So many of us encounter the negative chatter throughout the many parts of our day. I’m not good enough. What if I fail? I don’t look as good as she does. It’s not going to work out. We also somehow stir up items of worry that have nothing to do with the moment we are in, sometimes, even the year we are in. Worries, like that awkward conversation with your boss, neighbor, family friend from a year ago have this funny way of just appearing and making the list of worries even longer. That voice of doubt wants us to question ourselves 24-7, because the mind is the most active part of our bodies. I’m sure most of us have experienced how overwhelming that can be, especially on a “bad day.”
While sitting in my yoga teacher training 2 years ago, my teacher assigned homework to our group: to fight back every time the negative chatter made an appearance. To simply meet it with a positive thought instead. This also triggered the negative chatter: How the hell am I supposed to do that? Our teacher, being the master that she is, could read the room and agreed- it would be a challenge.
Recently, I decided to make a giant leap of faith by leaving a stable job in a corporate setting, cut my income in half, and venture into the unknown of a start up business. Deep down, I knew it was time for a change, I knew I needed to be challenged, and I knew at the end of the day that considering money as a deciding factor for your most truthful career path is an ingredient to unhappiness and an unfulfilling career.
Two years had passed since I had received my homework assignment from my teacher, and two years later I realized it’s an assignment that is meant to last a lifetime. And this time, I was ready to put myself to the test: curb the chatter at every point of entry. If I was going to make a change that would steer the course of my life and career- I better be dedicated AF to keeping all the reasons why I wasn’t good enough away from this.
Instead of feverishly going through the list of why this wouldn’t work and feeding into fear with thoughts of failure, going broke, not being good enough to make it work I spent time nurturing my decision instead. If that sounds easy, don’t be fooled. It’s exhausting, it take’s conscious effort, and it’s easier to just give up.
Once I made the commitment to myself, the decision to nurture my fear and doubt and create a safe inner dialogue to support my new venture, there’s been no turning back. You’re good enough. This is going to work out. You are going to create something powerful. You are not your going to fail. You are good at what you do. You know your stuff.
The change between allowing negative chatter versus feeding it is possible, and it’s been hard work to maintain it, but once you adopt the habit, it is hard to allow yourself to travel back.
What I have found helpful is to let the negative chatter start, accept it’s presence, and then respond back in a positive way. This process is not about ignoring what comes up, but accepting it and finding solutions to reduce and eliminate it. Fear based living thrives on the negative chatter. But denying that it’s a part of you will not strengthen your ability to keep it away.
I guarantee the negative chatter will teach you something about yourself. Get out your pen and paper, make a list of the “usual” comments your inner dialogue throws at you, dig into what that is all about. By doing this, you’ll come to an understanding of the “why” behind them, which will allow you to fight back strategically.
Reducing and eliminating the negative chatter in all parts of your life will empower you and keep you on a positive and forward moving track. Apply the practice of meeting the negative chatter with self nurture and embrace those self loving results you find on the way.