Each one of us is made up of many parts. We have the critical part, the anxious part, the guilt-ridden part, and hopefully, the positive and encouraging part. Clients often ask me how to get rid of that negative voice in their heads. This is the voice that tells you that you can’t do something, you sound stupid, you will never get that promotion, so why ask… Many of us are so used to listening to the critical part of ourselves that the positive part has been almost completely drowned out.
The bad news is that you will probably never get rid of the critical part of yourself. These are your thoughts, and they make you who you are. But you can learn to become aware of the negative, and through awareness, you can gain control.
Picture yourself driving a car. You can turn left or right, and make this life choice or that life choice. There are two people in the back seat. One of them is the true you, the positive, encouraging voice, who is caring toward the self. The other person is the critical part of yourself, who is shouting out negative comments, fighting to be louder than the positive part. As the driver in the car (and the person in charge of your own life), it is up to you to learn which part of yourself to listen to. If you pay attention to the critical part of yourself, you will always hear negative chatter that tells you that you aren’t good enough, or that you can’t accomplish your goals. If you were really in a car with this type of negative and hurtful person, you would turn around and tell them to shut up! That’s the exact type of courage you need to quiet that negative voice in your head.
It’s about learning to disregard the critical voice, and start paying attention to that other one, the encouraging one. This takes practice. It’s like working a muscle: the more you exercise it, the easier it becomes. The more you tell that negative voice that it’s wrong, the easier it will become to listen to the positive. You will begin to feel those positive thoughts as true, and you will no longer be distracted by discouraging thoughts and fears.