I talked a lot about developing good habits here.
One thing I’ve been asked is how to deal with all the nagging voices that seem to chatter around in our heads.
You know the ones – they’re often negative and “talk” to you in words and a tone of voice that you wouldn’t tolerate in real life.
No-one else can hear them but they’re very real as far as your mind is concerned.
And they’re holding you back because you’re listening to them more often than you’d like.
As you may know, one of the areas I’m involved in is self-help and personal development.
I’ve been on quite a few courses over the years and most of them have covered how to quiet your mind – code in the self help market for voices in your head as it doesn’t make it seem quite as weird.
Of the various things I’ve learned, NLP (neuro linguistic programmig) has a powerful technique for dealing with this.
It begins with the assumption that the voices are being made by you – no-one else can hear them.
If that’s not the case then it’s the company you’re keeping in real life or online and those things aren’t something I’m going to cover here.
Instead, treat this as a game. After all, those voices are playing with you so why not have some fun with them instead by using one or more of these:
- Change the tonality – for instance, Mickey Mouse is hard to take seriously. Initially this sounds a bit daft but if you stop to think about it, it’s no more daft than making the voices loud and authoritative. You could even change the tonality with each word so that one word came from Mickey, the next from Muttley (maybe with his trademark mischievous laughter) and so on.
- Change the location – on your big toe works well, especially if you turn down the volume. Again, the voice is something you’re creating so you can shift the location. If you’re like most people, chances are it’s either on one of your shoulders or it’s somewhere inside your head itself. Neither of those are good places for a negative voice to be because we pay way too much attention to those locations. So shift where it’s coming from. Again, maybe every word or two so that it’s darting around and you’re paying more attention to where it’s likely to pop up next than to what it’s saying. You could even play a mental game of whack-a-mole with it, swatting it every time it pops up in a new location and turning the volume down each time as well so that you’d have to strain to listen to it.
- Put the voice in a catapult and fire it at the sun/moon/wherever. Listen to the voice get quieter and the splat as it hits the distant location. That’s another great technique and it doesn’t matter whether or not you were any good as a child with a catapult. This is your imagination you’re playing with here and there are even fewer rules than a Hollywood CGI artist has (they’re limited by the power of their computer and your imagination is much more powerful)
- Maybe controversially, Richard Bandler (inventor of NLP) suggests repeating the mantra “shut the **** up” in your head until the voice goes quiet 🙂 That works and so long as the mantra is repeated inside your head rather than out loud it won’t offend anyone apart from the voice that’s upsetting you. Of course if you’re alone or in company that won’t get fazed by it, you could say the mantra out loud. I’ll leave that to your judgement.
One or more of those techniques works a treat and whilst they won’t get rid of the nagging voice forever (I’ve yet to find anyone who’s managed that), with practice they can cut the frequency and severity of it.
Which helps you to get on with the things you really want to work on, without your mind doing its level best to sabotage you.
I also find that listening to a meditation track helps me chill out. It gives my mind an extra bit of quiet space that it doesn’t have to think about and can generally relax and calm itself down.
I bought the series of MP3s that I personally use longer ago than I care to remember but because of their age, they’re nowhere near as fast as their modern equivalents.
I’ve got used to the hour a day that it takes to listen to the track and I use it to help me relax and fall asleep.
But most people I talk to throw their arms up and say that there’s no way they could find an hour a day to meditate.
Which is where my current meditation recommendation comes in.
It’s just 12 minutes in length – the kind of time anyone can find in a day.
It works a treat – at least as well as the 60 minutes I use without having to reschedule everything else in your life to try to fit it in.
So if playing with those annoying nagging voices doesn’t work quickly for you, it’s well worth investigating.
And even if you don’t buy, go to the page and join their list. Inspire3 (the company that created it) follow a lot of good internet marketing principles and Karl (the owner) knows what he’s doing with sales pages and email follow ups.