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Most of us give our inner critic far too much airtime. We swirl in our mistakes wondering how we could have been so stupid. We replay conversations wishing we’d been more understanding. And we measure ourselves against others to see where we come up short.

This negative internal dialog starts at such a young age that it’s hard to even hear the distortion as an adult. We simply continue to tell ourselves that we could (and should) be so much more, until we deeply ingrain all kinds of limiting beliefs.

What we fail to realize is that these thoughts, judgments and emotional states are actively creating patterns, pathways and programs that train our brain to keep creating more of the same. To top it off, they also drain our energy, dampened our spirits and kill our motivation.

Clearly, it’s time to get a grip and awaken our humanity toward ourselves.

The truth is that we all have natural talents and strengths that we don’t fully acknowledge. We accomplish far more than we give ourselves credit for. And we do several small acts each day that bring happiness, support and meaning into the lives we touch. We simply need to learn to consciously see, appreciate and value what makes us great. This is how we break free from the unconscious thought patterns that pull us down.

Through a daily reflection practice, we can learn to still those provoking thoughts that spin us off our center. We can disarm them through observation, reflection and insight. And we can even get to a place where we clearly see our talent, strengths and accomplishments in action every day.

It starts by actively tracking our experiences. In the Live Dynamite program, we use the daily log to track progress and dive deeper. It’s an easy reflection practice that’s proven to work. When we actively witness our lives and we see the impact of our actions. We strengthen our sense of self-awareness and practice mindfulness. We learn to observe experiences without judgment and see our progress.

The daily log is designed to be quick, insightful and fun! (Yes, fun.) As you keep track of your experiences, you’ll see how much you already have going for you. The more you look the more you see. Over time, you’ll reprogram your brain to see all that’s good in your life and the world around you.

Pause & Reflect

The key to taming your inner critic is to learn how to pay attention in a positive way. Carve out 15 minutes to pause and reflect each day. Capture the day’s highlights as you intentionally direct your thoughts toward all that’s good. Next, look for personal insights as you dive a bit deeper into what you’re experiencing.

Know that as you develop this skill, you actively develop your sense of optimism and train your brain to see the best in each experience. You’ll find that bad moments no longer become bad days. You’ll begin to see that problems are temporary and that life has a way of working out.

– Start looking for all that’s good in each day. Find at least three ideas for each area below. Then write it down to anchor it in your brain.

• What are you grateful for?

• What have you accomplished?

• What makes you happy, excited and inspired?

– The ability to make bold shifts starts with personal insights. Use this series of questions to look into your experiences. Pick one or use all three.

• What are you learning through your experiences?

• What needs more attention in your life?

• How do you want to be experiencing life?

When you make time to pause and reflect you stay connected to your life. You gain clarity, perspective and wisdom. You learn to bring the best of who you are to everything you do. And this is what it means to Get good at living™!

Be well,


Download the Daily Log

Maryanne O'Brien

Marianne O’Brien is the author of The Elevated Communicator: How to Master Your Style and Strengthen Well-Being at Work. Visit her online at

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