“Who are you to put yourself first?”
“They’ll never say yes to what I want, so why bother.”
“I am never going to amount to anything.”
The chatter inside your head can feel overwhelming – filling you with so much fear, worry, and dread that it makes you want to run as far away as you possibly can.
The mere suggestion that you might be able to quiet the negativity by exploring your beliefs or your fears can make it even worse. You start to wonder what you might find and if it’s actually worse than what you’re already experiencing. Or worse yet, what if the REAL you is someone you don’t even like?
It becomes easier to bury your head and embrace the devil you already know rather than doing the work you need in order to create change.
Or instead of hiding from it, you pile on positive thoughts and affirmations and hope that if you repeat them enough times that you’ll be able to shift the story in your head.
Unfortunately for you, though, it doesn’t work.
The negativity resists and instead gets louder – demanding to be heard.
Ready to pounce on your every mistake or misstep, it feels like that negative voice has become the driving force of your life. Instead of feeling free to express your feelings or be who you are, you start to wear masks and hope no one sees you for who you really are.
You even begin to let others take charge of your life – defining what’s good for you and betraying your every boundary.
It gets harder and harder to quiet the noise in your head or even know what to do about it.
So where do you go? What do you do?
Often when clients come to me, they’re ashamed to admit how much the negative voices in their head have taken over. They’re so overwhelmed that they feel frozen and almost fearful of the way their own thoughts betray them.
I often hear statements such as . . . “if only my husband knew what was in my head, I swear he would run.” Or “I feel like I can’t find anything positive about myself - ever.”
It can be incredibly painful.
Living with internal negativity doesn’t have to be a constant way of life.
Although it may feel like you’re hard wired to experience negative thoughts, you do have the ability to heal and adopt a more positive way of living.
First you have to become aware of all the negative thoughts that course through your brain each and every day. Although you may be aware of some of the louder voices in your head, you may not recognize how pervasive your negative thoughts really are.
Being willing to tell yourself the truth about some of your thoughts can help open you up to what needs to change.
Next, take a look at your negative thoughts and beliefs and start looking for proof!
Most of our negative thoughts are really fears about what happened in the past or what might happen in the future. They hide in absolute statements that look like facts, but when you demand some actual proof from your negative thoughts, they often can’t produce.
They gain strength because they sound like facts, but in truth are really made up stories about what’s happening in our life.
One thing I like to ask when I get wrapped up in negative thoughts is “what is the story I’m telling myself?”
More often than not, your negative thoughts are wrapped up in the emotions and stories of your past and when you can look for the truth – you can see that the negative thoughts can’t hold up!
If your negative thoughts still demand to hold on, I then suggest setting a clear boundary with your negative thoughts.
Now, I know this might sound a little strange at first, but like an uninvited guest you can set boundaries with yourself when it comes to these negative invaders.
Most of us think that when it comes to boundaries that they must be set with others. But as much as we may need to declare our choices with other people, we must be able to set boundaries with ourselves – and our thoughts.
When it comes to negative thoughts, you can start to limit their presence by giving them the space and time to be heard. I might suggest telling yourself that you will allow yourself to hear out the negative thoughts for only a certain duration or on a certain day.
You might say that when you hear yourself spinning through a negative cycle that you allow yourself to experience the thoughts for only two minutes. You might even want to set a timer.
By limiting the amount of time or energy that you allow the negative thoughts to take up your life, you allow yourself to release the thoughts instead of stuffing them down inside.
And as a way to fully release the thought, at the end of the time, I take one bold new step or choice to help me see the situation, myself or my life in a new light. It doesn’t have to be a grand step, but something that helps me realize my own personal strength or light.
In this way, you can learn that instead of stuffing the negative thought down, pushing it away or pretending you don’t feel them that you can allow the negative thoughts to move through you and disempower them.
And as a result, you will begin to see more neutral or positive thoughts begin to take hold in your life and start to achieve the things you truly desire.
This week, I invite you to try this technique out and see what shifts for you.
And if you want to learn more about how you can quiet your negative voice and fear, tune in to my Hay House Radio Show tomorrow as I interview Josh Cary, podcast host and business coach about how to unmask yourself and no longer fear YOU. Josh will share his 5-step process (N.O.I.S.E.) for accepting fear and finally adjusting the score (Fear: Zero. You: Won.)