When I first became aware of the fact that I had a negative inner voice—that is, when I realized that I was not my thoughts and that my brain could not be trusted—I came up with this solution:
I started writing down every negative thought I had about myself. The list looked something like this:
The reason you don’t have what [FILL IN THE BLANK PERSON] has is that you screwed up in irreparable ways.
You’re never actually going to get what you want.
You’re a loser.
And so on. As I got these thoughts down in black and white, I was able to see how ridiculous they were. I started to ask myself on each one: if I was taking care of a precious child and that precious child screwed up or didn’t get something she wanted, would I tell her that she never would? If she made a mistake, would I inform her that she was a loser or stupid? Obviously, I wouldn’t. So why would I treat a fictional child better than I would treat myself?
I’m not going to say this stopped the nefarious patterns of my left brain—that brain is insidious as hell—but it did start giving me perspective on the lies.
As I mentioned in this week’s newsletter, Jill Bolte-Taylor has some wonderful tips for eradicating those negative thoughts stemming from the left hemisphere. She explains that when we react to something, there’s a chemical process in the body that lasts for a minute-and-a-half. 90 seconds, y’all. After that, any negative emotional response we’re having is due to a choice we have made to stay in that thought.
Of course, easier said than done when it comes to breaking that habit. But just knowing this is the process means being closer to the solution.
Anyone out there relate?