We all have an inner voice.
Mine often appears when I’m confronted by IKEA furniture and it generally says something like this: “you can’t put that table together, there are too many parts to fit in place it’s not worth trying”.
Enter my fab boyfriend!
I’ve found that it also pops up when I am trying to create an Excel spreadsheet and the voice says “you hate Excel, don’t you remember the last time you tried to add a fancy formula and you had to watch a video on Google on how to do it”.
Yours may speak out when you’re about to present to your team, ask for a pay rise or start a new job. Or, in your personal life, when you’re in a Zara changing room, cooking dinner or signing up to a 5k run.
I think we can all agree that in none of these situations is it helpful to have an attack on your confidence and ability to get the job done.
So what is the inner voice, why is it bad and how do you stop it sabotaging your success?
What is it?
The inner voice, inner critic, negative chatter, inner dialogue, gremlin, intrusive thoughts – what ever you want to call it – is that voice inside your head that can produce feelings of shame, deficiency, low self-esteem, and even depression. It may also cause self-doubt and undermine self-confidence.
Why is it bad?
Whatever you call this thing everyone has one and yours is sabotaging your success in your professional and personal life.
Maybe you didn’t apply for that job because you couldn’t do three out of the ten competencies, maybe you didn’t ask for a pay rise this year because you didn’t feel “worth it”. ‘After all’, the voice will reason, ‘if you were worthy of a pay rise then your employer would surely have given you one?’
Sorry, I hate to burst that bubble but that’s just not the way the working world works.
Whenever I give presentations to companies the most frequently asked questions are about the inner voice and how to deal with it. So check out my tips below to stop your inner voice sabotaging your success.
How to stop it
1. Say Stop
When you notice it talking at you simply say “stop” and then repeat a positive affirmation such as “I can do this. I am confident. I am worthy, or I am strong.” Which ever works for you. But keep repeating it until the inner voice disappears.
2. Awesome list
Create an ‘awesome list’ that you can refer back to when you need a confidence boost.
Every Friday afternoon I sit down and write down everything that I’ve achieved that week. This reminds me of how much I’ve managed to get done and puts me in a positive frame of mind for the weekend.
You may want to do yours every Friday afternoon. Alternatively you may want to write down 3 things that you’ve achieved as you go to bed so that you’re in a positive mind before going to sleep.
3. Gratitude list
Create a gratitude list that you can refer back to if you need a reminder of everything that you have in your life. I created mine by writing down 100 things that I was grateful for and I look at it at least twice a week.
You may want to do something similar. Or, at the end each day, you might write down 3 things that you’re grateful for that day along with 3 achievements of the day.
If you haven’t read my blog on Mindfulness then I recommend checking it out http://carolinearnoldcoaching.co.uk/benefits-of-mindfulness/ I’ve found that doing some simple meditation every day really helps tune out the inner voice.
5. Get an Executive Coach
I can’t recommend enough how much it helps having someone that will support you in overcoming that inner voice and work out what’s holding you back from achieving what you really want out of life.
6. Step outside your comfort zone
Once a week do something that you feel uncomfortable with so that your comfort zone stretches. If you don’t like public speaking put yourself forward at work to do a presentation. Once you’ve completed it you’ll realize it wasn’t nearly as scary as you thought it would be. Then the next time you offer to do a presentation you’ll notice your inner voice doesn’t appear because you know that you’ll be a great success having done it once before!
7. Video Clips
Check out some other resources that may also help you learn how to turn off the inner voice.
Jim Duffy TedxGlasgow Talk
Bree Brown TedxTalk
Marie TV – Overcome Fear of public Speaking
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M: 07886 794 742
F: Caroline Arnold Coaching