I can’t think of too many things that are more debilitating than having to listen to that voice in our head continually playing like a discordant, badly written symphony.
“Shut up!” we cry. It listens briefly, and then hits the pause button, ‘I’ll be back to wreck her moment when she is trying to believe in herself again’.
Why does that the same piece of the symphony seem to be on repeat? And why do we all listen to the same badly written piece of ‘head’ music? What does it take to erase it and replace it with the most beautiful, enriching, nourishing symphony?
Too often, we don’t realize that we are listening to repeat negative messages. They have been playing for so many years that it seems normal to be listening to them.
We attend self-help weekends, we empty our bank accounts on all sort of things that are going to fix us, we leave thinking ‘great, this is the new me’. Until we meet someone or life presents itself in a way that, suddenly, we are back hearing that piece of ‘head’ music again. “Oh no, we cry”.
Experts say that we have on average 50,000 thoughts a day and as many as 98% of these are repeated every day. Even more significant is that 80% of these thoughts are going to be negative.
And I would think that 50% of these, for many women at least, is going to be self-directed criticism. And here lies a lot of the problem, because we then spiral into bad habits by trying to comfort ourselves and run away from these debilitating thoughts.
So how do we rewrite negative ‘head’ music and turn it to be positive?
The first step is to start to become more aware of your thoughts and to actively observe them throughout the day.
The second step is to decide on a day and a period of time when you are going to watch your thoughts and write down your ‘head’ music.
It is important to remember that your true self is not these negative thoughts that pass through your mind, they are not a true representation of who you are.
Once the negative, damaging critical voice has been recognized and heard, imagine it as a very badly behaved composer who is creating very displeasing sounds.
It may help to give a name to your ‘head’ music’s composer, mine is Iris. Every time your ‘Iris’ shows up to acknowledge and see these thoughts coming from this negative composer.
Thank ‘Iris’ for her thoughts, but assure her that they are very unhelpful, unwanted and ask her to please leave you alone and to go away. It is important to be very firm with your ‘Iris’. It is similar to disciplining a naughty child when it is misbehaving. She will soon get the message and run off.
As well as admonishing your ‘Iris’, it is a very loving and nourishing thing to praise yourself “well done me for recognizing ‘Iris’ and sending her on her way.”
The third step is to establish a relationship with your inner younger self, that little you deep within your soul. Heap lots of love and nurturing talk on her as often as possible throughout the day. I would highly recommend John Bradshaw’s book Home Coming to explore this subject more.
By being aware and doing this practice you are cultivating and creating a foundation of positivity, understanding, and self-love. From here we can explore and deepen our relationship with ourselves.
This helps us build a more authentic and balanced inner world. We start creating our own beautiful symphony, one that we love to dance to every day.