There is a voice in my head that speaks to me all the time. When I was a kid, people used to say that speaking to yourself is the first sign of madness. I thought it was true, and so I concluded that I must be mad because I spoke to myself all the time. This wasn't something I ever shared with anyone else. It was an agreement that I made with myself: “Yep, I am mad”.
As I grew older, I made a remarkable discovery. The voice in my head – the one that talks to me all the time – is in everybody's head, and it talks to everybody all day long.
Researchers can now recognise when one thought ends and the next begins and have found that we have 6,200 thoughts a day: that's 6.5 thoughts every minute.
So, like a radio station that's always on, we tune in and listen to the voice in our head all day, every day. The important question is, what radio station are you tuned in to: ‘I ROCK 104.6 FM' or ‘I SUCK 94.2 AM'?
“Is the voice in your head a champion for who you are, or is it a constant reminder of how inadequate you are?”
And that, I feel, is a rhetorical question, which research bears out. Of the 6,200 thoughts we have every day, a staggering 80% are negative thoughts, and 95% of our thoughts are the same thoughts repeating themselves over and over. Negative thoughts dominate our brain, and we are repeating the same negative thoughts day, after day, after day!
Pause and listen to the voice in your head: what do you hear?
“I'm not talented”
“I'm not pretty”
“I'm not smart”
“I'm not fun”
“I'm not good enough”
“I'm not loveable”
Before long, this becomes who we are. Like a handbrake that's always on, these thoughts become agreements that we make with ourselves, about ourselves.
These agreements are not true.
They're not written up in a book or tattooed onto your forehead. There's no sign hanging above your bed. It's a voice in your head. And they're never challenged because they're mostly unsaid. We don't go around telling people, “Let it be noted that I am not good enough”. In this way our lives are run by a false set of secret agreements that hold us back and stop us from realising our full human potential.
You can change the circumstances of your life all you want, but if the box of agreements in which you think is still the same, nothing will shift for you.
“It's what you think, feel, and believe about yourself that shapes and drives your identity, your performance at work, and your quality of life.”
If you can relate, see, and own (it takes courage) that the voice in your head is running and ruining your experience of life, let me just say this to you:
You are not the voice in your head. You are the feeling in your heart. You are the human being who cares, who laughs, who cries, who loves and who wants to be loved.
Recognising and embracing this truth about yourself will give you a feeling of freedom and open new doors of possibility.
To quote from William Blake, “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” (This quote was also the inspiration for The Doors calling themselves The Doors).
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