Yowser, if the response to yesterday’s email is anything to go by, negative self-talk is a severe problem for a whole bunch of people.
So let me try and help you even more:
Let’s look at the inner critic.
That pesky little voice inside your head that keeps telling you that you’re not good enough, made a dumb mistake, or, in the words of a reader yesterday:
“The challenging part is that if you have told yourself for 20 years that you suck, it will probably take another 20 years to de-program yourself.”
Actually, that’s not true.
In fact, once you know how, it can be a matter of months, or even just weeks, to get rid of negative self-talk.
What’s more, you can turn that inner critic into an ally.
Hat tip to Cherry Jeffs, who left the below comment on Medium.com where my dailies get published, after I told you yesterday to say ‘thanks for the information’ to the inner critic:
“I agree that when we acknowledge that voice, it not only feels recognised starts to come over to our side. The inner critic metamorphosises gradually into his alter ego – our critical faculty. Our critical faculty is essential for making rational judgements about the progress of our work :)”
And that notion, that you can transform into a helper, a friend and an ally, can transform your life.
Asks another reader:
“What do you think the purpose is of the negative voices? The only thing I can think of is that maybe it’s in our programming, to keep us in the safety of our comfort zone?”
More or less, but not quite.
The inner critic is there to protect you.
The inner critic is part of your subconscious, and it wants to move you towards pleasure and away from pain.
It wants to shield you from disappointment and humiliation and shame.
But, as long as you don’t make friends with it, the only way to do it is to prevent you from taking action that could put you at risk.
Keep you in a ‘safe place’, where nothing changes and no risk is taken.
And the best way to do that?
Judging you, discouraging you, and criticising you.
So that you start to believe the negativity, and stay put, right where you are.
That’s why it’s so important to acknowledge the inner voice, say ‘thanks for sharing’, instead of fighting against it.
The effect of giving it recognition is that it starts to feel validated for trying to do its job.
Sure, it does the job in a bad way, but that’s something you can change over time.
It’s like that old Zen parable, where a student is trying all he can think of to coerce the bull to walk to the market.
But it’s not until he makes friends with the bull that the animal will follow him.
And it’s the same with your inner critic.
Befriend it, give it space, and ask it to help you.
I mean that literally:
When you hear negative self talk and respond with ‘thanks for sharing’, proceed right away into a question to self:
“So how do I change that/stop doing that/create a different reality to live in / [ fill in the blank ]
You’ll find that if you practice this, your inner critic turns into a true helper, an advisor, a supporter.
You get to turn your inner critic into your inner champion.
But only if you want to, and only if you work at it.
Because if you don’t take action and face the demons, not even 20 years will help you overturn old programming.
For me, it’s beautiful to work on these things – on my own, but also with clients.
Sometimes it can be so easy to break through old patterns, so quick to create change – if you really WANT change.
What’s that you say?
Let’s see if I can help.
Answer a few questions, and get a no-cost ‘inner-critic to inner-champion call with me.
Questions here –> https://martin283.typeform.com/to/v7Dsh8