Thursday, November 29, 2018

How to Fight The Little Voice in Your Head

There is a little voice that lives in my head.

It wakes up with me in the mornings, remaining dormant as I sit through a devotional and wash my hair.

But when the breakfast comes out, or the computer screen flickers on, its little broken record voice sings through the synapses of my brain.

"You can be doing more."

It sings this as I get in the car and attend class. It sings this while I wait between class and piano practice, reading a manga. It sings while I type this out on my screen. It sings when I am collapsing in bed after a long day when no tangible progress can be seen and only the weight of the words can be felt.

Do more. Be more. Have more. Live more.

As if what I do, be, have, and live isn't enough?

Perhaps you can relate. I know sometimes there can be this invisible pressure that weighs down on us to be productive gurus who can brag about how busy we are and how much we get done in a day. And as much as I love the idea of getting up at 5am each morning to GET EVEN MORE DONE, there's a certain point when it just doesn't become doable anymore.

And then when we can actually push through this feeling of "I SHOULD be productive", we find out we don't even know what area we need to be productive in.

Like there isn't any more you can do. Or you're just tired from pushing so hard.

Everything is a little heavy.

I can help you turn that little voice off.

Are you ready? It's simpler than we think.

1. Listen to what the voice says.

2. Write it down. All of it.

3. Analyze what you wrote down. Are these thoughts true? Can you do anything about them? Do you need to let go or make a change?

Let's go through this with some real thoughts.

1. The voice: You should be doing more. When you write, you should be doing school. When you're doing school, you should be blogging. When you're blogging, you should be exercising. When you're exercising you feel tired, so why bother?

2. I should be doing more. I should know how to delegate my time. My brain thinks there's a right order to things, a strict pattern I should follow. The activity I do in the moment doesn't seem worth the time, until I'm doing something else.

3a. Is this true? NO. There are no patterns to follow -- even what I put on my calendar is flexible.

3b. Can I do anything about these thoughts? YES. I can set aside time for each of these activities so that while I am working on one, I can remind myself that "I'm doing that later. Right now, I'm going to focus on THIS task."

3c. Do I need to let go? YES. This circle of thoughts needs to be released. I can do this through a schedule and a self-reminder like the one above.

3d. Do I need to make a change? YES. By thinking about doing something else while I am doing something I want to get done, it's actually counterproductive, distracting, and perhaps a little self-sabotage-y. I need to stop letting these thoughts overrun everything and FOCUS on the task at hand.

Now it's your turn.

Take a moment to stop and listen to how you talk to yourself. Maybe you don't tell yourself to do MORE -- maybe it's something else entirely. But write these thoughts down. Get them out on paper so you can analyze them. Ask questions. Use the ones I prompted you with here or delve deeper by asking questions that feed your curiosity. Such as:

  • Why am I thinking this?
  • Is there evidence this is true?
  • Is there some sort of trigger in my life that sets off these thoughts?
  • What can I change to stop these thoughts?
  • Are these thoughts kind (to myself/others)?
  • How are these thoughts holding me back from achieving the life I want to live?
  • Are there looping thoughts here that I can disprove logically but keep coming back?

And so on.

What thoughts play on repeat in your head? Do you feel like you could be doing more?

3 Sweet Words:

  1. THANK YOU for this post! Self-doubt hits me really hard at times, so this is extremely helpful!

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  2. Thank you for writing this post! I definitely struggle with negative thoughts and believing lies. It also doesn't help that I'm naturally introspective GAH. Remembering that those thoughts are lies is very helpful. Hope you're having a great start to your December! :)

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