Me Vs Me -When your inner voice is a meanie
Bla Bla Bully
Sometimes we may be conscious of nagging doubts in our minds over our choices or capabilities. Questions about whether we are deserving or good enough can swirl around at crucial moments when we encounter an opportunity or are on the brink of making changes. But sometimes that nagging voice can get bigger and louder to the point where it becomes a downright obnoxious bully. Stepping into our path to block the way at every turn, making us question our every thought and movement until we reach near paralysis and wearing us down until we give up hope, dreams, ambitions, relationships and more.
No pleasing some people
Sometimes the voice is so constant that it feels like it has become a part of us. And the longer it hangs around the more stubborn it becomes-even growing sullen, cranky and self-righteous to the point of bitterness. It can make us feel constantly dissatisfied, believing that nothing is quite good enough and that there’s always more to do no matter what we have achieved. Because nothing we do is enough, we can never switch off or relax. We don’t congratulate or reward ourselves for our achievements because we don’t feel that we deserve it. Sometimes we don’t even get as far as achieving our goals because the critical voice mocks us until we live in constant doubt and fear of judgement and failure.
Sometimes the bully in us likes to play a little game. It will go quiet long enough for us to start making progress and feeling good. And then just as we start to forget about the little pest, up he pops again with his big ugly mate Monsieur Saboteur. ‘’You can’t handle this!’’ they shout ‘’you’re not good enough, who are you trying to kid!’’ Listening to our critical voice can become such a force of habit that even when things start going well we can’t quite comprehend that things can truly be good for us. Things get too close to challenging our negative core self beliefs which have become so deeply embedded into our identity that we don’t know how to let it go and so we default to self sabotage.
Did someone say Self-destruct?
When we keep going in the direction of self sabotage it’s easy to take a wrong turn into self destruction. Not only are we keeping ourselves from the possible good things but we are actively pulling or even smashing apart the things we do have-relationships, work, health, finances. Sometimes we convince ourselves that we are soothing ourselves but in reality we are punishing ourselves for past hurts, perceived wrongs or sometimes just for existing when we feel so awful about ourselves that we can’t even comprehend our value.
It’s not me it’s you
But where did this voice come from? Who let this barking dog into our house anyway? Most often this deep seated sense of unworthiness is a lesson learned in our childhoods. It can be a lingering echo of messages given to us by parents, teachers or peers which have been internalised until we start to believe that the voice is our own. Sometimes the voice is ‘gifted’ to us by partners, carefully wrapped in gaslighting*. But it doesn’t belong to us, and recognising this can be key step in starting to quieten it down. It can be a painful step, because sometimes it means recognising that someone important to us gave us these hurtful messages. Maybe they were passing on their own inner voice, or maybe they wanted to keep us close by siphoning some of our self-belief.
Something you want to say?
Often the negative internal bullying is code for things that may be harder to say. Things like ‘’I’m scared’’, ‘’I don’t know what to do’’ or ‘’I’m hurt’’. If we take some time to discover what is really going on for us underneath that internal ranting, we may be surprised at what we hear. It may even sound something like this;
‘’I’m hurting, I’m afraid, I didn’t mean to pick on you but I’m just so angry. I don’t know how to be kind, how to be gentle, this is all I know. But I’m unhappy, the negativity is exhausting.’’
‘’I’m just trying to help, I didn’t realise I was pushing so hard. It’s just that there’s so much we want to achieve. But maybe we need more of a balance. And maybe it’s ok to trust yourself and your abilities. Because you are a good person and you deserve to be happy’’
‘’You are overwhelmed, you can’t go on like this, you need to find some support’’
Me Vs Me Vs You
Do you sometimes find your inner voice jumping out of your mouth unexpectedly in the direction of your partner, colleagues or children? Our inner bully gets lonely and loves company so don’t be surprised to find that it sometimes breaks out of its Mind-prison to embark on a crime wave of argumentativeness, criticism and controlling behaviour in which you may have become its accomplice. If we don’t learn to turn off this voice at its source, pretty soon it can make its way inbetween us and our relationships.
Maybe it’s time for a healthy debate between you and your inner voice- to hear it out, consider it’s views, then respectfully but firmly kick it into touch.
* Gaslight-‘’Manipulate (someone) by psychological means into doubting their own sanity.’’ Oxford Dictionaries