Can you hear that? Those little voices that go on inside your brain each day: the ones that tell you how you can’t do it. These voices dictate everything about ourselves, they tell us who to trust, what to do for fun, what to fear, who to love, what to eat, and whether we can achieve something or not. Our inner voice is usually never the same and it changes based on outside influences like: pressure and stress, feedback from others, our mood, and our thoughts. Ultimately mastering our inner voice can change the entire way we live our lives, but before we can master the voices, we must learn identify them.
When we think, we tend to hear our thoughts as internal dialogue; we actually talk to ourselves when we are thinking about something. It is important to know that we can retrain our inner voice and turn it into a source of strength, but left unattended these voices will usually tend to gravitate towards negativity, fear, self doubt, and pain.; we often gravitate towards negativity as people; the world can be extremely negative at times, and we tend to remember negative and traumatic events more vividly than positive ones. The hurtful things that people say to or about us, the criticisms of our friends and family, the failures we have experienced, and the heartaches we have experienced often break our spirits. Most of us will end up at some point paralyzed by fear, unable to take action as our inner voice talks us down from any attempt at self improvement, eventually we believe we are trapped in our lives and have no power to change our situation.
Have you ever had a great idea, maybe some business or creation that you had a lot of excitement about? Almost as soon as you had the idea, your mind filled with thoughts like “That would never work.”, or maybe you just ran through all the reasons why it couldn’t work in your mind. Our inner voice can be our own conscious voice, or it can be a voice of someone else: a friend, family member, or even an enemy. Maybe you hear a critical family member’s voice or a hostile colleague from work telling you it can’t be done. Our critical inner voice often mimics a person who was overly critical to us in our life.
Our inner voice can also change in different situations. Maybe you tend to be a positive person and think good thoughts most of the time, yet whenever you become stressed or angry you become someone else entirely. Our emotions and other outside factors can have a very high degree of influence on our inner voice, and negative emotions tend to cause negative thoughts. When someone says something mean about us, we often focus on it, we get angry and want to lash back out at them; as we fall further into negativity and dwelling on what they said, we only reinforce the power of what they said: we unintentionally give away our control over the situation. We cannot choose what negative things happen to us, but we can choose how we respond.
So how do we change our inner voice into something helpful and productive instead of something hurtful and limiting? The first step is to look within ourselves and listen for our thoughts. The next time you are angry, sad, bored, scared, resentful, jealous, or thinking a negative thought like “I can’t do this”, ask yourself “why?”. Ask yourself why are you feeling what you feel, where did these thoughts come from, and what are your thoughts based off of? As we become better at hearing and identifying our inner voices we can begin to take control of them and change them. The first step in solving a problem is admitting we have one; choose to listen to your inner voices and see what they have to say, often times even the strongest of us have negative thoughts running through our heads. People who are successful, achieve their goals, and improve their lives have learned to silence these voices and replace them with positive thoughts of their own design.
Tune into part 2 on how to influence or thoughts, control our emotions, and reprogram ourselves for success.