How to Coexist with the Negative Voice(s) Inside Your Head.
Recently, my first Mama Wins article was published and hot damn if I did not celebrate!
Why not, right? I’m a forty-something mom of 2 who recently pulled off a major career shift - from small business ownership to a life of modelling, acting and writing. I started blogging about my life experiences and one of the great pleasures I’ve had has been to share my words with you.
When I tell you…this would not have been possible even 5 years ago.
What changed? What gave me the b*lls to jump, feet first, into a world where ‘No’ is heard so much more often than ‘Yes’ and your insecurities all rear their ugly heads, usually in the same day, nee, the same hour?
I figured out how to coexist with the negative voice inside my head. You know…the one that tells you you’re not good enough, you don’t know enough, you don’t have a degree in that. She also chimes in with little nuggets like, “Who are you? What gives you the right? Why are you eating so much?” One of my personal favourites is, “Since when does your face wrinkle that way?”
That voice. Do you know her? She’s a real peach!
In the past, I tried to shut her up. Shut her out. I’d try to meditate her out. Yoga her out. Those activities definitely have their positive benefits but they didn’t prove to be a permanent distraction from my ever-present, diligently-nagging voice. She’d show up again, putting me down and keeping me stagnant.
I also tried to change my inner dialogue to one that is completely positive and loves everything about myself, flaws and all. But the real, deep-down-in-my-heart-truth is, I don’t love my flaws.
For instance, I can be a selfish person (now and then) and am trying to fix that in this lifetime. I don’t love that flaw. I love that I am recognizing it and trying to do something about it. But, let’s get real. My inner dialogue is there to point out the things about myself that I would rather change. I need her for that. I need her to help me be a better person. So I had to learn to coexist with her, and decipher between the thoughts that will help me become a better person and those that are just pushing me down.
Here’s how I go about dealing with those intense negative statements that try to derail me from accomplishing the next big thing in my life.
I’m warning you, it’s silly and it’s intended to make you chuckle. Once you chuckle, you win!
Whatever the less-than-positive thought is, I repeat it (as a question) and then turn it right around on her (mind you, this all goes on inside my head so if you try it, prepare yourself for some strange looks).
For example: She says, “What are you doing casting for that job? You’re not pretty enough.” And then I reply, “I’m not pretty enough? You’re not pretty enough!”
Talking to myself this way makes me laugh. When I laugh, I smile and realize that I’m about to enter into a negative cycle and I need to just charge ahead. Yes, it’s a coexisting method. And it works for me!
Here’s a good one. She says, “Why did you eat so much over the holidays, you’re getting fat.” Then I say, “Why did you eat so much over the holidays? You’re getting fat!!”
One last example, just to make sure that you really have it. She’ll say, “You don’t have enough experience for this job. You’re going to fail.”
To which I say, “You don’t have enough experience for this job and you’re going to fail!” Drop the mic. Walk away. Crowd cheers.
Just turn it around on her. Tell her exactly what she told you. Stoop to her level, shut her up, laugh it off and move on. You've got this. I've got this. We've got this.
Leslie Lynn Nifoussi is a mom of two who thoroughly enjoys her assortment of jobs as a blogger, model, media host, commercial actor and beauty and fashion contributor for HSN. She’s a former small business owner and professional dancer and is eager to share her life’s experiences with you.