You know what I mean, right? Those little voices in your head telling you that you can't. Or that you shouldn't. That you're not clever enough. Not charming enough. Not skinny enough. Asking what people will think if you do. Or, my particular favourite, "WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!!!"
Frustrating though it can be, the purpose of all of this self-assault is a, frankly inconvenient, attempt at protecting us. It comes from hundreds of thousands of years evolution, which resulted a negative bias in our sub-conscious minds, to help us stay alive when life was a damn site more dangerous than it is now. As a result, we're all naturally disposed to seeing the downside. Add to that, the years of conditioning provided by well meaning family, teachers, friends and so on, who are also naturally disposed to the same negativity and suddenly you might begin to understand why we get trapped in a cycle of self-lack.
Leading mind power guru, John Kehoe, refers to the mind as "the great trickster". And what a liberating way to think of it. He asks us to remember how many times our minds have convinced us that something was going to happen, only to have it not happen at all. Have you had such an experience? Focussed on something endlessly, obsessing over how we'll handle it when it does, perhaps even preparing what you'll say and even imagining someone else's side of a conversation so that you might have an appropriate comeback. Bloody frustrating when the other person doesn't follow your script though...
The fact is, your sub-concious will attempt to make you believe things, regardless of how likely, or how feasible they are. And, if we're honest, whether it's feasible or not, your mind doesn't have the ability to foretell the future, so it really just doesn't know. There are a couple of ways to combat this.
The first is to counter every negative thought with a positive opposite. Your mind tells you it's impossible, you consciously tell yourself that it's not just possible, it's a dead cert. Your mind tells you you're useless, you counter with I'm priceless. Your mind tells you you're not clever enough, you tell yourself that you're super intelligent. I know it sounds a bit daft, but the fact is your negative self-talk is just as insubstantial as anything you tell yourself so, if you're currently choosing to believe something you don't know to be true anyway, then...
A second option is to exaggerate it; agree with the suggestion. Taking the last example, let's suggest your mind tells you your not clever enough to go for a promotion. You could try agreeing that you're not clever enough. In fact, you might decide that you're so unintelligent that your boss will think you're crazy to even think about it, that he'll probably sack you for being so stupid to go and enquire about it, that you'll wind up jobless and on the streets because you can't pay your bills. At what point does that whole scenario just become a bit silly? Pretty quickly, "the great prankster" is going to pull you up for over-exaggerating and you will find it far easier to let go of the negativity, as you realise that your mind really is just grasping at straws, in a foolhardy attempt to keep you from harm. My advice? Thank it for its concern, and tell it to take a break. Don't succumb, and show it you've got things covered... :)
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Jo :) x