Make friends with the negative voice inside your head in 3 easy steps

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Sometimes, however, said behaviors, thoughts, emotions, or belief systems become outdated as we move through life and mature.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So what happens when you are using outdated hardware (the flip phone) but want to update your software (iOS or android OS)?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?

Did you find what you read useful?  Maybe you know someone who may need some help changing their thinking patterns… If so, please subscribe to my newsletter below and share this article—help me spread my message so that together we can reach our fullest potential, one person at a time.

16 Comments

  1. Great tips on facing negative thoughts. Sometimes mine will actually halt me so I can’t move forward. I will put this into practice the next time I have a negative thought messing with me.

    • Yes!! Krystal, thanks for stopping by. My negative thoughts had been getting the best of me too… Until I realized they really are just protecting me. Once I realized that I was able to step back and focus on why I had negative thoughts, they went away. Best wishes!!

  2. i am a cognitive-behavioral counselor/coach. i’ve read a lot about negative thoughts, i’ve talked a lot about negative thoughts, i’ve even battled my fair share of negative thoughts. but i’ve never heard anyone suggest simply saying hello! what a refreshing twist – i can’t wait to share that with my clients. i agree that our negative voices are there to inform us. we need to acknowledge them and listen closely.

    • April!! Thank you for your comment 🙂
      I had this realization one day when doing automatic writing… And it turns out this “negative” side of me was mad at me for ignoring it… It was such an uplifting moment to acknowledge my full self

  3. I LOVE your approach to this Victoria! I so wholeheartedly agree your system. And #2 can definitely be difficult for some but it DOES work! I try to approach it like a work out. It’s really no different than building a muscle, you just have to keep at it. 🙂 Thanks for explaining this in such a easy to understand way!

    • Hey Susan!! Hope you’re doing well! I agree about the difficulty of it but I also agree that it is just like building a muscle. You just have to step outside of your comfort zone and keep at it. Thanks for your comment <3

  4. I love to do some active imagination/dialog with different parts of myself – the critic is an interesting one to chat with I find. The critic thinks it is always serving, but can sometimes get out of proportion. Great post! thanks

  5. So often we try to push those thoughts aside, or fight them, and I was taught years ago that “What we resist persists”. We may not be able to make friends with our inner critic, but at least acknowledging it gives us freedom to release the grip it has on our thoughts. 🙂

  6. I’d never thought of that voice as one of protection. **light bulb** All great points. I love the step of letting go.

  7. I use exercise (yoga in particular) to get out of my head and into the moment. And once you’re in the moment, it becomes easy to let go.

  8. How great to find someone who speaks my language. I too have done lots of work around not following the voices in my head but rather following the voice of my heart. I agree that we have to acknowledge that part of us that is trying to protect us. Sometimes I try humoring that part, as well. I have noticed that it is very good at the “todo’s” so i put it to work. I tell it to go make is list and follow through with the shopping, and cleaning and all the things it truly is good at—surviving, and to leave the important decisions about life and love and following my heart up to my heart’s voice, which belongs to the real, authentic me. Glad to have found you Victoria. keep up the great work.

    • Thank you for commenting Gail! I must agree with you. Lately I’ve been getting a lot of signs that the next step in my spiritual evolution is to thank my ego-voice for all of its hard work and follow more my heart’s voice.

      • I read your post in BlogHer about being in the present moment and it resonated with me totally. That is why I went to your blog and signed up. You really are a wonderful writer, and the topics that yo write about are topic that are near to my heart as well. I am a writer, too, my writing focusing on self-love, intuition and parenting and ow those topics are all related, which for me is the really juicy part. I look forward to seeing your next posts. Take care.

        • Hello again Gail. Thank you so much for your comments!! I am honored that you would think I am a good writer.. my hope is that you enjoy yourself when you read the words that flow through me. I stopped by your blog and really liked what you have there.. I was especially moved by your piece on adoption as I used to work in the foster care system and a child being adopted was always a very moving experience.

          • Hi Victoria, That piece was a long time in coming. As I said it took me about 10 years to write. You may have noticed on my home page that I have a book coming out called Finding Zoe. It is a memoir that I co-wrote with a deaf woman named Brandi Rarus, and it is her story of finding self-acceptance and also of finding her daughter who she adopted who is also deaf. The one led to the other. If you worked the foster care system you would really appreciate the story. Brandi and her husband Tim’s home was the 5th home that Zoe was in in the first 8 months of her life. She was in foster care twice and one of the miracles of the story revolves around the foster mother. it truly is the most amazing story of adoption you will ever read, and it is set in the backdrop of growing up deaf in America in the 1970’s and 80s. Anyway, just thought I’d mention it given your background. Ok. Now I’m going to peruse your site and see if you have written anything new. Take good care for now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

CommentLuv badge

© 2017 Hello Epic Life!

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