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Hypercritical Personality

Lesson 12 from: How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence

Mel Robbins

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Lesson Info

12. Hypercritical Personality

Hypercritical personality is a self-doubt trap that can be triggered by a past failure. Mel talks about the importance of becoming the kind of person who spots the opportunity, fixates not on what could go wrong but on what might go right.

Lesson Info

Hypercritical Personality

Trap number three, hypercritical. So hypercritical is a self-doubt trap that a lot of us have where it can be triggered by past failure, okay? This is typically where you've been wounded at something, and then the fear of getting burned again or putting yourself out there again, it's so big that you argue against yourself. If you're not this kind of person, I guarantee maybe there's somebody in your life like this, they got an excuse for everything, is one way that this manifests itself. The way that it manifests itself for me is because I'm a trained lawyer, I lawyer against an idea. So I will be really smart about all the reasons why it's not going to work. Now, sometimes it isn't the right time, but if you're constantly arguing against yourself and you're just so sick of it, this is what being hypercritical. If you focus on the reasons why you can't. So this is what I call obstacle thinking. You're the kind of person that's grown into spotting the things that are wrong, spotting all...

the reasons why, and then, like literally, what's the word, it's where you kind of like, just dig in on your position. And what we want to turn you in is, the kind of person that spots the opportunity, that fixates not on what could go wrong, but on what might go right. The thing about hypercritical, this form of self-doubt, hesitation is busy-ness up here. Hiding is shrinking, and it's a little bit quiet. Is this you, Zane, is this why you're tapping yourself? That was, I think, a subconscious thing he was giving me, where you were going like this, and the stress has a little bit of an edge to it, like there's something that feels like it's tough. And so, is this you? Do you relate to this one, Zane? Yes. Good, come on up, here we go. (audience laughing) Come on, give him a round of applause. (audience applauding) Hi. Hi. Are you nervous? Little bit. Oh good, okay. (audience members laughing) Are we sitting, are we standing? Yeah no, sit down, I'm just moving this because I feel like, you know how they have the speakers that look like towers? I feel like, you know, Justin Bieber's going to start playing or something. (audience members laughing) Plus I want to see you, and so does everyone else. So, um, hi. Hi, I'm here. So what is the chapter, and oh God, I forgot to say this. So, as we move into the final two kind of segments here, this material, because it's so, I don't know what to say, it's like concepts, so it can be really heavy-feeling. I really want each and every one of you to think about the next chapter you're starting. So, in five seconds you can change anything, and that changes everything. You can change what you're thinking about, you can change what you do, we can teach you how to bring a levity to things so that things feel a little bit lighter instead of drudging through the change, okay? So, what is the next chapter that you want to create for you? We know Jenny's going into the talk show business, right? And we know that you are going into the filmmaking, well you're going to introduce yourself as a documentary filmmaker, and you're also going to do something every single day to push this project forward that really, really matters to you. What is the next chapter for you? That's what I struggle with. I mean, I have to admit, I feel like I have had, I've almost collected careers in my life. From one career to the next, to the next, to the next, and I'm just getting to a point where there's a little bit of me that's just tired of the next chapter, you know, and just wants to ... In fact, I talked with somebody at lunch, just want to travel and enjoy life is a part of it. So you don't want to work anymore? No, that'd be great. (audience laughing) God, I'd love that. Okay, if you can figure that out, that'd be fantastic. Exactly. Do you have the money to do that? Not yet. Okay. Well, I like that you said, "Not yet." And is this something that, realistically, when could you retire? Or, wait a minute, what do you do for a living? Real estate. Real estate, okay, investing, selling? Oh, I sell real estate, but I do invest as well. Okay, and what is the gap between where you are and what you have to build in order to create the lifestyle that you want? I, realistically am three years away. Wow, I mean, unless you die in-between now and then, that's not a lot of time. (audience laughing) I'm dead serious about that, three years is not a lot of time at all, particularly for a major life change like that. But it's doing what I'm doing for, even three years, I just can't imagine continuing to do what I do as far as the sales part of what I do. If that next chapter is something I need to get me through from what I'm doing now until that three years or five years if it's there. Are there changes that you could make now that you are scared of, but would shorten the window? You know, I just don't know what that next thing would be. I guess I'm, you know, you get to a point where, maybe at my age it's hard to go back and think about starting a new career, you know, and starting a new job, you know, so to speak. Well, hold on a second. Let me just try to make sure I'm clear about what the situation is. So how old are you? 56. 56, okay. So you're 56, and in three years you would have the money to be able to stop being a real estate salesperson and investor and actually take that money, be smart about it, and just travel, and do whatever the hell you want? Could be. Could be? Yes, yes. Yes, okay. So are we having a conversation about the next three years, or are we having a conversation about what you want to do with the rest of your life? Good question, but the rest of my life starts with the next three years, and what I'm going to do, you know. What am I going to do right now? It has more to do with like, what do I do now, than maybe the next three years, or even the next after that, just what do I do now? Okay, so there's a bunch of things that come to mind. Because you've probably decided that there's not a lot of options between ... You know, like, what I'm starting to slice apart here is okay, there's not a lot of options, and it is three years, but I've done a bunch of stuff, so you're stuck in seeing all the reasons why it can't work and not knowing, and let's turn you into somebody that can spot the opportunity. Okay. So are you afraid of selling your house or making some financial decisions because you won't enjoy traveling? No. Okay. Then what's keeping you from looking at options that could shorten the window? I think I am trying to look for those options. In fact, I'm here because I've been led here to find those other options out there that I haven't been, that I haven't seen before. Okay. You know, I'm assuming that the only thing I can do at this point is sell real estate, or I can sell-- Baloney, what else have you done? Well, I was a software consultant. Okay. I was an improv comic. (audience laughing) Ooh, okay, what else? I used to work for the federal reserve. I was a bank examiner of all things. Okay. If we go toe-to-toe, I will beat you in the number of careers. (audience laughing) No, I'm serious. I was a public defender in Manhattan. I was a corporate litigator. I worked in one tech startup that was a content play. I worked in another one that was a back-end enterprise solution. I worked in an advertising agency that focused on biotech. I then went on and did life coaching. Then I did business coaching. Then I hosted a radio show. I think, in our lives, unless you have a job that's really technical-oriented, and legally, you need a certification, that everything is about accumulating skills and experiences. I'm going to give you a tool that I was not planning on talking about in this course, but I think it will help you. Bonus. Okay. (audience laughing) Because you strike me as a very smart guy who is fundamentally unsatisfied with the way things are right now, and you are bored, and you're annoyed by it, and when you think about the fact that you're 56, and