You know how there is always that person who can’t wait to bring you down, burst your bubble and tell you how bad things are? Well, sometimes that person is you. Those voices in your head that say you aren’t good enough, life stinks and things will never change. They roll around and around and steal your happiness and your contentment. They urge you to do things that you might regret, and they remind you all of the time how you just aren’t good enough.
Did you ever think about the voices – where do they come from? Why are they so hard on you? Why do they carry such a negative tone? If you saw someone on the street talking to themselves, you might step off the sidewalk and give a wide berth. You’d probably label them “crazy,” but we talk to ourselves all day long and we don’t think anything about it!
The internal voices often defeat us before we have even started something. They point out all of the pitfalls and all of the problems. They zap our energy before we’ve even begun a task.
The voices come in uninvited; after all, you’d probably not allow another person to talk to you the way you talk to yourself. You would be appalled if your best friend said the things to you that you take for granted as they pass through your consciousness!
If you lack energy, feel defeated or angry some days, and generally have a sense of malaise, maybe it is time to un-invite those voices – or change them out for friendlier ones. While it may seem automatic and natural to speak so negatively in your mind, you can take your voices back and have a more powerful you emerge.
Three key things to get back to a more powerful you:
1. Recognize that the voices are invited in and you can invite them to leave. This means first acknowledging that they are there – awareness is the first step. Start to notice when you feel stressed, sad, defeated or angry. What is causing that negative emotion? It’s likely a reaction to an event or a condition where the voices start to point out those terrible things. Be aware that they are there, and they are chattering to you.
2. Once you “hear” the voices, start talking to them: “I don’t need you.” “You aren’t welcome here.” Yes, treat them as if they are outsiders who wandered into your brain but are not permanent visitors. Actually (mentally) speak to them and tell them you are inviting them to leave.
3. Be ready with positive replacements. This can be different self-talk for different situations. If you know, for example, that your negative self-talk kicks in when those aggressive drivers cut you off in traffic, and you start to talk to yourself about the rude people in the world and how everything is going to pot as a result… be ready the next time you get in your car. Have self-talk at the ready, such as “I’m just driving to a destination. Other drivers don’t affect me,” or “What other people do has no bearing on how I react and feel. I control my reactions and emotions.” Be prepared, and have your positive self-talk in gear before you need it.
Words are powerful. They trigger us and have an impact on how we react, how we feel and what we do in response. The words you use in your own mind to tell yourself what’s right or wrong are just as powerful as those someone else might say to you. Watch your words and tame the voices – you have the control to do it.