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Dethrone Your Inner Critic With Joanna Kleinman
Sometimes, I like to reach back, way back into the beginning of my podcasting world, find my favorite guests and bring them back because they’re that fantastic and phenomenal. They may be my friends, past therapists, coaches, or that kind of thing. I’m thrilled because my friend and psychotherapist are on the show with us. Her name is Joanna Kleinman. We’re going to talk about the new program that she has to offer. This is one of my favorite topics and you guys are going love it.
Joanna Kleinman considers herself to be an unconventional therapist. She doesn’t buy into or follow the path of getting stuck in your emotions. She says that we can get lost in our feelings forever. She’s a Licensed Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, and the Founder of Dethroning Your Inner Critic. We all have that inner critic, that little person inside our head that talks and tells us what to do. She has been on her own journey to manage her mind since the age of nineteen and has not stopped developing herself in her quest to live her best life. Joanna Kleinman, how are you? I’m happy you’re here.
Thanks for having me.
Before I even go on, so my audience needs to know that you also have your own podcast. It’s Dethroning Your Inner Critic Podcast which I listen to and love. We have a lot in common. First of all, I think you’re fantastic. Your programs are amazing.
Let’s tell the audience where we met.
I have been an expert for a women’s empowerment company called Campowerment which is a sleep-away camp for women. It’s the coolest thing ever. It takes place out in Ojai, California. Jen and I met when I used to make East Coast retreats. That’s where we met on the East Coast Campowerment Retreat.
Did we meet in Malibu?
I’ve been there three times. How many times have you been there? You’ve been an expert there for fifteen?When we’re young, we develop beliefs about who we're supposed to be, how life is supposed to go, and how life is supposed to look. Click To Tweet
Fifteen times. It wasn’t that many, but I’ve been an effort for a lot of their programs.
You were an expert and I was a camper. I had gotten divorced and I was in the worst place ever. I went to the camp, met you, and took one of your programs. It was called Dethroning Your Inner Critic. My mouth dropped to the floor and I sat there. I’ve been crying thinking about it. It was life-changing for me. I was mesmerized. I couldn’t believe what was coming out of your mouth and it opened doors for me. My mind was, “This is everything I need to hear and more.” Please explain to my readers what exactly is Dethroning Your Inner Critic?
Before I talk about that, I don’t know if you remember this, Jen, but after the workshop, you came up to me and said, “If I had this knowledge way back when I would be still married.”
I did. Is Tammi Fuller the CEO?
She calls herself the Chief Empowerment Officer.
Her daughter, Chelsea Fuller is the CEO. I went to them and said, “If I came to this camp before I got divorced, I would have stayed married.” They had me do a little sound bite for the whole camp. It was awesome.
Here is what I call the voice of the inner critic. It’s that voice that we think is us that speaks to us all day long. From the minute we get up to the minute we go to bed. For most people, this voice is transparent. It’s like the air we breathe. We don’t even hear all the mind chatter that’s going on in our mind. Specifically, when we are young, age 3, 4, 5 years old, this is when we’re trying to make sense of who we are, who we’re not, how we’re loved and how we’re valued. Our actual physical brains, if you think of us like animals, our brains are wired around avoiding pain. When we are young, something first happens and some way we don’t feel okay. It doesn’t even have to be anything traumatic or awful. For me, it was these little kindergartners named Beth and Debbie who were making fun of me. It’s interesting because I can remember where I was standing when that happened, but I don’t remember what I had for breakfast two days ago.
That is because your brain seeks out danger so that you can avoid the feeling of being in danger. That goes back to our primitive brain. We don’t have things that physically dangerous to us anymore. We had it millions of years ago. It’s emotional pain and that’s where the inner critic mind first gets formed. When we’re one more young, we don’t even recognize it, but we developed these beliefs about this is who we’re supposed to be, this is how life is supposed to go, and this is how life is supposed to look. That gets imprinted on how we think.
If you think about how we go through life and the things that we pay attention to, our brain selectively pays attention to not, not on purpose, but automatically our brain gets focused around the things in life that match our beliefs. I’ve had my own journey of dethroning my inner critic since I was nineteen, but I didn’t know that that’s what it was. If you asked me years ago, about what do I believe about myself? I would say, “I’m a confident person and I feel good about myself.” That’s all of my surface beliefs and I did feel that way about myself. Even though I could say I felt like a confident person, lurking under the surface were these old beliefs that were from early on in childhood that were all about that I wasn’t enough.
