Do you struggle with a loud and boisterous inner critic? Do you feel that you need to be someone or achieve something before you can receive love, or have inherent worth? How can you strengthen your mental muscle to learn to distinguish yourself from the inner critic?

In this podcast episode, I speak with Joanna Kleinman about dethroning your inner critic and taking back your power.

Meet Joanna Kleinman

Joanna Kleinman is a licensed psychotherapist, life and corporate coach, author, podcaster, motivational speaker, and the founder of Dethroning Your Inner Critic. She is an unconventional therapist and is driven by the conviction that the most powerful life you can live is when you know the difference between YOU and your Inner Critic.

In her book Dethroning Your Inner Critic: The Four-Step Journey From Self-doubt to Self-empowerment, Joanna steps readers through the M.I.N.D Method, a time tested, proven system that brings together practical psychology, neuroscience, and the power of intention to discover who you are separate from the critical voice in your mind.

With over 25 years of experience, she has worked with corporations such as Campowerment, Cigna, Nestle, and TD Bank, and has transformed the lives of thousands of people.

Visit her website and connect on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn. Listen to Joanna’s podcast here.

In This Podcast


  • Your critic affects your relationships
  • Where does your critic come from?
  • Let your feelings be teachers
  • The start of dethroning your inner critic
  • Joanna’s 4-step mind method

Your critic affects your relationships

The people that tend to suffer when we push ourselves beyond our limits and focus completely and only on success are the people in our families, our connections to those around us.

And mostly, in my opinion, Veronica, the biggest relationship that we’re missing is our relationship with ourselves. (Joanna Kleinman)

Our inner critic is the voice that tells us we cannot do things and are not worth pursuing our dreams, but it is also the voice that tells us we will have value once we complete a certain goal. This voice wants us to believe that our worth lies in constant success and that if we fail, or falter, we lose that worth.

There is an important difference between enjoying your life, loving yourself and where you are at in your career while wanting to achieve another goal, versus, feeling like you can only enjoy your life, your career, or love yourself once that goal has been attained. Therefore, your inner critic makes you think that you are not enough until a certain condition is set.

Where does your critic come from?

The voice in our minds develops from childhood, and it works as a function that assigns meaning to things. As children who are still learning how to make sense of the world, they can mistakenly assign personal meaning to things that are not personal and therefore they become much more important in their eyes to have, or not have.

Due to assigning meaning to things that do not require a personal affiliation they experience pain, and therefore they decide to become someone or do something to not feel that pain when they think about those assigned meanings.

For example, a child might assign a meaning that the quality of their grades at school dictates how good or bad they are as a person. This pains them to know, and so they, therefore, spend hours and years of their lives becoming A-students not because they are passionate about their work, but because they think that if they fail, they fail as people.

So it’s this subconscious inner belief and then we become either the smart one, successful one or the funny one or, for some people, they become the quiet one [to avoid] putting themselves out there and risking judgement or failure. (Joanna Kleinman)

Let your feelings be teachers

Most people think it’s the circumstances of their lives that determine how they feel, but it’s never the circumstances, it’s always our thoughts, our automatic thoughts about the circumstances. (Joanna Kleinman)

Be aware of the feelings you have and rein them in when they go off into places that are not helpful. When we let our emotions roam unchecked, we can begin to buy into the inner critic voice that tells us “you should’ve” or “if you hadn’t”, this is unnecessary “dirty” pain.

However, we can remain calm in our feelings and let them guide us at times. Feelings can be a double-edged sword that wraps you up in untruths and sourness, or they can also keep you aware of how you feel in your life, where you want to make a change, and where you should be humbled.

The truth is all there ever is to do, in any part of life, is just take the next step. If it doesn’t go the way we want, we can step back and say “oh that didn’t go the way I wanted it to, now, what can I learn from that? How can I grow, and how can I learn?” and then, take the next step. (Joanna Kleinman)

You have more control than you think. When you take the intentional step through your feelings towards the mindset and perspective you want, from victim to champion, you can choose empowering thoughts and design the life you want and love.

The start of dethroning your inner critic

  • See your critic as a separate entity from you, you can even give it a separate name, so you see it for what it is and you realize “that is not me”.
  • Then, at that moment, you unhook from the critic, even while it is still shouting at you.
  • Then you step into what Joanna calls a “new mind”. Your “new mind” has brand new thoughts that validate you and that know your inherent worth.
  • In this way, you are able to cultivate more centered emotions so you can be more at peace.
  • Now, you are free to take the new, scary action and see what shows up.

What this work teaches you to do is develop the mental muscle that distinguishes you from yourself and the inner critic, and gives you freedom from always being aware of how you are perceived.

Of course, we care about what some people might think of us, but it is important that this care remains a preference rather than a need, because then you give yourself so much more freedom.

Joanna’s 4-step mind method

  1. Meet your inner critic: come to know what it looks like and how it shows up for you.
  2. Investigating the blinking red lights: investigate the indication signs.
  3. Neutralize the never-ending message: this message is different for every person, dependent on what they experienced throughout their lives and you can neutralize it by unhooking from it.
  4. Design your life: by taking the next step and the next and the next, and becoming familiar with the discomfort of leaving the comfort zone more than the discomfort of the critic.

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Books by Joanna Kleinman

Dethroning Your Inner Critic: The Four-Step Journey from Self-Doubt to Self-Empowerment

Useful links:

Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic PodcastI’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life.

So I started  Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook communityjoin the VIP community, or attend our annual retreat,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

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