You have a voice in your head. And that’s perfectly normal. (If you actually hear voices in your head, then it is not normal and you should talk to your doctor.)
But I’m talking about your inner voice. The one who right now says: “What inner voice?” I’m talking about the inner dialogues you have with yourself. The voice that says “No! Do not do it. You’re not good enough!” every time you take on a task or are about to approach a person you like or anything that brings you out of your comfort zone.
The voice says: “You are too dumb/ thick / thin / boring / poor / weird / uninteresting / shy / bald / inexperienced to make this happen.”
How to calm that voice down
There are different approaches on how to get your inner voice to calm down and stop saying things that keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Some claim you should stand in front of the mirror and say
“I’m the smartest person in the world. I can do anything!”
I do not fully believe in this approach, and I will try to explain why I think it is a dead end, and what I suggest you should do instead. When you stand in front of the mirror and says:
“I’m the smartest person in the world,” a hundred times in a row, you create an expectation that the next time you start a project or do something that requires effort, and you fail, something called cognitive dissonance (in psychology) is will happen in your head.
The lazy brain
The brain is basically lazy. This means that if you have convinced yourself through the repetition of a truth, this truth will be difficult for the brain to understand when it turns out that the truth is being challenged. What happens then?
The brain rejects all solutions that arise.
And either our brain will destroy the worldview and question everything, or it will force you to ignore evidence you do not like. There are people who think they are world champions and who behave as such even though they repeatedly provide good documentation that they are not.
We all know someone like that, right?
A week of negativity fasting
It may seem banal simple, but it works. In short, it is about not to overdo the positive thoughts, but instead removing the negative thoughts. One of the best exercises I have come across is “A week of negativity fasting”. It goes as follows:
The next week (7 days from today) you should, every time you take yourself in thinking negatively, shake the thought out of your head and think of something else.
It may sound like a banal exercise, but various studies show that this is the recipe for real positive thinking.
Expect the best and never prepare for the worse
As I said, I do not have much faith in trying to convince myself of things that do not correspond to reality. But I have GREAT faith in expecting and assuming the best. For example, I think it’s good to assume that people talk well about me when I’m not present. And I think it’s good to assume that I’m going to have luck (which mysteriously leads to me having luck – which in turn is about thinking positively. For example, it was luck that led to the near-collision, in instead of being typically unlucky that a potentially dangerous situation arose.)
Overall – people do like you
I think it’s ok to expect people I talk to find me likeable. I do not want to be rejected, but I do not start cutting myself in the forearm if I should be rejected.
I just get more motivated.
From an idea of Sjekkeskolen