“One of the ways I started working on self-loyalty is by looking at myself in the mirror, really asking ‘How are you doing today?’ and pausing to hear the answer. And inevitably, when I do this, I get tears in my eyes.” — Nancy Jane Smith


  • What does it look like and how does it feel when we have our own back
  • The three internal voices that we have
  • Why the third voice – our biggest fan – is the one we really want to strengthen
  • The role that self-loyalty plays when dealing with our inner critic
  • Why Nancy avoids thinking “I deserve this” and how this thought-process may lead to false self-loyalty


Nancy Jane Smith is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Coach specializing in High Functioning Anxiety and has spent 20+ years working as a counselor/coach. She has written three books on living happier.

Nancy first joined me on this podcast back in 2018 when we talked about her book, The Happier Approach: Be Kind to Yourself, Feel Happier and Still Accomplish Your Goals, and specifically the three voices that we have in our heads: the Monger, the BFF, and the Biggest Fan.

I invited Nancy to join me again so we can have a follow-up conversation about these internal voices/characters, and to talk about self-loyalty. We explored how true self-loyalty sounds and looks like in practice and how we can strengthen it.

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Learn more about Nancy Jane Smith: her website
The Happier Approach: Be Kind to Yourself, Feel Happier, and Still Accomplish Your Goals written by Nancy Jane Smith
Episode 55: Taming Your Inner Critic
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Connect with Lou Blaser on LinkedIn


We’re always going to head down the rabbit hole of the monger. And she kind of traps us in this belief system of how much we suck and keeps us paralyzed in a variety of things. Procrastination analysis, paralysis, all these things that we do are a product of the monger and the BFF dynamic. My goal in working with clients and my goal as I’ve aged and done my own work is to catch myself going down before I had too far down that rabbit hole.

There is this prevalent myth in the self-help world of, ‘I can get fixed. If I just work hard enough, I will be fixed.’ And as long as that belief is running the show, it’s really hard to deal with these voices. Because there has to be some level of acceptance. For example, I have a really loud monger. She is a demon, she’s so mean and critical of me. And so I need to be on guard for when she’s going to strike and I need to take action when I hear her.

And that’s the difference between the biggest fan and the BFF. It’s super subtle, but it’s the energy at which you’re giving yourself permission to do stuff. Is will this help me or will this hurt me in the long run?

It’s being able to discern, ‘What is it that I want to change and that I can change and that I want to work on changing. And what is it that’s like, you know, what? I got ridiculed for that as a kid, but now in my 40s, I don’t care about that anymore.’ Like, I am someone who does that. So be it.

I am someone who is super sensitive and I can be overly emotional. I have worked my entire adult life to stop that, to change that. It is who I am and because of that, I’m an awesome coach and counselor. Because of that, I make an amazing wife and I have a great relationship with my nieces and nephews. And it also has some negatives. And so I need to figure out how to navigate those without belittling myself.


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