We all criticize ourselves. We believe that if we judge ourselves harshly, that will spur us on to take the actions we need to take or protect us from disappointment. Our negative judgments don’t accomplish either result.

At the end of this podcast, I present some actions you can use to defend yourself against unproductive self-judgments:

  • Build an awareness of all the ways you judge yourself negatively.
  • When you notice your self-criticisms, refuse to criticize yourself for criticizing yourself. (Don’t double down on your self-criticism!)
  • Build counterarguments to the negative judgments you have about yourself.

Relisten to this episode and explore the reasons you’ve believed criticizing yourself is useful or will protect you from disappointment. Review your accomplishments and notice that negative self talk wasn’t what actually what inspired your actions. Notice how judging yourself negatively ahead of time was unhelpful. Instead, identify the compassionate and self-approving judgments that have led to positive outcomes in your life.

Expect self-criticism to continue and develop go-to thoughts to counter your most common self-criticisms.


If you’re focused on pleasing everyone around you, chances are you’re not leading the life you want. People pleasing is the main obstacle I help my clients tackle so that they can discover who they are and live the life they desire. If you suspect this might be you, but you’re not sure, I offer free coaching consultation calls where we’ll talk about what you want to do and why you’re not doing it. I’ll offer you my prescription and we’ll see if it makes sense to coach together. Use this link to book your session: https://gracedcanvascalendar.as.me/freestrategysession/.

Everything I offer helps you discover who you are. In my Creative Expansion newsletter, I share the kinds of insights I share in this podcast. Plus I let you know about my online coaching offers and live events and workshops here at GRACE Studio in Prince Edward County. Enjoy the scenery at my acreage and explore who you are through mindfulness, nature exploration, making art, creative writing, and other means to discover at a deeper level who you are and what you want. To subscribe for my newsletter, use the link at the bottom of page of my website, https://gracedcanvas.com/).

I’m also on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/gracedcanvascoaching/), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/heatherirenekerr) or LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/heatherkerr/).


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Send your podcast topic suggestions to heather@gracedcanvas.com.


I’m a former international tax lawyer and senior partner of Ernst & Young in Toronto, where I serviced banks and other large multinationals and led a large group of professionals.

My life expanded when I left the law in 2014 to learn how to paint, something I’d always dreamt of doing, but had no reason to believe was possible for me. After a couple years of painting and selling my work, I became passionate about helping other people who yearn to feel more personally fulfilled, invigorated and soul connected in their lives every day, and I became certified as a life coach.

I now spend my time painting, coaching, and creating live events at GRACE Studio (more formally, the “George Russell Academy of Creative Expansion”) in beautiful Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada. And, of course, producing this podcast for you.