When was the last time you questioned who you are and what you stand for? The chances are it was quite a while ago because, like most people, you take yourself for granted. Few of us think in enough depth about our beliefs, yet they are essential to our very being. Before embarking on a course of personal development, we need to confront our beliefs head on.
A belief is a feeling of conviction about something specifically related to yourself. Beliefs have a direct  impact on our character and behaviour. We can divide beliefs in to two simple categories – positive and negative. A positive belief leads to positive actions like setting goals and targets. Negative beliefs are associated with negative behaviours – like self paranoia. Beliefs are activated by different personality traits.  In the case of negative beliefs, the inner critic is a major contributor.
The little voice we hear in our head sometimes telling us we are no good is what life coaches refer to as the inner critic. An inner critic is fine and actually important in small doses. However, if the balance becomes upset, our inner critic can become a detrimental force. All the hard work you may have put into building yourself up can be wiped away in an instant by an unchecked inner critic.
On the other hand, we have the inner coach. This is the voice of confidence and encouragement. It is the voice of hope and the gateway to success. Your inner coach is the part of you that checks for solutions not problems. The inner coach provides you with inspiration and vitality. When it comes to building success, your inner coach is the voice to listen to.  
You should decide which of the two voices are the loudest in your mind. Are you your own coach or your own worst enemy? It is far easier to criticise than to make something which is why the inner critic tends to be the most prevalent in ordinary people. Extraordinary people have that little bit extra. Extraordinary people have a finely tuned inner coach.
All you are doing by developing your inner coach is making your mind work for you. Think for a second about how incredible the human brain is. It is more powerful than all the worlds computers combined. The brain contains within it almost limitless potential. What a shame it is, therefore, to use it against us rather than for us! We all have the chance to be extraordinary, yet so many people sit in the doldrums because they are unable to harness the latent power of the mind.
The mind can waste a lot of energy on detrimental beliefs. Remember that a belief is not a fact! You should not think that what you believe about yourself today is necessarily true. People have had some crazy beliefs over the years. For instance, entire cultures have developed on the belief of the world being flat, or that gods live up in the sky. Unless you have taken the time to explore yourself, you run the risk of holding some unhelpful beliefs about yourself. But where do beliefs come from?
Some of our beliefs originate in our childhood. The opinions of our elders shape our self image in childhood. Therapists spend a lot of their time unravelling problematic self images of people that begin in childhood. It is amazing to think that our childhood never really leaves us. Instead, it becomes buried to the very core of our being. Life is a process of change and development. However, without being aware of the things that have made us who we are there is little chance of us controlling this change.

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