How To Shut Down That Mean Voice In Your Head (because it's dictating your life)
I’m obsessed with language and communication and how it dictates every area of our lives. Not only am I that annoying friend who corrects ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ in personal whatsapps, I’m also seriously connected to the language you use to communicate with yourself.
‘I’m such a piece of shit!’ is what I heard one of my friends whisper to herself recently. Had she killed someone? Nope. Had she run off with her friends’ boyfriend? Nope. She’d just taken a photo that was a little out of focus.
Here’s why that’s not OK for me:
You’d never speak to your best friend like that, so why would you say it to yourself?
The communication we have with ourselves dictates everything.
The words we speak are a reflection of the thoughts we think. The thoughts we think dictate our behaviours and actions. And our behaviours and actions dictate the results and experience we get.
So whatever we want to create, do, achieve, experience in our lives, that all starts in one very simple place: what’s going on in our heads.
Think about the way you turn up to a party for example. If you walk into the room and the thoughts going on in your head are something along the lines of: ‘no-one will talk to me, I don’t want to be here, this is awkward, I’m shy and I hate social situations, I look like crap.’ How do you think you’re going to act and behave? What’s your body language going to look like?
It’s likely you’re going to be a little hunched over, trying to shrink yourself as small as possible. You might have your eyes down at the floor or looking at your phone.
So what results might you get? You’ll be looking as though you really don’t want to talk to people, and as a result, people probably won’t talk to you…and so you reinforce that belief that ‘no-one will talk to me!’
Let’s think about an alternative to this. You walk into the room at the party and your thoughts are instead: ‘I’m really looking forward to meeting new people. I’m open to seeing what happens. I’m curious and excited about what might unfold. I feel good.’ Then you’re going to act and behave in a very different way.
Your body language may be a bit more open, your head might be lifter higher, you might even have a smile on your face. And then guess what? You might get someone come over and chat to you, and then someone else, or you might even feel ready to strike up conversation with someone yourself.
Two very different results and experiences, simply based on different sets of ‘thoughts’.
That’s where absolutely EVERYTHING stems from.
That’s why it’s really important to notice what you’re thinking about, become aware of it and readjust it if you need to.
So how do you do that?
There are three simple ways to can start doing this:
1. Ask yourself: what could I think instead?
Like, seriously. It might sound easier said than done, but it really is that simple sometimes. If you’re beating yourself up or being a total mean girl to yourself, catch yourself and ask: what could I think instead? Because you actually get to decide. You have the power over your thoughts, not the other way round.
2. Change your physiology
While our thoughts dictate our behaviour, it’s all connected, so our physical behaviour (physiology) can affect our thoughts too. When we put our hands in the air for example, it sends a message to our brains. that we’re excited / confident. Same way as if we stand up straight and hold our head high, or physically force a smile or laugh. You have the power to change your mood in an instant, by shifting your body.
3. Ask yourself: if my best friend was in this situation, what would I say to her?
This is always a great one as it helps us to take a different perspective. We’re all guilty of being able to provide our friends with the very best advice but not always following it for ourselves, right? So this is the perfect practice to start being kinder to yourself, until eventually it becomes a habit you don’t have to consciously think about. Treat yourself like your best friend, and that you will become.
The real key first step to change is awareness. So starting to notice the things you’re thinking about is absolutely essential to being able to change them.
Start checking in with your thoughts in certain situations, and try the steps above to begin thinking of yourself in a kinder, more respectful and positive way.
Want to dive deeper into what thoughts might be holding you back from achieving your dreams, and how you can start actively changing them with immediate effect? Come along to my confidence workshop ‘How To Crush The Can’t In Your Head’ - a workshop for women who are done with holding themselves back and want a mega-blast of confidence to believe in themselves and go for their desires. Get all the details and your ticket HERE.