The Voice, In Sum

“Change the voices in your head
Make them like you instead.”
–Pink, from “F**king Perfect”

For the last couple months, I have been writing on this interesting topic.  I could write so much more, but let’s stop here and summarize what we have learned:

  1. The Voice in your head

No matter what you want, in business or other areas of life, if it is a stretch for you (outside your norm or your “comfort zone”) you are going to be confronted by a less than useful voice in your head. If you are hearing this idea for the first time, you may not know what I am talking about.  It is a conversation in your head that says, “you will mess it up” or “you can’t do it” or “you are too _______ or _________ to pull this off.”  It is a sabotaging voice that will get in your way.

  1. The ways we sabotage ourselves

There are two basic ways this “voice” sabotages us:

a.  It tells a repetitive story about how we will “get cancer,” “mess up my kids,” “end up on the street.” It sounds crazy if you say it out loud. You might even laugh if you hear it, but it is how we talk to ourselves.

b.  The second way we sabotage ourselves is to say unkind and untrue things to ourselves when we mess up.

The answer? Notice it; stop it.

  1. Get comfortable being uncomfortable

Everything you want is outside your comfort zone. It’s scary and so the voice starts to talk, yell even.  Learn to recognize it.  You don’t have to listen.

  1. Does it motivate you?

How does it feel when you listen to the Voice? Are you motivated?  Its job is safety but for the most part it is unnecessary.  Many people believe it is supposed to be motivating to be hard on ourselves.  And yet, it tends to drain our energy.  Stop it.

  1. “Not very smart “

Find specific language to listen to. Mine says what I did was “not very smart” or “dumb”.

However, this is just habitual behavior. It is not me.  It runs in the background but you don’t have to listen to it.  You can turn the volume down.

  1. The persistent nature of that sabotaging voice

My mom’s blog says the voice won’t give up; so get used to it. Develop a “try it and see” strategy/mindset. Listen for the redundant language so you can tell when it’s talking and don’t mistake it for the voice of wisdom, for your true voice.  It sounds like you.  We have a tendency to be afraid the voice is right or something bad will happen if we don’t listen to it.  As a rule of thumb, if you’re wondering “is this me or is this the crazy voice?” self-criticism and self-doubt is the voice.  Always.

  1. Jump in. Get messy.

Elise Baker’s guest blog says the voice means I am doing something important and scary. When it starts talking, I close my eyes and I jump.  And sometimes it’s messy.  Learn what the voice consistently says so you can recognize it.

  1. My eeyore voice

Allison Harris’ guest blog says the voice is trying to protect me. But of course it gets in the way.  She suggests you change your language about yourself.  Listen to the voice and interrupt it and say something else – something that actually supports you.

  1. “I can’t”

“I can’t” is typically the Voice. There are some things, of course that you literally cannot do.  But typically, you can do so much more than you think you can.  The Point: just try it.  Especially when your voice says, “I can’t.”  You are far more capable than you think.

  1. A quote

And finally, the point of all these blog posts is to help you become conscious of the Voice and its affect on you so you can change it.

Ready? Go!

About the Author

Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching professionals and leaders since early 2008. She runs Transformative Coaching Essentials, a coach training program that produces first rate Professional Coaches and "Coach-Style Leaders." She coaches individually and works with organizations to improve communication, time management, productivity and ultimately bring greater results.

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