What happened was, for so much of my life, everything that I was doing, even to try and make my life better, was all about getting there so that I could feel good enough. Anything that we do in our lives is because we want it to have us feel in a particular way. Even not doing something. Even those times where you’re stuck, stopped and you don’t do the thing out of fear, lack of confidence and self-doubt. Non-action is action. The way that we want to feel is safe. That’s how our brains are wired. It’s to make us feel safe, secure and comfortable. Here is the problem, we all say, “Here’s what we want in life. We want abundance, love, connection, success, and we want to be in shape. We want all of these things.” Anything in life, if you think about it, the only way to get there is to be willing to put yourself outside of your comfort zone.
Removing Inner Critic: The voice of the inner critic is that voice that we think is us, that speaks to us all day long from the minute we get up to the minute we go to bed.
You had this voice, this inner critic that stops you. I can remember sitting listening to you in this little workshop. I remember getting tears in my eyes thinking, “This is true.” I was 44 or 43 at the time thinking, “Why didn’t I know this years ago? I would have been able to succeed in so many more things had I known how to stop this voice in my head from allowing me to succeed.”
It’s so funny that you say that because I’ve been leading programs for many years. I would say that the majority of the women that I lead programs to are 35 to 55. Once in a while, they’re these millennials that come into my programs. Every time, the older ones, particularly the ones in their 40s and 50s that say, “I’m so jealous of you that you’re taking this upon. You’re learning how to master the thoughts in your mind at a young age.” That’s the key to all of it. I only started to deliver programs. I deliver programs to everybody, but I opened up this specific group for millennials. What people don’t understand is that this is the key to life. The key to life, I swear to God, is to learn how to direct the thoughts in your mind so that you are thinking from a place of vision and possibility. Where every day in your mind, imagining yourself as that’s who I already am.
How do we do that? Your program is called Mastering your Mind. We’re going to learn this in that program if we sign up. I’m going to take it. You make it sound so simple. It’s hard and it is work.
It is work. I always say, “It’s simple. It’s not easy.”
That makes sense.
It is work. I’ll give you a simple example. You are somebody who is a fit person, you’re somebody that’s committed to somebody that’s healthy and being in shape. If you already are that person, you don’t have to think about what you’re going to eat because it’s already there. If you are a fit person, exercise becomes something that you do on a regular basis. Eating healthy is something that you do on a regular basis. If you are starving, McDonald’s doesn’t even show up as an option. People think we want to attract what we want or what we need. The bottom line is we attract who we already are. The thing is that’s backward. You have to live your life as though you already are that. Trust me, I spent years trying to attract what I wanted and what I needed. On my podcast, I talked about my family vacation. I took up a family vacation to Maine.
I saw the pictures. They’re awesome. You have the most beautiful family.
For those of you that have kids, I have two teenagers, 17 and 15 and I have a tween daughter who’s eleven. I always say, “They’re 80% delicious and 20% awful.” That’s the way that vacations go. You know this intellectually, but you forget. When you’re in the thick of the 20% off, you’re like, “Oh my God.”
“What was I thinking?”
The thing about my relationship with my kids is, even knowing this, I spent a long time trying to get them to behave the way that I wanted them to behave. It caused a lot of internal suffering for me. Here’s the thing, it is our thoughts that shape how we feel. How we feel determines how we act. If I’m having a thought about my kids like, “Why don’t they respect each other? Why don’t they respect me?” Those thoughts are drumming up certain feelings in me. Anger, frustration, maybe even resentment and I’m acting a certain way towards my kids.It is our thoughts that shape how we feel. How we feel determines how we act. Click To Tweet
You’re 100% true. That’s right because I’ve been having this exact struggle with my boys. That’s exactly what’s happening at my house. I don’t know why they can’t respect certain things and whatever, and I’m resenting them 100%. How do we change that? Given that exact example, what would I do in that case?
You still might have to talk, discipline and have to have consequences for your children. For me, if I am every single morning have to meditate on living a life connected to joy, gratitude, and peace. Otherwise, my inner critic mind will sweep me far away from that. If I’m already in touch with my day, I’m generating a life of peace, gratitude, love and I go into the kitchen and it’s a flipping disaster because nobody’s put their peanut butter away. I still might have to say, “You’ve got to put your peanut butter away.”
It’s different. It comes from a place of gratitude, love, and joy.
I’m still saying the same thing. I still might have to say to them, “That’s not acceptable.” Your whole podcast and your whole message are about divorce and everything. The thing about relationships, in general, is that we are wired to want other people to act a particular way towards us so we can feel a particular way. That’s what we do. We try to control the people in our lives, and this is how marriage goes. It goes like, “Why can’t you be more of this?” “Why can’t you be that?” You go back and forth. Nobody’s getting their needs met and both people are trying to fix and change the other person. That’s the quality of your relationship over time. Its anger, frustration, and resentment day in and day out. I work with a lot of couples in my private practice when I’m not leading my programs. One of the things that I teach to couples is, if you want a loving connected partnership, you have to take it on in your mind already that you are 100% responsible for that.
