Turn negative self-talk into powerful statements to move forward creatively.
I’ve found that when I’m holding back from something, it’s usually fear.
No matter how many brilliantly executed excuses I can drum up, at the root…yep, it’s fear.
My fear (and I suspect many other people’s fear) takes shape as a negative voice that happens quietly inside the mind.
It’s so quiet that we can sometimes not even hear it.
Ah, the mysterious ways of the subconscious.
How then, do we hear what this voice is saying and therefore understand the deep-rooted fear holding us back?
I’ve got a little exercise that I practice, and I thought I’d share it with you.
1. PUT A FACE TO THE NAME
Let’s visualise our mean inner voice.
If it helps or amuses you, draw a picture of that voice, name it, assign a character to it, get creative with it!
I believe the sillier you make it, the better.
For example, I picture my mean inner voice as ‘Stripe’ from the movie ‘Gremlins’.
I was slightly terrified of Stripe as a child and repulsed by their appearance, so it felt quite fitting for me to visualise my fear as a silly fictional villain in a movie made for kids.
I’ve given mine a new name, “Gremalina”.
My backstory for Gremalina is that she’s lazy and likes to protect me from the evils of the world by keeping me inside, away from my goals, on the sofa under the duvet watching Netflix all day long.
She shuts down any threats that might show up in the form of ambition or healthy habits.
Original image credit: bigbadtoystore.com
2. WRITE IT OUT
When I say “write it out” we’re going to write that voice out of us; out of our head and onto the page where it can stay (or be binned for extra effect).
If you can’t hear the type of voice I’m describing, try writing down what you want to aim for and listen to see if anything comes up – you might experience it as a feeling, can you put it into words?
I’ll give you a real-life example:
I start to feel a knot in my stomach. I write down what I’m thinking in a third-person voice, as “Gremalina”;
Gremalina: “Are you saying you’re ready to put out to all my family and friends that you’re a dyslexic copywriter?! You’re going to make a million typos and Grammar mistakes whilst simultaneously saying, “Oh hey, I’m great at writing, please hire me for my writing skills!” PAH.“
Okay, so it’s starting to seem clear to me that I fear judgement from others.
I fear they’ll laugh at me or put future clients off hiring me. What if I make a mistake and look unprofessional? What if they view my dyslexia as a ‘disability’ they could do without?
Try it out for size. Don’t worry if you can’t hear the subconscious voice immediately.
Try making your goal bigger until you hear something pop up.
The moment you notice a limiting belief or negative thought, write it all out onto the page.
3. TAKE AWAY ITS POWER
Now the voice is on the page.
It can’t speak and down there on paper, it’s clear to see just how cruel it is.
Though, on paper, out of your head – it’s now powerless. Look at the statement and see it for what it is; a limiting belief, a scared little voice inside of you, protecting you from an imaginary threat.
Holding you back from life’s lessons and experiences
4. FLIP THE SCRIPT
Now think of the benefits to why you’re doing this and think up something positive about what you’re doing here, something that feels true to you. Some call this an ‘affirmation‘, but we could also call this a ‘declaration’, ‘statement’, ‘a green light’ or ‘self-testimonial’.
Write in first-person and create an affirmation that will act as reassurance to you and your inner voice.
For example, I’ll now answer underneath Gremalina’s statement above:
It might feel a bit weird at first, and you might even judge the statement you just wrote.
If you do find your gremlin challenging the positive statement, repeat the process until you feel suitably reassured by yourself.
You only need to Google ‘Positive affirmations’, and you’ll find them peppered throughout the internet.
You might find that many of them sound spiritual, but yours obviously doesn’t have to be.
Start with a statement that resonates with you or create your own.
(…or is it just the beginning?)
I hope this was in some way useful to you.
I’d love to see some of your conversations with your inner voice below or visual photos of how they look if you feel like sharing.
If you’re searching or struggling to find an excellent affirmation to answer your mean voice, why not throw it out in the comments on IG and we can jump in and create one together.
Alternatively, if you’re rocking your new statement and want to share it, please do that too.
(Slide into my DMs if you’re not quite ready for others to read).
Flip the bird to your limiting beliefs, go forth and flip that script.