Welcome to Format Free Fridays at AskDrDarcy.com, the one day a week when I break the format of answering your questions and I dispense that which we rarely welcome in life: Unsolicited Advice.
We all hear voices, and although the voices we hear don’t necessarily mean we’re delusional, they create our reality. You know the voices that I’m referencing. For most of us, the voices aren’t very supportive. They are, sadly, filled with self-doubt, criticisms, judgments and negativity.
When we were children, our parents, whom we trusted, gave us feedback about how we were doing in the world. They identified things that we should do differently, ways to improve our behaviors, and they pointed out patterns in our character so that we’d know how to navigate through life easier.
For all their good intentions, these voices that I’m referencing come from such interactions. Unfortunately, those voices tend to sound like this: Stop interrupting when people speak to you. You’re so impulsive and it drives people away. Or: Of course I can’t find my keys ~ I’m always losing something. I just can’t get it together. Or: Of course my boss didn’t like my presentation. Authority figures never liked me. You get the idea.
It’s like a soundtrack of pessimism playing on loop. What do you think that soundtrack does to you?
Let me tell you: It brainwashes you. It fills you with insecurity, it causes you to second-guess yourself and it essentially sabotages you from living a fulfilling, happy life.
Most people aren’t aware of their negative voices because the entire process is happening subconsciously. They believe that their feelings either just happen to them or that they are provoked by outside events/people. They believe that life goes like this: External event = Experience. However, if you begin to pay attention to what you’re thinking when you’re feeling badly, you’ll start noticing these voices, and you’ll realize that life really goes like this:
External event + internal voices = Experience.
If you can just become more aware of these voices, you will build the foundation you need to take it to the next level and replace the negative voice with a supportive, positive voice. But you can’t do that until you can consciously hear the negative voices, and that takes months of tuning inward and building the awareness that I’m referencing. Right now, this process is likely happening outside of your awareness, and when we are unaware of something, we have no ability to change it.
So here’s your homework: Pay attention, particularly to the moments when you’re feeling the worst. My bet is that regardless of what is actually causing you to feel badly, the negative dialogue that you’re having in your head is taking your experience to a whole different level of misery, and that, my friends, is within our control. Master this and you master the ability to increase your well being by 60-80%. Happy Friday.