The Inner Voiceby: Gerald Lee Jordan
date: 12 November 2020 (NZT)
edit: 12 November 2020 (NZT)
Talking to Ourselves
We talk to ourselves so much that we sometimes forget it even happens. This "voice" - sometimes referred to as our "inner monologue" - has a powerful effect upon us that we rarely consider.
Imagine someone whispering kind, comforting and supportive things in your ear all day. Would this help you make it through the day, especially a difficult day? Would you feel strengthened by these words, feeling that you could take on new challenges or perhaps look at old problems in new ways?
Now imagine someone insulting you, downplaying the significance of what you are doing. This voice knows exactly what you don't want to hear - exactly what will hurt you the most. What would your day be like in this second scenario? Arguably, your day would not go well and you would carry the emotions to bed and into the next day.
Being Kind to Yourself
Kindness is not just directed to others. We can and should direct it to ourselves. Perhaps your parents said insulting things to you when you were young and you are carrying these voices through your life. Perhaps you are afraid to fail, so you use these voices to prod yourself on to accomplish things. Regardless of what started these voices, their negative effects on your life far outweigh any increases in productivity or diligence you imagine they might bring.
These voices are bullies, hired by you, trusted by you and used by you to terrorise yourself. Learn to see these voices for what they are. Learn to be kind and supportive with yourself. Meditation can help you recognise the voices and can help you begin to be kind to yourself. Cognitive Therapy can help you challenge what the voices say. The first step is to notice the voices and to want them to change. When you notice these voices and want help, contact us. We are available in Wellington and online to help.
Gerald Lee Jordan, MBA, MEd, MCouns ❤️