February 2019, by Karin Green
WE ALL HAVE ONE!
We all have one, a voice that expresses criticism or frustration, disapprove of our actions. It might sound like “what’s wrong with you”, “why can’t you get it together”, “that was stupid”, “they will find out you don’t know enough”.
At best these negative thoughts are just present like background noise, and at worst they might paralyze you, prevent you from a successful career, a healthy relationship and may even lead to depression.
The good news is: you have the power to change these negative thoughts. You were not born with these negative thoughts. Below are some ways to begin to disrupt them so that you can start building new, more positive messages.
STEP 1: BECOME AWARE.
No matter how strong this voice seems, the act of noticing the voice begins the shift away from their impact on you. You cannot change what you are not aware of.
One way to become aware is to just sit with your thoughts and watch them. Imagine the thoughts being like water in a river, just flowing by you. The goal here is to notice, not to catch the thought.
In this step, just focus your awareness on the facts and messages of the voice. Don’t let your mind wander into the analysis of “why” you have this voice right now, and don’t allow yourself to argue with the voice. For now, just notice that you have a voice.
STEP 2: WHOSE VOICE IS THAT?
You were not born with this voice, you picked it up somewhere along the way in the growing process. Listen to the voice and see if you can determine who’s voice that is. It might be a familiar voice, your mom’s, dad’s, or your teacher or coach, or school friends.
Recognizing whose voice that is can often take the sting out of it, and begin the process of transforming it. It can sometimes be as simple as saying to yourself “Ah, yes, that’s what my mother/father would have said.”
STEP 3. WHAT IS THE NEGATIVE VOICE PROTECTING YOU FROM?
This voice often came along to help you and to protect you from pain and shame as a child. It is like “if I create a voice within myself that criticize me before anyone I want to please does, then I can be who they want me to be, and more easily avoid their disapproval and ultimately win their approval and love.”
Ask yourself, what might this voice be protecting me from? Do I still need this protection?
STEP 4: CREATING A STRONG INNER POSITIVE VOICE
If you can collect a lot of evidence that you are an awesome human being, it is like creating your own bulletproof suit that takes the impact out of the negative thoughts.
One of the best ways to disrupt the negative voice is to start an “I am good” Journal. Keep this journal by your bed and every night just before tucking in, write a minimum of 3 self-compliments, things you have done that you are proud of.
No one would imagine running a marathon without training for it. In life, which often can be likened to a marathon race, we expect to make it even though most of us are totally out of shape. Starting an “I am good journal” is your chance to exercise your “Joyful life muscles.”
If you want more tools to disrupt your negative voice, download my “Bust Your Inner Critic – Reclaim Your Joy” workbook from –> here.