• Sonja Nannan

Shut up!! 4 steps to deal with the negative voices in your head.

Ok. So we all have them. They are asleep when we follow our daily routine, when we do things that are familiar and safe for us. They don't bother us then... I'm talking about the negative voices in our heads, the inner judge, or super-ego as Freud called it. Sometimes we don't even know they are there, because we are not confronted by them.

As soon as we do something outside our comfort zone, though, like giving a speech, singing a song in front of our friends, wearing a daring outfit, speaking up in a meeting etc. - they all come rushing in:

"You shouldn't say that! This is super embarrassing! They didn't even ask you."

"You look like clown! What were you thinking putting this on this morning!?"

"They will laugh in your face. Who do you think you are? Claiming all their attention! They will think you are super vain and conceited!"

Sounds harsh when you put their words to paper, right? But doesn't this sound all too familiar? These voices that tell us to stop, to shut up, to play it safe, to stay silent.

Wouldn't it be great if those voices cheered us on and gave us extra courage to be more daring and to feel good about ourselves??

Well, in their defense, they ARE trying to help us. Although they are called negative voices - because they are quite pessimistic, let's be honest - they are also trying to keep us safe. They are protecting us from making getting hurt, based on what they know.

We probably had some bad experiences with people hurting our feelings, so they try to help us avoid a repetition of this experience at all cost.

BUT they are also holding us back. They are keeping us INSIDE our comfort zone. They have developed a belief that has become unconscious and that keeps us from stepping away from what we know.

The problem is, that it is OUTSIDE our comfort zone where the growing begins. If you want to become a more confident speaker, singer, human being - you will be stepping outside your comfort zone and you will encounter negative voices. It's a fact.

So instead of staying in our comfort zone and avoiding the negative voices. Let's do some work, shall we?

In order to prepare yourself for amazing personal growth and fun experiences, let me give you 3 steps you can deal with these negative voices now:

Step one: Write them down. Get a beautiful notebook, and get started.

Start with a visualization first. Imagine you are in front of an audience and want to speak or sing, what voices come up? What are they telling you? Go all out.Write down EVERYTHING they tell you.

Example: "You are fat. You shouldn't be enjoying yourself. It is embarrassing that you are stepping in front of an audience like this."

Step two: Analyze and find the unconscious belief. Who is speaking, when you hear your negative voices? Is it a teacher? a parent? a coworker? a boss? Does it take you to a specific memory? Close your eyes and put yourself again in that situation. Really feel what that feels like. How old are you in this memory? Where are you? Who is with you?

Example: I am 12 years old and in gym class enjoying myself and playing volleyball. My teacher comes up to me and tells me: "If you would move more you wouldn't be so fat." -> unconscious belief: When I am feeling good about myself, somebody will come up and tell me "I'm fat".

Step 3: Put it in the context of today. Ask yourself: Is it likely that this will happen to me again today? Will it have the same effect on me? How would I feel if this happened to me today as a grown-up?

In my example: The chance that somebody might say to my face "You're fat" is quite slim. Yes, some people might say that behind my back or think it, but honestly as a grown up woman, I know that this kind of judgment says more about the person judging than it says about me me necessarily.

Step 4: Say THANK YOU and use a new belief. Be grateful for your inner voices, trying to protect you. Say "thank you, but I got it now. I am a grown-up. I will handle someone calling me fat. It is not worth staying small, just because someone once called me names. This is their problem not mine. But thank you for looking out for me and taking such good care of me."

Your new belief: When I am feeling good about myself, I am inspiring others to feel good about themselves as well.

I wish you a lot of success with conquering the negative voices. They can be tough to handle, but they are leading us towards growth - when we dare to challenge them.

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