time I hear myself in a negative pattern. Personally I think that snapping a rubber band is just another form of personal abuse. So I have created my own technique.

  1. Start listening careful to your self talk.
  2. Each time you catch yourself in a negative pattern (I can’t, I never, etc), pair 2 foods together that sound disgusting together. I don’t eat the food, I just imagine paring the 2 foods together and what it would taste like. Examples: Peanut Butter and Pickles. Fluff and Lemons.
  3. Notice how your brain reacts. My brain stops the negative self talk immediately and goes directly to “WHAT?!?!?” mode. I can seriously feel the circuits remapping themselves in my head every time I do this. It is really rather funny. OK…you can laugh now! But seriously – try it sometime.


The second week, I moved onto Action #2.

ACTION #2: Let your inner critic have her/his 5 minutes of fame. I let Judge Judy get on her soap box once a day. I heard stories of…

  • How I will Fail…
  • How I will look Stupid…
  • How I won’t get it completed in time…

My responses:

  • Yup – I’ve failed before and got that t-shirt!
  • Yup – This would not be the first time I looked stupid!
  • Yup – but at least I will try my best. and if I don’t complete it in time, I will continue to work on it until it is finished. Because this is not about the competition but about me and this business succeeding on my terms.

After Judge Judy’s 5 minutes of ranting and raving, I state:

“I’m done now!
“I really need to get back to working on this business plan!”

It’s amazing how these 2 actions have helped me to get through my own negative self-talk and move forward with creating my business plan. Granted, there where moments of kicking and screaming, but I continued to move forward.  So the next time your find yourself in negative self talk mode, try using these 2 actions in order to break the cycle of negative self talk.

When does your self-critic show up for a visit?
How do you react? Do you bury your head in the sand or to push through it?

I create space for you to listen to your heart and take your next inspired step!
Robin Rosenstiel

Leave a Reply