What is your Inner Voice telling you?
Our inner voice can come from two places; the positive or the negative. It’s the good cop/bad cop, angel/demon, inner judge/inner child scenario. I recently completed a Mindfulness Coaching course to add to my coaching toolkit and to renew my international coaching accreditation. It has been amazing to (yes, tick the boxes), but I also thoroughly enjoyed learning something in greater detail to help my coaching clients and myself in my day to day life.
Our inner dialogue absolutely affects the way we live - it’s that simple yet oh so complex! We can very easily get stuck in our own heads, overthinking, over-analysing, judging – this affects how we perceive things and ultimately how we move forward in life.
Take a deep breath and tune into your thoughts, body sensations and present moment. What shows up for you? Connecting to this deeper awareness can help us start to identify what is driving us.
We need to learn to make a shift. Start to question our inner voice. Is it true or simply a thought? When we come from a place in our brains called the limbic system, we are highly emotive. We can do a reframing exercise to help push us through that nasty inner voice.
Over time and with plenty of practice, I have managed to embed this habit. Life isn’t always easy. Juggling a household with small people, running two businesses and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle can be exhausting in and of itself, then add in a little bit of imposter syndrome for good measure and it can all come crashing down pretty quickly. I work with plenty of corporate executives and business owners that have the same sorts of issues arise – that silly little voice, getting in the way.
Here are my tips to control the inner judge:
1. Focus on taking a deep breath
This relaxes our nervous system and brings us into the present. I recommend a counted breath. Breathe in, hold, breathe out. From a neuroscience perspective we are activating the Pre-frontal Cortex (executive thinking part of our brain) through our breath and counting.
2. Label the emotion you are feeling
This helps dampen down the limbic system (fight, flight, freeze response). You are not the emotion; you are simply feeling this way. Think of a specific descriptive word to explain your feelings.
3. Reframe and put some perspective on it
Shift your thinking, bring in some perspective - take away the drama and focus on the situation a little less emotive. Your brain should now be moving more into the pre-frontal cortex, allowing you to think more clearly.
This is what a transition could sound like:
Inner Judge - “I can’t apply for the job. They will never offer ME something like that. I’m not good enough. Maybe I need to do more study. But that job would be so amazing.”
Breathe in: 1, 2, 3, 4 Hold Breathe out: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Label the feeling: I am feeling doubtful, scared and bored in my job. It makes me feel so depressed.
Reframe: I AM smart, educated, experienced and highly skilled. I learn fast. If I apply, two things can happen – one, I get the job (woo hoo) or two, I don’t, and I get feedback for next time and the management team know that I am ready for the next step in my career.
This little exercise takes some practice to master. It is worth it, there are so many benefits to embed this way of shifting your mindset. It brings you into the present and raises your self-awareness.
I challenge you to take some control back and try it!