Why the Voice in Your Head Will Sabotage or Save You
It’s your choice, only you can decide!
Photo by Ryan Snaadt on Unsplash
“Every choice starts with a decision. Every decision starts with a thought. Every thought starts with a pre-conceived idea. It is up to you to decide what you do with each but always remember, the choice you make will result in the consequence you face.”
The power of self-communication
You know what it’s like! You're faced with a new project or challenge. The voice in your head starts its usual conversation, nit-picking and second-guessing, running you around and around in self-doubting circles.
Of all the communication we have, that we have with ourselves is the most vital, valuable and powerful. It’s also the most challenging!
Our self–communication impacts continually in every area of our lives! What, how, even if, we attempt anything, depends on it. It controls the successes we have, or the failures we endure.
We are forced to listen to it, we can’t ignore it, and we can’t trust it!
“The inner speech, your self-talk and thoughts, will cause you to be rich or poor, loved or unloved, happy or unhappy, attractive or unattractive, powerful or weak.”
So, what do we do with it?
Well, we simply need to learn how to control it, to make it work with us, not against us.
OK, I hear you. Easier said than done right?
Maybe so, but one thing’s for certain unless we control it, that voice in your head will most probably be working against you, most of the time!
Of course, we have a positive voice in our head some of the time. However, there is more probability our voice gives us negative input rather than positive, particularly if we make no effort to control it, or don’t have the knowledge or power to do so.
Here’s the difficulty in controlling it. We actually don’t realise it’s negative and working against us!
Let’s think of our brains as computers. Computers operate within the restrictions of programming, so we can accept that our computer will operate in accordance with our programming, in other words, the information placed there throughout our lives.
But there’s a major challenge! You see, we are not always in control of the information that forms the program, especially that which makes up our foundational, core skills.
Here’s the thing. The first seven years of life are our fundamental programming years, the period in which we build our store of core or fundamental knowledge, a major influence on our beliefs, thoughts and actions throughout our lives.
As Aristotle said, “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.”
During these seven years, our brain is working in frequencies specifically attuned to gathering and accepting information, purposely absorbing as much information as possible. During this stage, the brain has no capacity for choice or logic, it’s passively accepting information. There is no filter or subjectivity to complicate the process.
What children see and hear, children will do and say. In other words, they are learning experientially!
As Amanda Gachot puts it: “you may want to imagine your little children walking around in a permanent state of hypnosis, being programmed by the environment, open to suggestion, in a super learning state.”
How do we use the information?
So, we have all this unfiltered information in our program, how do we use and manage it?
Throughout the seven years, building the core skills, they are stored in our program, to be used instinctively, automatically, without great concentration. Think of it. We don’t need to think hard about putting one foot in front of the other, we walk unconsciously.
So, we enter the rest of our lives with a great store cupboard of core skills. We access when we need them, without taking up a great deal of conscious thought.
This ‘compartmentalising’ of information is vital to brain efficiency. If we needed to consciously think about every action needed, simply to walk, for example, there would be little space for other actions.
Just imagine the thought capacity we would need to carry out all the simultaneous core actions we engage in, every minute of every day, if each one needed conscious thought and reaction?
Our brains therefore, are configured to manage all this activity, according to conscious and unconscious needs, the unconscious containing our store cupboard of core programming, which is accessed ‘automatically’, without conscious thought.
Developmental biologist, Bruce Lipton PHD, describes the subconscious mind like this,
“an astonishingly powerful information processor that can record perceptual experiences (programs) and forever play them back at the push of a button. Interestingly, many people only become aware of their subconscious mind’s push-button programs when their own “buttons are pushed” by the actions of others.”
“Actually, the entire image of pushing buttons is far too slow and linear to describe the awesome data processing capacity of the subconscious mind. It has been estimated that the disproportionately larger brain mass providing the subconscious mind’s function has the ability to interpret and respond to over 40 million nerve impulses per second. (NØrretranders, 1998) In contrast, the diminutive self-conscious mind’s prefrontal cortex only processes about 40 nerve impulses per second. As an information processor, the subconscious mind is one million times more powerful than the self-conscious mind.”
So, here’s the point!
Which brings me to the main point of this article.
The subconscious, by virtue of its processing power is in control of our brain activity, and through this, our thoughts and our actions, and this is a problem!
It’s a problem because the core, influential programs in the subconscious come from those first 7 years of life, the period remember, when absorb all programming without filter, or challenge to their authenticity or value!
Yes, we get extraordinarily valuable skills, but mixed with them are dangerous, unhelpful and even destructive, experiential observations.
Think about it. A three-year-old child, constantly hearing and seeing parents arguing and shouting is programmed to act the same.
Why do many of us feel we have to finish a plate of food, however full we feel? Could it be that we grew up hearing, ‘I like a man that clears his plate’ or ‘I’ve worked hard to make you food, so don’t let me down by not eating it’ or even ‘good children eat all their food’?
Why do some have an inferiority complex? Is it perhaps that their mothers and fathers failed to give encouragement, or even worse told them over and over, by words or deeds or indication, they were not good enough?
Every decision starts with a belief. That is, we base our decisions on what we know to be true — what we believe. However, sometimes we believe something that isn’t true.
We want to do our best, but we worry that we will fail! Our voice says, ‘be careful. We have challenges or problems, our voice says ‘‘why me?’’, “I always get it wrong”. We lose something or somebody, our voice says, “I am very unlucky’’ or ‘‘I should have been more careful’’, even, ‘‘it’s all my fault’’.
Often the subconscious is like a minefield of limiting beliefs and old outdated programs that are no longer worthy of who you are, or who you are becoming. These limiting subconscious beliefs affect all aspects of your life including your relationships, self-esteem, financial prosperity, career choices, even your health and fitness.
The default voice is sabotage!
Left to its own devices, the voice in our head will automatically speak to us according to our subconscious programming and the thoughts it produces.
If we want to get in control of our controlling voice, we have to become aware of these subconscious programs and the limiting, sabotaging and self-destructive beliefs they produce.
Here is the good news! Just becoming aware that these programs exist is the most important first step to taking control.
If our mind has been programmed before, it can be programmed again.
But this time, we can choose our own programs.
Programs we filter, evaluate and validate. Programs to support us with positive thoughts and empowering beliefs.
“Did you know you can predict the future? It starts with the thoughts you believe, the words you speak, and the actions you take.”
Charles F Glassman
So, why not make a start today?
Start with giving yourself a new mantra, set new guidelines for your inner voice, and reprogram some of those negative, limiting operating defaults.
The Optimist’s Creed
- To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
- To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
- To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
- To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
- To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
- To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
- To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
- To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
- To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticise others.
- To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
Christian D. Larson
“All too often we’re filled with negative and limiting beliefs. We’re filled with doubt. We’re filled with guilt or with a sense of unworthiness. We have a lot of assumptions about the way the world is that are actually wrong.”
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
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