There I was, going about my day when my inner dialogue decided to come out and play. The sunshine turned into a grey sky of despair as instruction after instruction told me I could not do things my way.
Ever taken bite off this constant chatter that goes in within us? If you just pay attention, ‘you’ at any point are telling ‘you’ a hundred things – there’s always an inner dialogue on.
And since it’s always on, why not actually eavesdrop on yourself and find out what ‘we’ are always saying to ourselves. Okay, let’s play a game… Count the number of times you are complimenting yourself as also the number of times you are giving yourself instructions.
My guess is the times you are giving yourself instructions are far more than the times you praise yourself. We go on and on and on.. like an old nagging aunt, assuming our inner selves would not know anything!
What this reflects is a complete lack of faith in our innate ability to learn and perform. A child has no one tell him how to sit up – and he does so perfectly. He learns from trial and error and then just goes to perform the task. Similarly, all of us have an inherent style of learning – and our subconscious is almost a storehouse of all the learnt behaviors.
When we give ourselves too many instructions or criticize unnecessarily, we show a lack of faith in our subconscious and ultimately come in our own way. Tim Galloway, in his series of books, ‘The Inner Game’ describes these two selves as self 1 and self 2. According to him, self 1 (the instructing giving self) interferes with the inherent capabilities of self 2.
It is an interesting concept – try and trust your intrinsic capabilities and just as an experiment, focus on your achievements. Maybe, just maybe, the inner dialogue will change. And with it, as the trust in yourself builds up, your performance might peak too!
Worth an experiment, I’d say!
So here are a few steps that can help you:
- Listen to your inner dialogue.
- Count the instructions and the compliments.
- Make a conscious choice to step back when the instructions start to come.
- Compliment and encourage instead.
- Use an anchoring theme song to divert your inner dialogue from instruction mode to compliment mode.
- Stand in front of mirror and look into your eyes to switch gears. This makes the actual transition more pronounced.