Last week, I shared with you what some of the voices in my head say to me on a loop. If you missed what I wrote, you can catch up here. In that post, I mentioned that I had some tips for reprogramming your inner voices and changing your thoughts. So that’s what I’m going to focus on this week.
Remember the idea that your thoughts are like an old fashioned radio? You can turn the dial to move from station to station (or thought to thought).
Some stations come in loudly, and others are really faint and hard to hear—they’re there, but the signal is too weak to understand what’s being said.
Our minds work very similarly. It’s up to you to choose which station you want to be listening to. And if there isn’t one that you like yet, it’s also up to you to create it!
Changing the Station
If your habitual thoughts are bringing you down, it’s time to switch the station. But you can’t just snap your fingers and expect the positive thoughts to flow. You need to start now and create a radio station that you can tune into when you’re ready to.
So how the heck do you do that? Here’s what I do:
Step #1 Hear Your Inner Voice
Become aware that this is happening! Everyone has their corresponding go-to emotions and coping behaviors that accompany negative self-talk.
For me, I tend to feel a sense of hopelessness and self-pity. What do your habitual thoughts sound like? How do they make you feel? Notice those feelings and then acknowledge and clarify what that message is actually saying.
Step #2 Trace the Voice
Is the voice in your head really your voice? Or is it someone else’s? Where did it come from and when did it start?
For me, that mean voice that reprimands me for not getting something done often comes from my eighth-grade history teacher.
She was particularly strict, and she scolded for not completing an assignment on time. Her abrasive demeanor made me feel worthless. Whenever I fail to achieve a task on time, it’s often her voice that I’m subconsciously replaying. Whose voice are you hearing?
Step #3 Face the Voice
Let’s get real. Is what that voice is saying true or not? Sometimes, it might be! Sometimes, though, it’s clearly false.
True or not true, it’s usually playing for a reason. So a helpful question to consider is, “If I knew that this voice is here to serve me, what would be its value?”
Step #4 Change the Voice
Now that you’ve heard the voice, traced it, and faced it, it’s time to opt in to something that will serve you more. You can create and choose to “tune in” to a new voice any time.
Choose encouraging messages that will motivate you, rather than scare you into obedience. Some examples might be, “I’ll complete the three most important tasks of the day. Everything else can wait.” Or “I notice when I take on more work than I can handle, and I get honest with myself about my limits.”
It’s a reprogramming. And just like reprogramming a computer, it totally works! The funny thing is that when you start creating this new voice, you may not be ready to totally believe it, and that’s okay.
Often, you have to go through the motions, telling yourself a new story even if you don’t fully believe it. Eventually, the new station will become clearer and louder. Plus, you’ll start to see that it’s true! Choose to create and listen to the kind, compassionate stations—and pay attention to how your life starts to changes.
What Will You Reprogram?
Leave a comment below, and share one “old” thought and one new thought that you can replace it with.