That’s so funny that you said that because when I was going through my separation, I didn’t even want that for myself so how could I expect that Mark, my ex, would want that. That’s true because I kept thinking to myself the whole time, “What did I expect? How could he possibly want that? I didn’t want it myself.”
You’re bringing up such a brilliant point because if we’re geared around, “I need you to make me feel that I loved and valued.” We’re not doing that for ourselves. We’re looking for it externally. We’re looking for the world to make us feel good enough. We’re looking for our kids, business, partners, buddies or whatever. We’re looking for the circumstances of our lives.
It’s not their job.
It’s nobody’s job.
I can remember that I kept beating myself up, “Why isn’t he making me feel good?” “Why isn’t he using his words?” I kept thinking, now looking back, I’m like, “For God sake’s, Jennifer. You couldn’t do for your own sake.”
This is the thing that blows my mind, we’re not taught this. The truth is, what I’m talking about is nothing new. It’s been said a gazillion different ways by a gazillion different people for thousands of years. Why we are not taught how to literally separate ourselves from that conditioned, habitual, automatic voice in our minds that, when we pay attention to it, says the same thing like a broken record.
Removing Inner Critic: The key to life is to learn how to direct the thoughts in your mind so that you are thinking from a place of vision and possibility.
Why do you think it is doing that? In your opinion, in your fabulous smart mind, why do you think we can’t get it?
Our identity gets formed by our thoughts.
Is it ego? Do you think it has anything to do with ego?
It’s all ego but ego is all thought.
When we get divorced, we think we’re supposed to fight, be angry and mad at each other. When you get divorced, you’re supposed to be mad, angry, and hurtful. You don’t have to be that way. It’s a choice. I tell my clients and friends, “You guys don’t have to be mad at each other because society says you have to.” I was in therapy with my kids and my ex-husband. We had an unfamily meeting. Zach looked at us and said to Mark and me, “I don’t understand why you guys talk all the time. You’re divorced. This is so annoying. You guys talk about everything. Why do you do that? Why do you call dad all the time and share everything?” I’m like, “Why are you not happy about that?” He said, “Because you’re divorced.” I thought that was so funny. That’s society’s way of saying that he expected us to be angry.
You’re in a partnership for the rest of your life with this person.
I said that to Zac. I’m like, “We’re co-parenting.” He’s like, “Try not to co-parent so great.” We try not to do that all the time because he’s angry that we’re on the same team. He doesn’t like it.
In April of 2019, My business partner and I separated. She’d only been my business partner for a couple of years. It was the thing that she came in exactly when I needed her to. She taught me so many things that I didn’t know. She was having some health issues. Her name is Emily Golden she’s an executive coach and she saw for herself what spoke true to her heart was going back to executive coaching and she’s brilliant at it. When we were dissolving our partnership, that was front and center for both of us, that we were going to dissolve this partnership with grace, ease, and love.
It was not an easy partnership to dissolve, but that’s exactly what we did. I even went over to her house to meet her new puppy. We want it to be an example of exactly what you’re speaking to. It doesn’t have to go badly. The thing that makes it go bad is when people say, “How dare you make me feel like,” and you can fill in the blank like, “I’m not good enough.” “I’m not valued.” “I’m not important.” “I don’t matter.” You could learn to be the director of where our minds go. Anything that you want moving forward in your life, anything you want in your future, you can’t use your old mind to get you there. Your old mind is maybe gotten you some great things but a lot of the things that we get with our old minds come at a cost.
When you say old mind, clarify what that exactly means.If you want a loving and connected partnership, you have to take it in your mind that you are 100% responsible for that. Click To Tweet
It’s your automatic mind. It’s your habitual and conditioned thoughts in your mind. Not to knock Hollywood because there are a lot of wonderful people in Hollywood but they’re also a lot of broken people. You would say that a lot of the people in Hollywood, CEOs of billion-dollar companies, part of what got them their level of success is, “I need to get there in order to be happy or feel good.” They had this inner critic mind that kept pushing them more. I get this question all the time, “Isn’t my inner critic sometimes a good thing?” The answer is no. What happens is, if you’re pushing yourself but it’s all struggle, suffer, not being enough and getting to you, you’ll get there but you’re going to leave a trail of dead bodies along with that.
