Everyone has an ongoing inner monologue. Your internal monologue is the most private of conversations in which your inner voice whispers, and sometimes even yells, at you. Your inner voice can be your biggest cheerleader or the guiding force of your guy instincts. Unfortunately, your inner voice can also be your most powerful enemy.
Have to ever heard that little nagging in the back of your mind? “I can’t do that. I’m not smart enough. I don’t have the talent. I won’t succeed. Everyone is better than I am and my dreams are stupid.” Those mean, belittling thoughts are your negative inner voice rearing its ugly head.
The power of your inner voice
Your inner dialogue has power over your emotions and your actions. When your inner voice is constantly beating yourself up, its natural to feel bad about yourself, the people you care about and life in general. It can also prevent you from taking action and hold you back. It’s nearly impossible to work toward your goals when your inner voice is screaming that you can’t do it. When self talk contains guilt or regrets over past mistakes you can become trapped in a cycle, repeating the same mistakes over and over again. A negative inner voice can send you on an emotional rollercoaster, but you can hit the breaks.
Acknowledging your negative inner voice
When your inner voice starts whispering negativity, you probably want to shove it in a closet, lock the door and stack piles of things on front of it. But, that will just make it yell louder. Your inner voice will demand to be heard. You can not silence your internal monologue, but you can control what it says.
Identifying the source of negativity
The first step in controlling your inner voice is to separate it from your true self. Get rid of the “I” statements and replace them with “you” statements. When you hear, “I can’t do that,” switch it to “You can’t do that.” When you force your inner voice to speak in second-person you give it less authority and make it easier to identify the source of the negativity.
Consider where your negative self talk originates. Are you obsessing over previous mistakes? If your inner voice stems from regret, force it to stay in the moment and focus on what is happening now. Acknowledge the mistake, forgive yourself and move forward with fresh perspective and new tactics.
Does your inner voice sound like someone else? Sometimes self talk doesn’t actually start in your own mind. Instead, your inner voice may pick up the phrases, taunts, or feelings from someone else. If your inner voice is saying, “You can’t be loved,” is it because an ex made you feel unloved? If your self talk is telling you aren’t smart, successful or talented enough, it might sound like things your mother, father or a teacher have said. If you recognize someone else’s voice inside your head, tell them to get out and start to build compassion for yourself.
Take action and change the script
When you acknowledge your inner voice and find its origin, you can take control of the script. Combat every negative though with a positive truth. When regrets pop up, remind yourself of a success. When you hear, “You can’t” tell yourself, “I can.” When anxiety and negativity start to swirl, slow down, breath deeply and focus on positivity. It takes self-discipline and constant effort to overcome self-limiting thoughts. But, once you master putting a positive spin on your inner voice, you will see that positivity spill over into your life and your relationships.
Adding other voices
Once of the best way to take power away from a negative inner voice is to add other, positive, voices to the mix. Talk to a trusted friend or family member that loves you. The people that care about you see the best version of you and can help shine that truth back to you. When you are surrounded by light and positive energy, your inner voice will pick up on it.
A physic advisor is another valuable voice to add to the mix. They can help you identify the source of your negative self talk and bring your inner truth to the surface.