So you have a nagging negative voice inside your head telling you how you are not good enough or complaining about this and that and you want to change that?
Truth be told, I have one just like that too.
Sometimes my inner-voice is just angry at something and so I will run through old situations in my head over and over again the way I think the past should have been. Can you relate?
But what is the point in that? What is wrong with this picture?
By going over past situations in my head with the way I think they should have gone I am caught in a loop of “should’ve-could’ve-would’ve” that pretty much gets me nowhere. More importantly, while I am running around in circles inside my head, I am missing out on life as it happens in the moment.
How can I stop the negative voice inside my head?!
There is nothing wrong with that angry voice inside your head. There, I said it! There is nothing wrong with your angry inner-voice at all.
One of the most important things I have learned as a transformational coach and through my studies of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and brain-change therapy is that any behavior, thought, emotion, or belief system serves a benevolent purpose—to protect your identity or sense of self. Unbeknownst to yourself, this is just how much you love yourself. That you would defy the rules of our collective reality for your own version of reality is proof of it.
Sometimes, however, said behaviors, thoughts, emotions, or belief systems become outdated as we move through life and mature. Think of it as trying to run the latest iOS or android operating system on a 20-year-old flip phone—not happening, right?
So what happens when you are using outdated hardware (the flip phone) but want to update your software (iOS or android OS)? In other words, how do you deal with the negative voice inside your head and exchange it for a happy voice?
1. Say hello.
Yes, it is as simple as saying hello. The first step is to recognize that this voice is not “negative” but rather serving a benevolent purpose. I believe that when you ignore, suppress or resist anything in your life and psyche it may become resentful of you. When that happens, this voice will only continue to nag you until you give it its due attention. Remember, the voice is trying to protect you!! How would you feel if you were trying to protect someone and you were ignored?
2. Ask yourself: how is this particular voice or situation trying to serve a greater good?
I know this can be a tough question to answer, but it is one of the most important steps in the process of changing that negative voice. Otherwise, the voice might just feel misunderstood and will therefore continue nagging you. The point here is to acknowledge its purpose without judgement. Remember, it is trying to protect you (although I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, I cannot stress this enough)!
3. Let go.
Once you acknowledge the voice, it may just go away on its own after having realized its purpose has been served. In my experience I have found that when I run through old situations inside my head over and over again, it is my psyche’s attempt at helping me assimilate any emotions I may have initially ignored. Once I have acknowledged the purpose of the voice in my head, the emotion itself lifts and the thoughts go away on their own.
If the voice does not go away right away, you can always have a conversation with it. It is as simple as pulling out a notebook and engaging in automatic and un-interrupted writing over the next 10 minutes. Do not censor or judge anything you write, simply write away anything that comes to mind and you will be surprised as to what you may find.
Stopping the negative voices in your head is actually one of the outcomes of a Parts Integration NLP pattern which I will be covering in my next post. Just like anything in life and personal development, it requires that you think outside your box. NLP requires that you recognize that you are having thoughts that you wish to change, and not let your thoughts run the show inside your head.
Tweet this now: I have thoughts but I am not my thoughts.
What about you? How is the voice inside your head serving you?
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