Kim has been a longtime subscriber and customer who sent in a question recently.
Kim’s question is “How do you stop the negative voices that keep telling you things like you’re too old, maybe you’re not good enough, there are too many people doing what you do, people won’t pay your price, et cetera?” Fear is one of the big things that keeps people from moving forward. Those negative voices are the voices of fear. Those are not the voices of truth.
That’s exactly why it feels so bad. Your inner being, God, the universe, whatever you want to call your higher power, that part of you knows that those negative, fearful voices are not the truth. That’s why they feel so bad.
The negative feelings you experience from these false beliefs is your higher power’s way of telling you the thoughts you’re having are wrong.
Truth feels good. Lies feel bad. Those negative voices are the socialized, persistent, consistent over our lifetime lies that we are fed.
Maybe those lies are given to you by family members.
Maybe they’re given to you by marketing and advertising. Hello!?! There is a lot of huge corporate money being made by telling people how
inadequate, how wrong, how inappropriate, how not enough you are-to try to sell you their solution.
The advertising targeting women is especially geared towards spreading these types messages full of false beliefs. They’re constantly using messaging that tell you: “You’re not enough.” “You’re not going to be complete until you buy this.” “You’re not a women if you don’t use this, wear this and look like this.”Or maybe the lies you’ve come to believe are based on what you incorrectly view as your past “failures”. Our society has put so much pressure on all of us to not fail at anything.
It’s ok to fail.
Failure proves you tried.
Failing is a great way of continually improving.
What people commonly call “failure” is really just an opportunity to learn something. It’s an opportunity for you to grow.
The only way to “fail” at something is to quit. We have these socialized, persistent lies fed to us over the course of our lives.
Beating yourself up for having negative thoughts
Not only do you have the negative voices and the fearful thoughts, but sometimes you feel bad about yourself for even having negative thoughts and feelings in the first place.
This can become continuous self-perpetuating, negative feedback loop.
I have not always been this happy person that I am now. And I am not always happy! What I do have is the power to guide my thoughts and feelings. In my 20s I was an extremely negative, small person. As a result I experienced many painful things and had lots of big failures. I learned through experience that I did not want to live my life as a negative person.
I made a conscious decision to feel good by deliberately choosing positive thoughts.
So it’s absolutely possible to change this. I’m not going to say that I don’t have the negative voices myself now too. Of course I do! Everyone has those.
But now I pay close attention to the way I feel in every moment. I’m able to identify negative feelings before they grow too big. I recognize what these negative feelings and voices for what they are – false beliefs. And I consciously choose to think something else. Something positive.
If what I’m thinking about that brought me to a negative place is too strong for me to pivot from, I choose to think about something else that feels good. Something simpler. Something easier where there is no conflict.
I’ve made a decision to care about the way I feel and do something about it. So can you.
4 ways to change your inner negative voices:
Baby Steps with a Rubber Band – You want to take little baby steps to replace the negative voices. You don’t want to try to change everything quickly. Your habits of thinking developed slowly overtime. Changing them will require slow, steady, deliberate thinking too. Be patient with yourself.
One of the things I use is really, really easy and simple. In fact it’s so simple it may seem stupid. But it works. Doing it will help you become aware of your habituated patterns.
Put a rubber band around your wrist. Whenever you find yourself having those negative thoughts, flick that rubber band so that it zings your wrist a little. It’s a simple way to produce a “pattern break” so that you can choose another thought.
Increase Awareness with a Timer – Here’s another option. Use a timer and set a timer for a few times a day. When it goes off, become immediately aware of what you were thinking. If the thoughts were negative, how can you pivot away from those?
Process and Release with a Journal – I am an avid journaler. I love writing journals and art journals. For over the last 15+years, journals have become the way that I increase my awareness of my thoughts and emotions. It’s an incredibly effective way to process things in your life and in your business. One of the big ways that I stopped the negative voices is by getting them out of head through journaling.
I actually used to be strongly opposed to negative journaling. Journaling where you write down things that you consider to be negative. You write them down. You look at them directly. You figure out what happened and how you got there. When you do this, you’re able to see why you have those negative voices and more importantly, how you can change them.
When I started realizing that being negative wasn’t working in my life, I became quite militant for a while about always being positive. When journaling, it always had to be about appreciation. But then I realized that it’s really good to get the negative out so you can then deal with it,and then move over to what do you have to appreciate. Process and release through creativity- One of my favorite things to do with art journaling is to purge myself of all the negative thoughts going on, and just get them out onto a page in my art journal. Then, I do a mixed media piece on top of that. I cover up the negative with my response to the negative. How I’m going to either live with it, accept it, forgive it, pivot it or change it. An example of how I do that is with my Courage Resilience cards. You’ve probably seen things like Zen cards, Angel cards or tarot cards. I’ve created my own that speak to my own limiting, negative recurring thoughts. Over the last year, I’ve also created them for some ofmyVIPclientsbased on some of the recurring mindsets I see them working through.
Here’s an example of one I created for a client who has had some incredible breakthroughs this year to remind her of how far she’s come:
With this exercise, you identify those negative, recurring thoughts that you have by writing them down into your journal. Then, you “flip” that negative thought. You find a statement, a mantra, a feeling that counteracts that. One way to do it is by asking yourself.
“OK, that’s the negative recurring thought I keep having – now what’s the opposite of that? How can I turn that into a statement, mantra or feeling that FEELS true to me.” The negative voices are not your truths. They’re not what your higher power, God or whatever it is for you, is thinking about you.Soflipwhatever those negative voices are saying and then create your own card as a reminder for when you do have those negative recurring thoughts. So whenever I’m having my negative thoughts or voices, I get out my Courage Resilience cards and remember: OK, what I was just thinking is not the truth – THIS is the truth.
Here’s an example from one of my clients:
The negative thought / limiting belief that wants to work on is that she often over complicates everything.
Here’s the Courage Resilience card she made in response:
One of the things she’s working on in her business right now is to simplify and launch more simple, powerful and profitable products and programs. This cards is a daily reminder of that.
Most of all, be kind to yourself as you try out one – or more – of these 4 ways to curb those habitual negative voices that try to stop you from creating an impactful business you love