“The Voice Inside My Head is an Asshole.” -Dan Harris, 10% Happier
Truer works were never spoken! So nice to know other people have such jerks inside their heads too!
And no matter how many times I tell myself how crazy it is, it is always the negative stuff I believe more that the positive. So why is that? WHO knows!? What’s most important is how to fight it when it happens. And even though we all have issues with this at times, sometimes it can be paralyzing and turn into self-sabotage. Before I let it get that far, here are 3 things I do to get myself back on track.
STEP 1: WRITE. My therapist often calls me on my irrational fears and points out that they are simply emotions. When I am called upon to look at the facts instead, the situation looks very different. So often I write to clarify things before I spiral into some serious negativity. I write down the fear/self-sabotaging thought, and then I write what the facts are. Example:
- Negative Thought: I am not talented enough to do this show/role.
- Facts: The director cast ME, no one else. I have had 20+ years of training. I am a disciplined performer and prepare for each job as much as I can. I have won awards for my performances.
- Negative Thought: I will never be able to afford BLANK.
- Facts: Never is a LONG time. I have the power to make more money-I can ask for more hours, take a side gig, get more training, marry a rich guy(haha), etc. I can ask for a raise. Although it may not happen tomorrow, I am on the path to furthering my career.
And keep those notes, they come in handy when a weak moment strikes you!
STEP 2: TALK TO YOURSELF AS IF YOU WERE YOUR OWN CHILD. So if your daughter or son came to you and said “mom, I am worthless, I won’t ever be able to learn to BLANK”, what would you say????? I guarantee you wouldn’t say “You’re rightm you suck, you should QUIT!” But that’s how we treat ourselves. SO STOP IT! You deserve to give yourself as much love and understanding as you give your child. I think I need to repeat that one: You deserve to give yourself as much love and understanding as you give your child.
STEP 3: DO SOMETHING THAT SCARES YOU. This one is perhaps the most important key to self-growth and living your best life. The older I get, the more I realize that living in my comfort zone is just not living at all. It’s merely existing. And I have found a correlation between my level of fear and the proximity to my dreams. Meaning the closer I get to my dreams, the more scared I feel. But the more I practice this, the stronger I get. The stronger I get, the quieter that negative voice gets.
**I’m in no way telling you to go jump out of an airplane or drive too fast. I don’t mean fear as in you are afraid for your safety. Please, take care of yourself, that’s what this is about!
Doing something that scares you could be as simple as asking your boss if you could jspeak at your next seminar, talking to that cute guy you see at Starbucks every morning, or taking a voice lesson. It could be sending your book manuscript to a publisher(or ten), signing up for a triathlon, booking that solo overseas trip, or telling that person I LOVE YOU.
Just keep going.
You got this.