Quiet The Beast: How to deal with the part of your brain that says mean things to you

Marsha giving the closing keynote at the penultimate World Domination Summit

When I was growing up, I just thought certain things were truths. Being messy is bad. Not having cool clothes (a puffball skirt, say, or a stonewashed denim jacket and matching skirt) means people won’t like you. Not being beautiful like a pop star is a bad thing and is my fault and is something I should be ashamed of.

In my teens and early twenties, the list grew. Going too far with a boy makes you easy. Wanting to kiss a girl is weird and gross. Smoking makes you cool. Especially if you’re not drunk. Especially Benson and Hedges.

Twenty years, countless self-help books, hours of journalling and — thank you, privilege — a LOT of therapy taught me that those ideas were just that, ideas. They weren’t truths. When I believed them to be true about me, and used that to judge myself, it wasn’t because this was a reasonable conclusion to make. These thoughts were just the “inner critic.” One part of your brain that sometimes (often) lies.

But then, I faced a new problem: if I had figured this out, why was it still happening? If I’m so evolved, why do I keep saying such awful things to myself?

Since becoming a storytelling and speaker coach, I’ve spent a lot of time with brilliant, successful people, listening to their personal stories. One thing that I have come to understand is that having this voice that says mean things about you to you — a voice which I call your Beast — is part of the human experience. And that the trick is not to squash it, and not even to love it. But just to do what you can to reduce the volume and frequency with which it speaks to a level where you can start to tune it out. When you can, you have have a nicer life, and you can change more lives.

This year, I was asked to give the closing keynote at the penultimate (ever!) World Domination Summit. Instead of talking, as I usually do, about Storytelling or Sales Pages or even my I Don’t Have My iSht Together, Either project, I decided to write a brand new talk, where I shared the four steps that have helped me figure out how to master my Beast.

A couple of things for context: the event colloquially is called “WDS” — the World Domination Summit; the people in the video were all main stage speakers; and Chris Guillebeau is the host and organiser (so a total rock star celebrity to that audience). Also if you’re listening anywhere with other people, heads-up that I drop a few F-bombs. When I performed it I didn’t anticipate that thousands of people would watch it on Youtube, or even anyone outside that one event!

To watch it, press the play button on the pic below:

Thank you so much for watching the talk! Did any of that feel familiar? Which part most had you going, “OH HI YA THAT’S ME, TOO, MARSH”? Let me know in the comments below! And if you know someone who you think could use the relief of hearing this, you can share it either using one of the round buttons below, or click here to share on Facebook — and if you do, make sure you tag me! I’m @yesyesmarsha everywhere online :)

And if you enjoyed that keynote and are thinking, “I have a talk coming up and I’d love people in the audience to respond to me the way I just responded to Marsha,” then GOOD NEWS — as well as admitting embarrassing things about what my Beast says to me, I also help people like you write talks that contain personal stories and get both your audience and you where they/you want to be. Click here to find out more: yesyesmarsha.com/speech or book in a free (no strings) 15 minute call HERE:

You rule!

xx (Yes Yes) Marsha

PS want even more advice like this, plus stories and secrets that I won’t put on the internet? Come and join the Yes Yes Family. It’s free! Just pop your details in below:

PPS please tell your Beast that I am not afraid of them :)


  • Lamia Gibson

    Reply Reply October 16, 2019

    Thanks Marsha! Your talk was so great and my beast knows your on to them! Thanks for all you share.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Thanks, Lamia!! So glad you enjoyed it (Towards your Beast, I narrow my eyes in slight contempt but mostly pity :) )

  • Helen

    Reply Reply October 23, 2019

    Your last words made me cry a little bit! Thank you for the wonderful talk, it was just what I needed today.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Reply Reply November 20, 2019

      Aw, Helen! I’m so glad you found it helpful.
      Thanks so much for telling me!

      PS tell your Beast I am not afraid of it

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