We all hear the voices in our minds, and we usually hear them when we’re alone. They wait until they sense a vulnerable opening, and then they become louder and louder. These voices can infect our ability to believe in ourselves. The voices creep from our subconscious mind to our conscious mind like thieves in the night. They begin as whispers, and before you know it, they turn into loud shouts.
These are the negative voices that tend to pick at ourselves, and for many of us, we underestimate these voices. As a matter of fact, often these voices disguise themselves as humorous little personal barbs. You’ve heard them:
- When you stub your toe, they can sound something like this: “Really? Have you lost your ability to walk into a room without hurting yourself?”
One whisper from that negative voice seems harmless enough, but that voice is not harmless, and never stops at just one jab. It picks up steam, and waits for its next opportunity:
- When you can’t figure out an answer to a question, that voice might say this: “Oh, come on now; even you can figure this out.”
- When you get lost or confused, that voice might say something like this: “Maybe you should tattoo the answer to your hand because you can’t seem to remember anything anymore.”
You might think that those negative voices are just teasing you, or perhaps just trying to be funny, but think about it: Do you really think these voices are harmless and can’t damage your self confidence? After all, they’re your voices, and more often then not, they are actually spoken out loud by you. The voices gain steam and can get meaner and meaner:
- When you feel defeated, they can sound something like this: “You aren’t good enough to win.”
- When you feel lonely, they can sound something like this: “You deserve to be alone.”
- When you feel insecure, they can sound something like this: “You aren’t good enough to succeed.”
It’s difficult to fight back while the voices hide in your subconscious, but the moment they move to the conscious mind, you can choose to not listen. You can certainly choose not to say these thoughts out loud.
In the movie, “ A Beautiful Mind,” Professor John Nash is asked about the tormenting and self-deprecating things he sees and hears. He says, “I’ve gotten used to ignoring them and I think, as a result, they’ve kind of given up on me. I think that’s what it’s like with all our dreams and our nightmares… we’ve got to keep feeding them for them to stay alive.”
We all hear the negative voices, but there are positive voices you can you choose to listen to, and these are the voices I’d encourage you to feed. These are the voices that tell you that anyone can stub a toe, or struggle with an answer to a question, or get lost, or feel defeated, lonely, or insecure. It’s part of the human condition, and it’s a part of being alive. It’s also a part of being kinder to you, and that contributes to believing in yourself.