this is what it looks like, it's annoying. (audience laughing) Did I get that right? Pretty much. Okay. Two years ago, when I started to notice that the amount of traveling that the speaking business was requiring was really bugging me, and I also started to notice that I hated the fact that when I left the stage, I had no connection with you guys. And I noticed also that the thing that energized me the most was hearing from people. So having people write to us, having people post on social media, seeing that back and forth led me to realize that the piece of my life that energized me the most was being home with my family, getting emails and letters from people about how they were changing and that connection, and then working with my business partner and our team to create content. Those are the three things that I love more than anything. The rest of it kinda depletes me. When I was traveling, I was alone, and I'm an extrovert, and so I'd come home, and I'd be just so desperate for human connection, and my husband who's an introvert, who's been with the kids home for the week, he's like, "Oh my God, get away, I need time alone." So it was just ... And so I started to pay attention to the things that were energizing me. And here's the thing, a lot of us are searching for passion. A lot of us are searching for meaning. A lot of us need to find what is that person, place, or thing that is going to be the meaning of my life. I have a very different take about it, that none of those things will create meaning in your life. In fact, travel won't even create meaning in your life. That it's this chase that we're all on that's leading to nowhere that is the problem. And the fastest way to figure out what your life is about and what you should do next is to not go out there, it's to go in here. Because there is so much wisdom inside of you that is talking to you at all times, and I don't have an elegant name for it. I've been calling it the passion gauge. We first rolled it out in this course that we teach called The Power of You, and it just took off. I've been using it. And so imagine you have a gas tank in your body, and a gas tank is either empty or full right, or somewhere in-between. When you have a gas tank inside of you that's energy-driven, and when that gas tank of energy is at zero, you feel depleted, you feel like you've shrunk. When that gas gauge is full, you are energized, and you are expanding, and what's happening for you, and what's happening for all of us when we feel like we don't know what we should be doing with our lives is that every day we wake up, and we're in a life where we feel depleted and small. And so the only way, and it's amazing, because for years, I was in that trap too. Why the hell did I change my career 19 times? Because I was chasing something. And so when I figured this out, that if you pay attention to the signals, and the signal is, on the range of, am I depleted, or am I energized? And you look at the people that you're around. Are you hanging out with people that deplete you? If so, figure out how to step away from them. Are you doing things in your day-to-day life that deplete you? If so, either stop doing them, or, in the case of running a business, teach someone else to. Replace yourself. If you're a stand-up comic, you're probably an excellent trainer. And so, if you start to pay attention to this wisdom, and you start to look at things like what energizes you. It's a question. Actually, things like this. I love being around people in this sort of, self-help, personal development, you know, very much a positive atmosphere with people. Are you successful in real estate? Yes. What if you started by teaching people how to be successful in real estate? Like other brokers, I mean, it is a ... There are so many speakers that have verticals, and I'm astounded by the number of events, and you probably know this, that real estate brands have because it's a business like any direct selling business where there's a structure to have a business, and there's so much training involved because it's easy to get into the business, and it's easy to get out of the business. And so the turnover's huge. And so, if that energizes you, why are you laughing? You know, missed opportunities. It wasn't that long ago, like several years, but I went to a banking networking event. For whatever reason, I stepped in, and somebody just started up a conversation, and I didn't feel like being me that day, so I told them, when they asked me what I did, I told them I was a sales trainer, and I taught a class on improvisational sales and how to have better conversations. I love it, I love it! For whatever reason, I went into like a 20-minute dissertation on what I could do. (audience laughing) By the end of it, I found out that he was, you know, the regional vice president of a large financial institution. He says, "I can put 500 people in front of you next week. "When can we put something together?" Do you still have his card? I backed out. I just have never followed up on that opportunity. I just thought if I got myself in over my head, it just didn't make sense to me. Yeah, you argued against it, yeah. I did. So what's interesting is, did you notice the body language, the tone shift, the energy shift that happened when he was talking about that? (audience laughing) So I'm not saying that that necessarily is the answer, but what I am saying is, if you were to go back into your day-to-day life after this course, and you were to take this tool with you, and you were to notice what depletes me. Okay, I'm going to try to train other people to do it. I'm trying to do this. And how do I start to explore every day for a couple minutes or an hour this idea? It will lead somewhere. And as you see yourself not backing out, I mean like, instead of saying, "I can't," why not? Improv is all about leaning in to something. Use your improv skills to coach yourself to keep trying this. And you know, what might happen is you might, it might take a year, it might take a day. And you might decide as you get going in this, or whatever you bump into along the way that actually you don't want to travel because you're really enjoying what you're doing. Let me ask you though, I mean, because sometimes it's not just the trying. A lawyer, here we go, yeah. It's not just the trying because sometimes I think that I'm very good at that first step, that try. I get stuck in that try-cycle. (laughing) You would be a really good trainer. I'm going to steal that one too. (audience laughing) So it's that first step where, you know, everything might go well, but it's that commitment, that resolve to take that next step. You know, you just got one pedal on that try-cycle. You're a renegade. You're a guy that hates being told what to do and hates commitment and hates literally being held accountable. I'm still single. (audience laughing) And so, you didn't realize this was a psychic show, right? (audience laughing) And so you resist that, even when it's you that's trying to do it to yourself. And so what I want you to also realize is that every single step is the first step, every single one. I mean, none of this is really leading anywhere. You're just exploring. So take the pressure off of where it's got to go, and just do me a favor and spend 30 days paying attention to this gauge inside of you of what's depleting you versus what's energizing you. Because here's the kicker. Passion, not a person, place, or thing, it's energy. When people say they're living their passion, what they're actually saying to you is, "I wake up energized every day." When people say, "I'm passionate about what I do," what they're actually saying to you is, "I am energized by what I do." And so when you swap out the word passion and purpose for energy and energized, you change the game because you're no longer searching out there, you're actually looking at how in here do I turn that up in small ways? And then, of course, what happens is, as you amp up your own natural energy level because you're doing more things that you're interested in, it becomes easier to do them. It builds its own internal sense of momentum. And you then see evidence of, well, I'm not actually stuck. I'm waking up every day, and I'm doing a couple things that really energizes me. Make sense? Makes sense. Awesome. Thank you. Thank you. I'm glad you're here. Thank you. I can't wait to take your sales training class. I'm going to steal all your material, all of it. (audience applauding)

