The bromide for high performing people and perfectionists everywhere is, “You are your biggest critic.” We all know it, but it doesn’t make us feel any better. How do you address your biggest critic? You can ignore it, make excuses, or seek validation from others, but it’s still going to be there. The truth is that you have the skills, the intelligence, and the connections to solve 99% of your problems. There is nothing standing in the way of you moving forward. The reality is that you’ve overcome challenges and you’ve been successful in life despite your self-sabotaging mind. Well, the self-sabotaging mind has been the problem for most of my life and it’s exhausting. I’ve found that one of the best ways to deal with the inner critic is a healthy dose of authenticity.

I had two sessions with Dr. Sheila Murphy during January this year as part of my experience with the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy. Dr. Murphy is Founder and CEO of “Work. Transformed.”—an organization that inspires “people who choose to create value for themselves and others.” She has years of experience in leadership development and organizational optimization. Dr. Murphy is also an accomplished poet, writer, and presenter. I view her as an artist and a scientist—the best of both worlds. For me, Dr. Murphy is one of the most authentic people I’ve ever worked with. I say, “work” because it takes work to share your deepest thoughts with a complete stranger. However, Dr. Murphy quickly creates a safe environment to do extensive knowledge work. Her subtle questions activate your own problem-solving skills. Her coaching style is conversational and comfortable (which is a relief for people who are used to “beating themselves up”). Her beaming smile is evidence of her passion to have a positive influence in every interaction. Once everything is on the table (a plus is that we met over some incredible meals), she helps you become laser-focused on your strengths and support systems.

Dr. Murphy’s approach to coaching is a combination of self-exploration and forming a partnership that recognizes your value and contributions to other people. Goal attainment becomes less about checking items off an expert’s list and more about understanding how your actions can influence your broader community. The epiphany for me was that my identity is interconnected to my strong desire to help people. As I work on myself, I have more power to help others. I found that reaching my goals were nearly effortless as Dr. Murphy helped me “max out” my strengths while not giving power to my perceived weaknesses. Her authenticity inspires authenticity in others. I recommend Dr. Sheila Murphy for her people-centered, people-caring approach to leadership coaching. She will help you crush your biggest critic by transforming your mind into you’re greatest champion! Check out her website at Work. Transformed. and read her thoughts on her blog.