If I were to ask you who you think your biggest critic is, who might you say, my guess is that you would likely say, “I am”.
I’m talking about that voice in the back of your head that judges you, belittles and doubts your every move. It often cuts you down, by saying damaging things to you.
I’m sure some if not most of you know what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about that voice that says, I’m an idiot, I’m too fat, I’m too skinny, “I know I’m going to fail so why do it!”
Believe it or not, that voice is dangerous! This voice limits you and stops you from going after your dreams and goals. I know it inhibited me for thirty years! But no longer!
Imagine a child learning to ride a bike and every time that child falls the parent yells, ” Are you stupid, didn’t I just tell you to pedal faster!” or “you idiot ,why did you stop while going up the hill!”
Ask yourself how you would feel if that was said to you today!
I don’t know about you, but I would feel humiliated and embarrassed, and for the child, this could be very damaging.
Now let’s look at this example from a positive perspective. What if the parent said, wow! You’re doing great, let’s try it again, this time try not to stop going up the hill, you got this!
Which one do you think is going to get a better response? What type of a thought response do you think the child will have the next time he sees a bike? Will he/she get back on with confidence or out of fear of failing and letting his parent down, he never touches it again?
When someone is punished for doing something wrong, that doesn’t teach them on how to do it right.
When your inner voice consistently labels you in a negative way, it will likely have a demoralizing effect on you and determine yourself concept about who you are as a person and what you can accomplish. And this can stay with you for a very long time.
Negative self-talk does not always have your best interest. But here is the good news! There is a much better way to talk to yourself that is respectful and caring.
The first thing we’re going to do is take control of our inner voice by acknowledging it!
Every day we have somewhere between 50,000 to 70,000 inner voice conversations happening and over 80% of those conversations are negative!
I would like to give you a challenge for the next week, at the very least.
1) Take time to try and separate your inner voice. How might you do this? By giving your Start by giving your inner voice a name. Can you guess what I named my inner voice, that’s right, Charles!
Charles is a guy that I work with at the hospital. He would set me up to fail when working with doctors. He was jealous of surgical assistants because like him, most of us were surgical techs before stepping out of our comfort zone and taking a chance at making more money and being self-employed. He was too afraid that he would fail and resented those of us who made it.
So, not only have I given the inner voice a name, it also has a body. Messy hair, beer belly and never smiles, like Charles.
What is important is by separating from you, therefore, removing it from your identity and frees you from its influence.
2) The second thing to do is to keep a log of the negative talk. Write down what is being said, for example… You agree to give a ride to a friend so that he can get to work on time. Five minutes after you were to pick that friend up, you receive a call asking where are you?
(your inner voice might go to work) “You are an idiot! It’s amazing that you have any friends, no one can count on you.”
Write that down, you are an idiot, amazing, you have no friends, you forgot to pick up your friend from work. No one can count on you.
Now, I want you to write three positive things to replace that talk.
I’m not an idiot, I just forgot. It can happen to anyone.
I have friends because I’m a good person.
I can be trusted; one mistake doesn’t outweigh the many times I have been there for others.
I want you to practice this week, calling that inner voice by name and writing down the negative self-talk and replacing it with positive self-talk. How does that sound?
Leave me a message on the name you chose and why, let me know if you see a difference in yourself after writing positive statements to replace the negative ones.
I hope you enjoyed the read, if so, please pass it on.