Tag Archives: self-talk

Inner talk … the little voice

Have you ever wondered if that little voice that speaks to you continuously really wants you to be happy?    What would that voice say if you changed course today and did something different?   What would that voice say?

Successful people, really successful people, have trained their inner voice to support them.   Olympic athlete’s work with performance coaches to shift those inner thoughts to “winning” thoughts.  

The inner voice is different than intuition.   Intuition is a connecting force, connecting heart with head, and energy with energy.   It connects through feelings and sensing rather than by internal conversation.  

This poem written by Shel Silverstein talks about:

“The voice”

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you–just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.”
  Shel Silverstein

This inner voice is the voice that shackles us to the past quite often.  It says, “Be safe” and will do just about anything it can to prevent risk, prevent harm or prevent change.    The brain is wily in its ways.   It has been trained by real voices outside the mind that shape and configure just how the inner voice will speak.   When you hear words that say “No, you aren’t good enough” or “You’ve failed before what has changed this time …”, or “You’ve never been good at that …”, any of those words are conditioned words, meaning that you’ve taken on those words and applied them to “who” you are.

What would it be like to hear the words of a voice that says, “Of course you can”, “Let’s do it today”, “You are good enough”, “You are beautiful”,
“You are amazing”, “You can do it”.    That voice is alive in your mind if it gets the chance to exercise.    Like our bodies it is what we practice and if we practice negative thinking we become those negative thoughts.   

“If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.”  W. L. Bateman

So, why not shift the words of that little voice.    Shift them towards words that are encouraging to you.   Words that will allow you to take a risk and make a change, a substantial change in the direction of your dream.

What would stop you from making that change?

Affirm someone

You matter.

You are important.

You make a difference.

Those are affirmations that you can say to yourself everyday.  

Susan Jeffers writes about affirmations in this little book.  It is a great place to start thinking about what you can be.

Affirmations start with our attitudes about others and ourselves.    I was reminded that self-talk/affirmations played an important role during the Holocaust. Viktor Frankl wrote, “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms- to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” (Frankl, “Man’s search for meaning”, p. 86).

Attitude is about choice,  a choice we make, and a choice that is shaped by our affirmations.

goal again

Why does self-help fail so often?   Many people have tried the self-help route.  Perhaps they picked up a couple of books guaranteed to change their lives in four easy steps.   They try the steps and for a while, a short while things seem to improve and as things improve the energy to keep doing what is working fades and before long you are right back to where you started.  Self-help lacks permanence.  You will see it in the diets people go on – they hit their goal and then revert back to their old selves. 

The brain rules and until the brain is reprogrammed it will continue to resist change.   Temptation will grow stronger and stronger until in a flash of “only once” thinking all the discipline will dance down the street.

There a ways others can reprogram your brain.  One way is someone will tell you, you’re not capable of doing something.  That generally collapses dreams into a pile of rubble.  No amount of encouraging will reverse that one voice that said, “You are never going to be good doing that.”, and of course there doesn’t need to be any truth in the statement.    For some reason our ego believes the negative message and resists the positive message.

Now, imagine what it would be like to be fully able to live the life you are capable of. 

Try not to imagine a pink elephant.  Now try to get that image out of your mind.  What is happening?  A “not” thought sticks.  

Do we become the words or stories we tell ourselves?

Don’t go there alone.

“My mind is like a bad neighborhood, I try not to go there alone.” Ann Lamont

Our minds can keep us from doing the right things for ourselves. The use of self-talk to hold us back and keep us where we are today is a formidable challenge to overcome.

The quote by Ann Lamont is an indicator that we can’t go it alone in many cases. In some cases we need a guide or a coach to help us keep our minds from going down the path of negative self-talk.

A coach can act as an encourager and help bring back a conversation so that it focuses on what can be rather than what was and what didn’t work in the past. It is essential to focus on where we want to be rather than where we have been.

Fall forward. Sure there are going to be times where we can get bruised and feel uncomfortable but it is in those moments that we can grow. Growing to a better self is the kind of growth that brings about joy and happiness.

Is your mind like the bad neighborhood? Do you have someone to help you through that place that you don’t want to be alone in?