Your ‘inner voice’ is a powerful thing, so make sure it’s acting in your best interest. We need to be aware of what our thoughts are telling us, and how these thoughts are impacting on our daily lives and our relationships.
Why? Well, because the ‘inner voice’ can be as destructive as it is powerful. This topic surfaces regularly during my interviews with women in business – even those leading very successful, yet different lives. Each woman describes how negative and destructive their ‘little inner voice’ can be, and the daily battle to keep it silenced and not steal their happiness and joy.
So how do we train our inner voice to work for us, rather than against us? It’s not just about switching the conversation through the power of positive thinking. What we need is some dedicated training of our inner voice; real-life training that supports self-love, inner security and importantly, an emotionally balanced life.
Has this ever happened to you? In a flick of a second, a negative thought fires up in your mind and negative emotions come flooding in!
Note to self – YOU DON’T HAVE TO BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOUR INNER VOICE TELLS YOU! In fact, I give you permission to question, argue and ask for true facts for each negative thought you have.
Try these training tips to bring your inner voice under control:
When a negative thought pops up, (1) take note of exactly what it is telling you and (2) identify the details.
Often your negative inner voice will dissect a conversation, situation or idea and attach it to a strong emotion from your past. It’s that sneaky! It’s this emotional connection you have to your past that makes it feel ‘real’ to your current thoughts and feelings. These can often be strong negative feelings like fear, guilt, anger or magically predicting your future demise. What you need to do just as quickly – because we are not going to believe everything ‘Negative Nancy’ is telling us anymore – is (3) identify what’s showing up for you and by asking yourself – Is this true? Is it absolutely always true? How is this thought making me feel? When have I felt that before? What permission is this thought giving me? How would I feel without this emotion?
Finally, (4) switch the thought to the opposite emotion. Ask yourself – Do I need this?
Here’s an example of this training technique in action:
(1) Take note of exactly what it is telling you. (My husband always speaks over me!)
(2) Identify the details. (I was talking, and he started to interrupt, and I didn’t get to finish.)
(3) What is showing up for you? (It makes me feel I have nothing important to say; I’m not interesting enough to be listened to. If he loved me, he would listen to me… he doesn’t love me.)
Is this true? No, he tells me he loves me, and he shows me in many ways.
Is it absolutely true? No. Mostly we have great conversations where we both get to talk.
How is this thought making me feel? Hurt and unloved.
When have I felt that before? When I was young, and the adults wouldn’t listen to me.
What permission is this thought giving me? I can yell at him and do or say things to get the attention I deserve and I will be heard and loved.
How would I feel without this emotion? I would feel listened to and loved.
(4) Switch to the thought to the opposite emotion. I feel loved and valued in my relationship with my husband. Ask yourself: Do I need this negative inner voice? No way. I love my husband and our relationship. That’s what I want.
When negative thoughts get linked to situations, emotions and outcomes from life already lived, it can stop us living and responding to what is playing out in front of us, presently (unless we need to run from the dinosaur, then it’s a positive!).
You will have heard the phrase “live in the now”. Disconnecting the present from our past and re-examining feelings and meanings can keep your inner voice real and truthful, so it supports self-love, inner security and importantly an emotionally balanced life. That’s a voice worth listening to!