We all have it. That nagging little voice inside of us that tells us to stay still and not go work out. It tells us to keep eating that junk food because it will make us feel so good. It tells us to not do something productive that may require effort because it doesn’t want to. It may even tell us that we are not good enough to do a certain task. For most, we have been dealing with this negative voice in our head for the majority of our life.
It’s about time we defeat this negative voice!
In order to have more control over your life and how you do and perceive things, it is primordial to silence that voice once and for all. Here are 6 steps to help you conquer and defeat that negative voice in your head:
1. Acknowledge its presence
For as long as we can remember, that inner voice has always been there. It makes us think that it acts as a guiding voice of reason, but what it really does is cut our legs from underneath us. Since it has always been there, we tend to go about life without acknowledging that it is actually there and what it does to us. So the first step, just like with any problem, is to acknowledge it. Be truthful and honest with yourself, as this is not something that can be easy for some people to admit, but it is necessary. Once you make yourself aware that it is there and what it does to you, then you are in a better position to deal with it correctly.
2. Drown it with positive thoughts
Whenever you catch that voice telling you something negative, counter it with something positive. For example, say you are supposed to go work out, but that voice says “no, we’re comfortable here, let’s not move”, counter it right away with a “yes, I can do it, and I am doing it!” The more you do that, the more that negative voice will be eclipsed quickly, and eventually all that will remain is the positive rebuttal. So in that regard, you are submerging the negativity with positivity.
3. Alter your vocabulary
That little negative voice didn’t come out of nowhere. No no, this voice was trained to verbalize things a certain way. Remember, these are your words, your vocabulary that it is using to voice what it wants. What you need to do is change and remove certain words from your speech and thoughts. Can’t, won’t, should, could, would, might…replace them with clear positive actions such as I am, I will, I can, I have, I want, I need. As you transform your vocabulary in your daily life to more positive affirmations, the less intense that negative voice will be, before it diminishes completely.
4. Visualize your goals
Typically that negative voice is a direct result of having the wrong visualization in mind. For example, you focus on how comfortable you are and that’s why you are less likely to move and go work out. Now, instead of feeding that negative voice with the imagery that it needs in order to get you to do what it wants, change the imagery to what you WANT to accomplish instead. Say you have that dessert in front of you and that voice tells you how much you should get it and how it will be good…think about that body you want to have and that feeling of being in complete control of yourself. If you have this huge task to do, instead of thinking about how boring it might be and listen to that voice that says not to do it, think about the feeling of completing that task and how it will help you be more successful. Visualization is key and having the right kind of visualization makes all the difference.
5. Speak out loud
The voice that you hear the loudest wins, it’s that simple. And a voice that you hear loud and clear is more likely to overcome an inner voice. This is why we put so much more emphasis on other’s words rather than our own thoughts. So use this to your advantage to silence that negative voice by expressing out loud what you truly want and what’s best for you. So following up on the earlier point of countering it with positive thoughts, do that but speak it out loud. You won’t believe how effective this is. Hearing yourself say out loud “I am going to the gym” or “I am finishing my task” is immensely powerful. That inner negative voice simply won’t be able to compete with that.
6. Turn it into your ally
We will always have inner dialogue. That’s not ever going to disappear. However, why not make it work to your advantage instead? By following the steps above, you will silence the negative voice and begin to think and speak to yourself in a more positive manner. Use this to your own benefit now. Make it a useful tool that you can then use to accomplish amazing things in your life. Always remember, you are not your thoughts. Your thoughts are a tool that you can use to help you or to your own detriment. This is YOUR life, why not make this tool benefit you as much as possible? You can’t control other people’s thoughts but you can certainly control yours. By turning that voice into a useful one, you now have the most powerful ally you can possibly have in your life 😉
Thanks for this wonderful article. This has reminded me to be back on track again. I have been battling with a lot of negative thoughts that I believed, due to my constant spending time on TV. from news to movies that I, later found out to be giving so much negativity in me. And I guessed I am not alone with this, at least I become aware.
For years this voice plagued me. I was raised in a family that always taught the value of being happy in life. It wasn’t until a terrible circumstance that I began to realize I wasn’t happy.
Without getting into too much detail, let’s just say that I was trapped on the other side of my country while my wife was undergoing emergency surgery.
At that moment I made a vow to her that this would never happen again. The problem was I didn’t know where to turn.
Without guidance, I went to my local book store and bought as many self-help/personal development books I could afford. It was a select few from the ones that I purchased that changed my life around.
Start With Why – Simon Sinek
The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy
The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz
How To Win Friends and Influence People
These books gave me the education that I was sorely missing and I happily recommend them to any who need help.
Shutting the voice off is difficult, however if you begin to associate with positivity (people, places, books, etc…) it becomes 1000x easier.
I defeated the negative invoice already years ago, although there might always be times where it comes out again, or looks if there is space for it.
I think, you have some interesting points here: accept the existence, Change your mind with more and more positive thoughts, adopt the vocabulary, imagining and visualizing the goals, speaking it out loud what is best for someone and repeat this every time, the small negative voice tries to come out of its hideout.
This is for sure not easy, but worth it. You will appreciate each moment more and more. You will start doing things that make you happy and you are passionate for, just like I started Coachiendo, an online platform that offers Services for people to support them in Every Day and in Business, like a friend by your side, a project that I just started beside work, but the project I am passionate for.
It was good for me, reminding those points. Thank you for sharing!
Very interesting article! Sometimes that inner voice can come from remembering a parent, teacher, or even spouse telling you that you can’t do something, or it’s too hard. As you rightly said, you have to drown out these negative voices, with positive ones. A good idea is to practice saying affirmations each day to help you keep motivated and on track.
I was myself a pessimist three months before but a book by Shiv Khera named ‘You can Win’ really changed me and now I am a motivational blogger and practicing in motivational speech. I was less confident but this is changing now.
The most important thing is to be honest with yourself. Everyone gets negative feeling in their life but we have to overcome from those negative auto suggestion. Give yourself positive suggestion. It can’t be done at once. You have to gradually turn it toward positive. For example “If someone is thinking that he is less confident and practicing it from three years. He first needs to identify that then turn it toward positive and repeat it for just 1 or 2 month then he will automatically feel he is being confident.”
We have to teach our mind. Our subconscious mind is like a child. What we feed in it, we receive it. Just feed positive comments, you will automatically feel your attitude being positive. Be happy and don’t get stressed.
I would like to call this negative voice as pessimism. The 6 steps are brilliant it can really help those who are having trouble in controlling themselves and simply gets side-tracked by that negative voice. I think the 1st step is very important. In order to change something negative in us we must acknowledge its presence. Thank you for posting this very informative article.
I needed this article TODAY!
There are times when I am really pessimistic. To the point that where I am wondering where the hell are those thoughts coming from? It’s hard to counter it with positive thoughts but that is what I am trying to do. I need more practice.
this article literly help me in no time :P. I’m newly appointed in a micro finance bank and so far im not happy with job. but this is my first job after graduation so it will have vital role in my professional career. i was looking to motivate myself and fortunately hit your article and it slove my problem. thnx for sharing your thoughts and experience.
GOD BLESS YOU 🙂
Sometimes we are not even aware that our inner voice is on a continuous loop of chatter. We need to stop and listen to what is being said before we can move on and make the required changes.
Thank you Brenda for sharing!
You know- you’re exactly correct. It all boils down to a change in lifestyle. Habits are hard to change, but if you can train your mind to think in a different way, it sure does make things easier!
Well said Joe, the mind is a powerful thing that if you harvest its strength, anything can be made possible 😉