Tim Brownson is a UK born Life Coach and NLP Master Practitioner now living in Orlando, Florida. He coaches people one-to-one either face-to-face or via the telephone. Below is a sample chapter of his new book ‘Don’t Ask Stupid Questions – There Are No Stupid Questions’.
“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.”
We all have a voice inside our head that chatters to us constantly about the day-to-day situations we find ourselves in. It’s one of the main ways that we interpret external data by constructing conversations internally with ourselves. Although we all have this voice (or more often than not, several different ones) we have our own particular versions, some of which can be more helpful than others.
Does your voice support and encourage you when things aren’t going quite as planned or does it become aggressive, whiny, rude, pessimistic and thinks nothing of tearing a strip off you? Is it often far more hostile and abusive to you than you ever would be to other people?
I once heard this voice likened to that of a bad tempered, miserable, old duck! Yes that’s what I said, a duck. Close your eyes and you can hear the voice in your head now quacking away at you. You may not have noticed it’s duck-like aquatic qualities before, but now you can. Do you know why you can? It’s because inside your own head you can hear whatever you want to hear. You can of course hear your own voice in whatever tonality that you care for, or if you’d prefer you could be listening to yourself in the dulcet tones of Jimmy Stewart or James Earl Jones or even Oprah Winfrey. The options are as limitless as your own imagination.
So with all the people to go at, why on earth would anybody ever pick the desperate duck? That’s a real tough question to answer. I regularly have people tell me that there isn’t any voice inside their head in the first place and I usually respond with “So you’re dead then?”
The fact is we have had years to perfect our quacking and it happens so quickly and so unconsciously that many people have stopped noticing it. We mess up at something and the voice is sitting there in the background ready to chime in “Quack, you’re a failure, you never do anything right, you’re an embarrassment.” Even when something goes well it can still undermine with “Quack, you just got lucky, wait until they find you out.” It’s so insidious and so good at its job that it’s barely noticeable, but the overall negative effect on you can be enormous. It has a drip-drip effect that serves over the course of time to make you believe that what it’s saying is true. Which in turn makes it so. It sets your own reality for you. That’s what I said; a duck sets your reality for you.
So maybe it’s about time to shut the duck up or at least make him or her a little bit more friendly and supportive. We do need a voice inside our head, so let’s pick one that we like. You can drop the duck or whatever you have now and chose a voice that makes you feel good. We still want to be able to get the message across, so don’t make it so chilled and laid back that you never take any notice of it. You can even choose two, three or as many voices as you want for different occasions. The only criteria being that the voice should always support you, always be helpful, never aggressive and it never puts you down.
Wouldn’t that be great, a voice that treats you with the respect that you deserve, the kind of respect that you like to offer to other people? If you perfect this, and it does need practice to break some embedded habits, then I guarantee you will feel a great deal better about yourself.
Question: What does your duck say to you?