That was me when I first started working with you. I thought to myself, “I’m being authentic right now.” I felt that way. I would get there and I was struggling, I was angsty, I was looking at numbers all the time, I was at the book sales, I had a book and then I needed another one. I was working with you and you were like, “Jen, will that be enough? When you get to one book, what about the next?” Finally, I couldn’t do it anymore. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t enjoyable. My inner critic was beating me up. Every day I was like, “I’m not enough. I didn’t get 65 followers. I didn’t get 300,000 book sales.” You can’t live that way.
You can’t. The goals are awesome. There’s nothing wrong with having great goals. What would it be to have goals, but to come from the place that you already are so grateful for exactly what you have? You already are experiencing that you are more than enough and you already are experiencing the joy, the love, and the connection. You’re experiencing it now in your mind’s eye. You’ll keep taking the actions to get the goals right. It’s actions that always lead us to great places. You’ll be taking the seen actions, but you’ll be doing it from a place of pure peace, balance, and happiness.
That’s where I am right now. Readers, if you don’t go to Joanna’s podcast, Dethroning your Inner Critic, you guys are crazy. Joanna, you’re fantastic. Everything about you is authentic, honest, and truthful. We’re so similar to that way and that’s why my audience gravitates towards you and me. I feel the same way. I was diagnosed with this crazy auto autoimmune disease. I woke up and said, “If podcasting is not fun and it doesn’t come from my heart, my soul, and I don’t love it, I’m not going to do it.” You all have to listen to Joanna. Your new program, can we get that in, too? Your new program is called Mastering Your Mind.
I am so excited about it because it is a culmination of the several years that I’ve spent in personal growth and development. I am a psychotherapist. I’ve been in private practice for years, and I started leading programs in 2015. I can say that this is the most powerful transformational program I’ve ever created. It is a six-month roadmap to learning how to master your mind. Each month is a new module. I have these groups of women, I usually keep them small, 8 to 10 women and I have different groups running at the same time.
There is something magical that happens when you bring like-minded women together who are on this journey and who are committed to learning exactly how to rewire a brand-new mind, where they’re going to take that new mind to create their future. You got to get your old mind in the past and design your future using a new mind. Otherwise, you’re smearing your old mind all over your future. You think you’re looking out onto your future. The content that I’ve developed is transformational, amazing, and inspirational.
I can vouch for that.
The content is fabulous. Where the magic happens is when we come together, every week, three times a month on these Zoom calls. You see yourself in other women, you allow other women to see themselves in you. Those A-ha moments where people are starting to have breakthroughs beyond their wildest dreams. It’s unbelievable. We meet as a group and you get these training videos ahead of time, so you’re honing in on whatever the distinction is for the group. You also get these worksheets ahead of time. I coach everybody in the, in the group on the zoom call. Once a month we meet individually for a half hour. What I have my participants doing is creating a vision for what they’re designing in their life. It could be around career, relationship, health, or anything.
It’s personalized, but it’s also with a group. You come together and you talk about it. How can people find this? They can find you at DethorningYourInnerCritic.com.
They can go to my website and they should schedule a free clarity conversation with me. It’s free. Even if you decide not to do the program, you’re totally going to get value out of it.
You’ll get a free clarity call at DethroningYourInnerCritic.com with Joanna Kleinman. The program is called Mastering Your Mind.
You should listen to my podcast too because that’s for people to know what I’m all about. I’m clear that what my life is for is to bring women together because that’s how we’re going to change the world. It’s bringing women together and creating minds that are at peace and have balance, joy, love, and connection and learning to live our fullest, best life together. I’m excited about this. I don’t have the dates yet, so you guys should follow me. In 2020, I’m leading my first women’s retreat in Park City, Utah.
It’s me and a couple of other women that are like-minded women that have the same goals. We’re coming together to create a transformational women’s event.
I will be there. You let me know when. Joanna, thank you so much for being here.
Thanks for having me.
I love having you. You can find Joanna at DethroningYourInnerCritic.com. You guys know where to find me at www.JenniferHurvitz.com. You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and all those good places. I am an Awareness Ambassador at the Isabella Santos Foundation. I was asked by them to be an awareness ambassador. It’s for rare pediatric cancer that makes me sad, but it warms my heart to be able to do that. If you buy a peace, love, truth Hurvitz’s hat or merchandise, 20% I’m giving to the proceeds to Isabella Santos Foundation. You can donate all the time at IsabellaSantosFoundation.com. Thank you guys for reading and all that good stuff. You can find me everywhere at www.JenniferHurvitz.com is the best place. As usual, peace, love, and thank you for coming.
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