Noticing the negative self-talk in your head is a critical first step to greater happiness. What you believe is the material out of which you create your life. If you don’t address the constant stream of negativity, it will continue to spill out. This seepage hurts all those you love, including you. It’s not about getting rid of the inner critic or even ignoring it. Recognition is the key. Most of us have a handful of messages that replay over and over. Once you begin to notice, the next step is to investigate the message, and expose it for the lie that it is. The internal barrage decreases naturally as your observation increases.
My mission is to help women create a positive foundation which fosters resilience and self-compassion. I do this through boundary work, becoming aware of the inner critic, communication practices, and internal dialog. In the post that began this series, 6 Ways You’re Missing Your Life, I suggested that to change your life, you must first do one thing. This series has been an exploration of that one thing, which is presence. Each post presented an area of our lives where we tend to drop the ball.
- Big change, Big Fear – Life teaches us through adversity. Our resistance makes it harder.
- Your Body & Success – Bringing awareness to the body can reveal answers to questions we didn’t think to ask.
- Worry Doesn’t Occur in the Present – Worry is an elusive focus. It seems as if we are solving a problem when in truth we’re avoiding taking action.
- To Stop the Bleeding Let Go of the Past – Every time we replay, relive, rethink some difficulty from the past, we basically reinforce our belief in it. As a result, we miss the opportunity to create a beautiful replacement.
- Can You Feel Me Now? – When we reduce the bandwidth of our emotions we cut ourselves off from the positive along with the negative.
The inner critic develops out of a defense mechanism – a means of protection. By pointing out the negative, you survive. Think cavemen. “If you’re too slow to act, you will be devoured by a predator.” The same sentiment today might become, “You’re so lazy!” I’m not saying it’s rational, but there is a relationship. Finding the messages that run continuously, often subconsciously, can change the negative patterns in your life.
When you engage the inner critic by digging deeper into the message, you find out how to diffuse it. For example, “I’m such a failure” may be a sincere belief of inadequacy. Or, it could be a way of protecting you from stepping outside your comfort zone. Observation shifts the negative orientation to a positive one that fosters motivation. Even self-discipline becomes easier. You will begin to notice a friendlier voice inside, one that is helpful and more focused on your success.
Ready to jumpstart your personal fan-club? Become observant. Start noticing the constant narrative in your head. Use the tips from this post and begin a more self-compassionate dialog.
If you enjoyed this 6-part series, take my assessment at www.TruePotentialQuiz.com. You’ll receive the opportunity for a free 30-minute strategy session with me.