Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bully in your Head? Banish It!

Dear Madame L,

Every time I try to do something new or different, it's like some part of me wants me to fail. I mean, I'm not crazy (at least I don't think I am), but it's like I'm telling myself, "See? I knew you couldn't do it," and things like that. Which, as you can imagine, makes it even harder each time for me to try new challenges.


Voices Begone!

Dear Voices,

For what it's worth, Madame L doesn't think you're crazy, either. And Madame L notes that we're being encouraged always to engage in "positive self-talk," which, it seems to Madame L, is just another way to put new voices in our head. Sure, they're positive, but they're talking, right?

At any rate, Madame L suggests that you find ways to get rid of those negative voices, which may arise from our memories of negative and taunting voices of childhood.

Here's an excellent article with suggestions on how to do that, "6 Ways to Keep the Voices in Your Head from Making Your Life Miserable."

First, this article explains about the negative voices:
Some psychologists believe these are residues of childhood experiences—automatic patterns of neural firing stored in our brains that are dissociated from the memory of the events they are trying to protect us from. While having fear-based self-protective and self-disciplining rules probably made sense and helped us to survive when we were helpless kids at the mercy of our parents’ moods, whims and psychological conflicts, they may no longer be appropriate to our lives as adults. As adults, we have more ability to walk away from unhealthy situations and make conscious choices about our lives and relationships based on our own feelings, needs and interests. Yet, in many cases, we’re so used to living by these rules we don’t even notice or question them. We unconsciously distort our view of things so they seem to be necessary and true. Like prisoners with Stockholm Syndrome, we have bonded with our captors.
The 6 ways to get rid of these voices include recognizing their origin, paying attention to them when they "speak" to you so you can recognize them and replace them with positive voices, and training yourself in "cognitive flexibility."

Please do read the entire article and consider studying more about mindfulness-based methods of dealing with negativity.

Good luck,

Madame L

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