Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

The Ebb and Flow Of Our Inner Personal Voice – Why Is It There? Can We Use It To Benefit Us?

“Your opponent, in the end, is never really the player on the other side of the net, or the swimmer in the next lane, or the team on the other side of the field, or even the bar you must high-jump. Your opponent is yourself, your negative internal voices, your level of determination.”

Grace Lichtenstein
Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

There is an ebb and flow to our thoughts, our internal voices. I have never given it much thought, not spent time worrying about it. My inner voice for the most part is positive. Sometimes it pokes me with some negative garbage. Then, I get what I call the funk. I will have an hour, to a few hours, or even a day when I am feeling negative or down on myself. It usually happens when I am tired or when someone, or something, irritates me. I have to think about it, poke a stick at it and work it out in my mind. Then I kick it out.

Of course, there have been experiences in my life when it wasn’t that easy. I survived a toxic relationship and a major disappointment at work. One was related to the other. The voices were running around and screaming in my head.

It was much more difficult silencing those voices. They were nasty and so very, very foul.

We each have two inner voices. There is a negative voice and a positive voice. Where do our inner voices come from? As we assimilate the world around us when we are very young, we develop our inner voices. We watch and listen to our parents and the other important people in our life.

We absorb the love we receive and the positive actions and words we are exposed to, which forms our positive inner voice. We develop our negative inner voice from the criticism we receive and the negative experiences we have or see. Our experiences as a child form our attitude toward our self and others.

Sometimes we appear to become our parents. We have so many of their traits. As a child we mimic the actions of our parents. Our facial expressions, the tone of our voice, the words we use and the way we move our body. Sometimes we may look like little mini-mes.

If we come from a beautiful positive home and experience lots of love, more than likely we will be the same. When we have the opposite type of childhood, and our experiences are negative, we may also be the same way.

The good thing about humans is we can change. As we grow and mature, we learn that we do not have to adopt the attitudes and lifestyle of our parents. As we experience many different viewpoints and beliefs, we will learn to question our inner voices.

It is possible to realize that the negative voice in our head is not healthy and not good for us. We will understand it is damaging to our emotions and affects the way we perceive ourselves.

Our negative voice is comparable to the bully who lives next door. We don’t always hear or see him, but we know he is there and that he will keep bullying us if we continue to let him.

Can we tame the inner bully voice and will we be able to control it for our benefit? Yes.

Our negative voice hangs out in our mind, and it feels like it’s normal. We are used to it. You may be considering doing something, but that little voice nudges you with a negative thought. You can’t do that. You are stupid.

Some of us may never realize the effect of the bully voice. We may never recognize that nasty little voice and it could negatively impact our entire life. Hopefully, our positive inner voice is strong enough to overpower the negative and ignores it. Our positive inner voice pushes it away.

Most of us will have moments when we experience negative thoughts. They usually happen when we are trying something new, or we are trying to work our way out of a bad situation.

What can you do?

The first step is, of course, recognizing the negative thoughts and understanding the negative impact they have.

How will you recognize the negative bully voice? When you find yourself feeling super critical of yourself, stop, and think about what you are feeling. What were you doing, and what were you thinking? You will find belittling thoughts and self-criticisms in your mind just like the ones you might hear a bully say. Do not let those thoughts control you.

When you do notice your negative bully voice, pay attention and take steps to exorcise it, or at least control it. It is time to think about it, poke a stick at it and work it out in your mind and kick it out.

Write down your experiences and negative thoughts. Think about them and try to determine where and when they started. Do they come from your childhood? Is it something that was said to you when you were in a close relationship? Once you realize where the negative voices come from, you will be able to take steps against the negativity.

When you remember the negative thoughts, answer them with a positive statement. An example might be, “No, you can’t write that story. You’re too stupid.” Then you answer with a positive statement such as, “I’m not stupid. I am a good writer.” Think about this and let it sink in. Repeat. Keep doing this exercise. It will help you recognize patterns, habits, that you have which are a result of your negative inner voice.

When you do this, you will begin to look back at other instances in your life where you have heard the negative voices and listened to them, which impacted your outcome. Going forward, it will influence the way you approach things and help you to work through events with a more positive attitude.

Tune out your negative bully voice, don’t listen to it anymore. Listen to your positive inner voice. Change your habits and engage in activities that make you feel good about yourself, which makes you feel stronger and more resilient. When you are successful, congratulate your self. Look at all areas of your life and recognize what is positive and which is negative. Look for ways to remove the negatives and increase the positives.

