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When you’re home alone or just by yourself somewhere, do you ever hear a little voice inside of you running the show? Or has it been so subtle that you’re only becoming aware of it now as you read this passage? For example: you might sit down at your desk to work or study, and ‘something’ says, “Arh, go get a cup of coffee before you start.” And as you sit down to start for a second time the voice says, “You need a snack.” And as you sit down to start for a third time the voice says, “You’re really tired now, take a nap first.” And so it goes on and on. At other times the ‘something’ that sounds like you in your head isn’t as patient or as pleasant, and definitely not as subtle. You hear things like; “Don’t waste your time, you can’t do it”, “Don’t do it, you’ll only make a fool of yourself” or “So many other people are doing things so much better than that!”. Oh boy, can those thoughts be demotivating, disheartening and discouraging or what?
Don’t Listen to Everything You Hear!
Now I want you to imagine that all the subtle diversions and disparaging negative self-talk was coming from a separate part of you. Yes, that’s right – I want you to give the voice a body.
When you start hearing all those familiar, unhelpful phrases I want you to piece together an image of the ‘something’ the voice belongs to. Then I want you to give it a name*. Do you have one yet? Good.
This next part is to CALL IT OUT for what it is. The next time and every time after that, that you hear the very familiar, unhelpful, demoralising self-talk, or something that feels like procrastination, just notice what it is, don’t follow its subtle suggestions or be blinded by its disapproving tone, just notice it.
Then, I want you to engage your wonderful imagination again, and in your mind’s eye, write whatever it is that you are noticing on a colourful Post It note, and with a sharp drawing pin, pin the Post It note to [insert name* here].
Now that the thought has been passed back to where it originated there is no need for you to pay it any further attention, just get on with the task at hand.
Choosing Your Thoughts
If you were standing in a room with a voice over a loudspeaker giving you an instruction with the ultimatum… either drop a soft sponge cake on your foot or drop a heavy large brick on your foot. Which would you choose? Yes, the soft sponge cake of course!
So, why do you choose to listen to the harsh words and phrases swirling around in your mind telling you to drop the brick instead of the gentle, kind words and phrases of the sponge cake?
Your thoughts are like muscles, the ones you concentrate on and pay attention to are the ones that are going to be stronger and louder until you can no longer hear the positive, encouraging and helpful thoughts that are there for your picking. And just like working out your muscles, sometimes it’s great to have a gym instructor or a coach to support you, to cheer you along or to help you see a different way of doing things to get better results. Life coaches are there to support you, to cheer you along and to help you see a different way of thinking to get better results.
Do you resonate with this? Get in touch, have a chat. You have nothing to lose and all your untapped potential to gain.