Is self-talk your friend or foe?
March 22, 2016 at 10:30 am
People clinically diagnosed with mental disorders aren’t the only ones who hear voices. I hear my own voice inside my head speaking to me all the time — don’t you? If you claim to not know what I’m talking about, you might need serious meditation sessions to quiet yourself enough to actually hear the self-talk within.
We all have a voice that speaks to us from inside. As I write, my inner voice is speaking words as I type them. It’s the innermost voice you hear when you’re thinking or reading. It can be a voice of inspiration or critique. Have you ever paid attention to yours and what it sounds like? Did you even notice you speak to yourself when you aren’t speaking aloud?
I received an interesting reaction from one of my BFFs (who happens to be a psychology professor) when I asked her if there was a name for the voice I constantly hear speaking to me. She looked at me strangely as if to say, “Girl, don’t ever admit to anyone else that you are hearing voices.” I laughed and pushed a little more. “You know, the voice you hear when you’re not talking, the one that’s speaking when your throat isn’t open and your mouth isn’t moving,” I inquired. She responded, “Yes, yourself.”
Yes, myself! I speak to myself all the time. I recently discovered the voice that speaks to me isn’t always my own. It’s not in an “I hear the voice of another person,” kind of way, but in a way that doesn’t speak to my highest good and benefit. I’m speaking to the self-talk that encourages me to doubt myself and talks me out of things I desire because the voice has decided I’m not worthy. It’s the voice that helps me accept less than honorable, loving actions from others. It justifies my own deficiencies and ways I’ve shown up outside of my integrity.
The voice is not my own. It is a culmination of people from my past and present, the media, the miseducation I’ve received, indoctrination and institutionalization. It’s the constant degradation passed on through DNA and blood memories of the delusion of white supremacy, misogynistic religious dogma, and insecurities that have given birth to a hegemony in continuous pursuit of my personal power.
I side-eye the voice when it seeks to dismantle my confidence and self-esteem. I call bullsh*t on it all the while learning to dismantle it by observing it rather than becoming reactionary.
My true inner voice speaks loving words of encouragement.
It inspires me to be my best self, always reminding me of how far I’ve come and all the strides I’ve made. It’s gentle and nurturing when calling out my shortcomings but fierce when it needs to be. Nonetheless, it’s always a positive motivating force (thanks, Isley Brothers) from within.
I beg you, get to know the different voices “speaking” to you. Become aware of the voice that’s speaking from fear and the one speaking from love. I hope for you that you never allow this voice of fear to determine your fate, make decisions or mediate your relationships. Check it!
You’ll be glad you did.
How do you tackle your insecurities? Share your thoughts in the comments below!