20 Aug Is Your Brain Cheering You On or Throwing Insults?
My life coach says I’m ‘up to big things’ when my mind chatters with self-talk. Until she reframed it like that, my brain was a messed of mixed signals, tangled thoughts, and self-doubt.
Instead of calm, peace, and universally loving thoughts about my life, the chatter would sound like this:
“I can’t do that”
“I’ve had it hard and that’s why I’ll be a failure”
“I’m not smart enough – so-and-so is better at this than me”
“You’re not successful enough to try”
“People will be watching and you might make a mistake”
“You don’t know enough”
“You’re gonna fail”
“Someday you’ll be good enough to do this, but not right now”
“You’re selfish to even try”
“It’s gonna cost too much money”
It’s like I’m trying to talk myself out of success so I’ll have an excuse when things don’t go like I expect. I’ve learned to sit on the floor beside my bed, take a few breaths, and listen to what’s going on between my ears.
This pattern of self-destructive thinking has a hold on all of us some days. The monkey in my head is jumping all over the cage, throwing insults, and trying to push me off my game. She’s on full blast when I’m getting ready to accomplish something I’ve never done before.
I’ve always felt so alone struggling with this. Other people just get up in the morning, make up their minds to do something, and do it. Right? No self-doubt, no ‘poor me’, no excuses.
That’s a lie I tell myself. And it doesn’t serve me. Or you.
The most successful people you know have their own monkey jabbering away when it’s time to face a big task or step out of their comfort zone. Somehow they’ve learned how to tame the monkey and go ahead anyway.
I wrestle with the mind chatter every day. Sometimes the self-doubt wins, sometimes I can turn it around. On good days, I manage to keep calm and focus on where I’m going and what I love – sharing what I know about holistic healing, herbalism, and how it changed my life.
Those other days, journaling, crying, texting a friend – these are my strategies. Sometimes, I write a blog. Not gonna lie, there might be some self-indulgent binge-watching and sugar involved. I breathe, have my pity party, then it passes.
One of the smart choices I’ve made to harness my brain power for good was to hire a life coach. She helped me use the tools I’d been sharpening in yoga and meditation, to tap into the pro-Me power of my brain. Whatever calls to you – therapy, business coaching, a good friendship, spiritual work – all these are good places to turn the negative self-talk to the language of self-love.
How do you handle the self-destructive mind chatter? What’s your strategy to keep your lower self from holding you back? Do you have a retreat in your home or office, or a mantra that helps you cope or get beyond the critic in your brain? I’d love to hear your strategies!