Train your inner mean voice to stop being mean to you

Think about how you talk to others.

Do you have a mean inner voice? Does it say stuff like, that’s not good enough, you should have done that better, you’re not working hard enough, look at so-and-so they’re better than you, and younger and slimmer?

I do. It’s not there all the time because I work hard to keep it quiet, but sometimes when I’m feeling tired and out of energy it pipes up. And it’s mean.

Many of us have an inner mean voice, often referred to as Imposter Syndrome, it often shows up when we’re challenging ourselves, doing something new or stepping out of our comfort zone. It erodes our confidence, makes us doubt our abilities and resilience and is generally unhelpful. If you have one you know it.

It struck me just how mean that voice can be.  My inner mean voice says things to me that I’d never say to anyone else.

What if you could train your mean voice into a more helpful and supportive voice? What if you spoke to yourself like you’d speak to a friend, a loved one or even your dog?

I have a dog called Gary. Yesterday on our walk I was musing about inner mean voices and thinking about how I speak to Gary.

  • If he sits nicely he gets told he’s a ‘good boy’ and sometimes gets a treat.
  • I often (more than once a day) tell him he’s the best Gary I know and that he’s really nice.
  • If he eats his dinner he gets a ‘good boy, well done’
  • If he does a wee when I ask him to ‘go wees’ he gets told he’s the best!
  • If he sits in his bed when I tell him he often gets a treat.
  • If he rolls over I scratch his tummy and tell him he’s the best.
  • If he does a poo he gets told ‘good job well done!’
  • If he comes back when I call him there’s full on whooping good boys high fives and jumping about.

Just imagine if your inner voice spoke to you like I speak to Gary. What if your inner voice said well done for the small wins and if it constantly reminded you that you were good enough. How would that make you feel?

The next time your inner mean voice shows up, tell it that’s it’s no longer required because its unhelpful and you’re only going to listen to your inner kind voice. Then replace the mean comment with a kind comment. For example, replace that’s not good enough, you should have done that better, with that’s good, you’re doing well.

Give it a go. Let me know how you get on.

Thank you to Caroline Doran for the inspiration in your Linkedin post.

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