I (still) have a very active and chatty live voice who lives inside my head. To be fair, he (as I’ve given him a gender) is quieter now than ever before. But only because I’ve learnt when I will listen to him, learnt when to pay him attention. More importantly, I have learnt when to tell him to shut up.

Several years ago, I started a new job. My desk was positioned about 8 feet diagonally from my boss. When she spoke in a normal voice, I could hear everything she said. When she spoke quietly, I could only pick up the occasional word.

The little voice who lives inside my head told me whenever she was talking quietly, it was because she was talking about me. Because she didn’t want me to hear. And that got me worried, anxious. Was I doing something wrong? So I started seeking her constant approval in everything I did.

I asked her dozens of questions, I sought her guidance and approval. I sought her praise. All to reassure me and the little voice who lives inside my head that I was good enough and deserving of the job she had given me. Two months later, there was an organisational announcement. She was being promoted and was taking on another team. She apologised to us all for the ‘secret meetings’ and ‘quiet side of desk conversations’.

And then it clicked. It had nothing to do with me. The little voice who lives inside my head, had convinced me that the secret meetings and quiet side of desk conversations were all about me and my inabilities. I was so caught up in that belief I didn’t pay attention to the facts, the truth. I had been given that job because of my skills and experience, she had never shown any doubt in my ability, I had been making steady progress. There was no factual evidence to assume there was anything wrong.

He’d got me again – good and proper.

Today, I am more experienced in handling him. He still rears his head now and again, but when he does I have a tried and tested way to deal with it. And I want to share those steps with you,,, use it to judge whether your negative little voice is worth listening to or whether he or she needs to be told to ‘SHUT UP’.

1. Listen
What are you feeling, what do you hear? What is the voice telling you?

2. Question
Is there factual evidence to prove these feelings and is what your mind is telling you right. Is it accurate?

3. Act
If there is evidence, act accordingly.

4. Challenge and ‘Shut up’
If there is no evidence to substantiate these feelings, challenge. What would happen if you did it anyway? What would life be like if you didn’t listen? Then tell your mind to shut up… saying it out loud can make a big difference!

5. Grab a dose of positivity or happiness
Right there and then find something happy or positive to think about. If you’re struggling like I was at work, find something that you’d done well and recall that feeling. Go and grab a tea or coffee with a friend or colleague. Looking at cute and fluffy baby animals or reading / watching something that will make you smile or laugh is great.

6. Distract
Move onto something else quickly and pay the little voice no more attention.

It takes a bit of time and practice to master this, as our minds have become quite strong in self doubt and negativity. But persevere and if you ever have any questions, drop me an email, I am on hand to help.

Be happy,

Becky signature

 

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