Everyone is different and have had different experiences. Yes, you can recognize the bully voice within you and it is possible to control it and become a more positive person. It is not always an easy process, but it is an important one. If you realize you have this problem, it truly can be debilitating. Look for someone to help you. Talk to a professional.

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great Sunday!

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

How Can We Benefit From Defeat? Loser or winner, which one do you want to be?

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” -Maya Angelou

Ralph W. Emerson wrote: “Our strength grows out of our weakness. A great man is always willing to be little. While he sits on the cushion of advantages, he goes to sleep. When he is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has a chance to learn something; he has been put on his wits; . . . he has gained facts; learned from his ignorance; been cured of the insanity of conceit; has got moderation and real skill.”

Winning, we all want to win. Nobody wants to lose. Few of us just do not care. We are naturally competitive and it starts early in life. Something as simple as playing with friends when we are very young can turn into a competition. The winner of the race across the yard is happy and expresses his joy with a happy smile and jumping up and down. The loser of the race is not smiling, may even be crying and is probably angry. Losing makes them feel bad. They do not like the feeling and they decide next time they will be the winner of the race.

Being defeated is never comfortable but it is always an opportunity. When we lose it is important to reflect about the why. Why did this happen, why was my opponent better, what did they do that I did not do? We need to evaluate our performance and find ways to improve.

When we fail the world does not end and life goes on. What we do with our failure will determine where we go from there. If we just accept our failure and decide, “that’s it, I cannot do any better” we have placed a limit on ourselves. We will become complacent and become mediocre. We will not improve.

On the other hand if we take the time to dissect our failure we give ourselves the opportunity to learn and grow and to become better.

“The taste of defeat has a richness of experience all its own. To me, every day is a struggle to stay in touch with life’s subtleties. No one grows without failing.”  

 Bill Bradley, former U.S. Senator and professional basketball player

Failure is a challenge. A challenge that only you can decide to accept or to deny.

I would not recommend denying a loss. Do not place the blame somewhere else. Own it and use it to become better.

When you accept the fact that you did lose you have already taken a step forward. It happened, this time someone else did a better job. Let’s face it, we cannot and will not win them all. It is realistic, and it is the best practice to understand that. You will be more open to analyzing what happened and learning from it. It will enable you to do a better job next time.

Life is all about lessons and learning. When we are working or playing there is always an opportunity to learn and get better. The good thing about losing is we pay more attention. Winning is great but when you are really good and win most of the time you tend to relax and just go along for the ride. There is no reason to practice or to try new things.

When we lose, it is like a kick in the gut. It makes you stand up and take notice. Loss makes you question yourself. What happened? Do you like the feeling of defeat? Hell, No!

When you have worked hard at something and end up not coming out on top it is extremely disheartening. It can suck the life out of you, cause anger and be the catalyst for depression. Case in point was my reaction for not having an article accepted which you can find here:

Defeat and anger can be used as a tool, a weapon. I was really pissed off but it made me just want to try again and again. It is an incentive. Use your anger and disappointment to improve. Work harder!

If you are angry good, that is not a bad thing. Use your anger to strengthen your will. Challenge yourself. Everything we do is constantly in flux and nothing is guaranteed. Take your anger and turn it into positive action.

Ask your self why you did not win. Be your own biggest critic. If you are working with a group, or have a mentor, ask for feedback. Look for ways you can improve the next time.

Dissect yourself. What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses. We all have some of both. Remain positive and keep working toward being better. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all wake up every day and ask ourselves what we are going to do better today. A tiny thing but just think about the possibilities.

Winning and being successful is not guaranteed. You have to be willing to put in the work. When I started my blog I had no idea the amount of work that is required to be successful.

I am a long, long way from success but I am passionate about my dream I continually work on remaining positive and having a great attitude. I always strive to be better.

I hope I have the right formula moving forward in my quest to be a writer, a good writer. If not then I will do some adjusting on my journey. I will put in the work. There will be more disappointments but with each I know I will learn from it and get better. I will be a better writer and a better person for the effort.

Hopefully, I can help influence you as well to stay positive. We may not always win but as long as we learn from our mistakes we are all winners. Always put in the best effort and always look for ways to improve.

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day!