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Ratings and Reviews

Michal Levi

Let me start by saying I bought a book of hers and could not get through it. I just tuned in live today out of curiosity.. with low expectations. BUT WOW. THIS WAS FANTASTIC! As someone who teaches professionally (and has won teaching awards), I have to say I was in AWE of what a great teacher she was. Also, while she is not a licensed therapist, which some have complained about, she is so gifted in this area. WOW she has a talent! Watching her with individuals from the audience was moving, informative and inspirational! UTTERLY AWESOME! Truly glad I took the time just in case there was any value to it. THERE WAS IN FACT A LOT OF VALUE! Thanks Mel! Hey, I may even try to pick up that book of yours again. BRAVO!

Go2 Norway

Wow! The science-behind-typical-human-behaviors that fuel self-doubt AND clear ways to understand how to acknowledge those, and move into confidence-through-action. Easy and interesting ways to remember the points! Marvelous presenter skills -- a real model, and inspiration. Actual coaching sessions within the class to make it real. Mel is totally herself, and vulnerabilities become her strength in real-time, which class participants also lived out in real-time as well. Very memorable. And, the explanation of anxiety as a high energy state matching excitement more than calm was significant, as well as the myths about confidence (such as confidence is not about a personality; rather, action). Well organized, made sense, and I will integrate multiple parts daily! THANKS, MEL!!!

Wild Flower Murals

I'm training to be a life coach and have been a public muralist for years. I've been researching creativity, self initiated empowerment and positive psychology from various angles for many years- in hopes to make it accessible to many. I initially came across Mel's book and was wholly impressed by how effective yet simple the 5-4-3-2-1 book was. I am so glad I took this course, it is the best of the best of the best!!!

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