We all have an inner voice running through our mind day and night.
For many years, I just assumed I was biologically programmed for having a negative mindset and that’s who I was. I truly believed I was destined to live life with a negative inner voice constantly bringing me down.
My inner voice criticized me for every little thing. It told me that in order to be liked and loved, I had to be perfect at everything, which made me feel like a failure when I made a mistake or did something wrong. My inner voice took stabs at my confidence whenever I wanted to try something new. It told me that I wasn’t “experienced enough” or that I would fail, so sometimes I felt like “why even bother?”
It made me feel incredibly guilty when I got frustrated with my kids. It told me I was a terrible mom. I couldn’t look in the mirror without seeing all my imperfections, which in turn made me overly self-conscious. My inner voice terrorized me by always promising the worst was going to happen. If I had an ache or a pain, I immediately started planning my funeral.
My inner voice told me I was awful at being married because I didn’t know how to let my husband love me. I wanted to start my own business for years, but my inner voice told me I wasn’t cut out to be an entrepreneur and no one would pay me for my services.
It was literally never-ending and affected every part of my life.
It wasn’t until I came across the teachings of Louise Hay that I realized my thoughts were only thoughts, and that by being aware of them I could actually change the tune of what they were saying. Not only could I put a stop to the negative thoughts, but I could create a new inner voice that inspired me at the same time.
This was completely life-changing for me. By creating awareness of my thoughts, I’ve been able to change my naturally negative inner voice into one that encourages me, loves me, lifts my spirit, and inspires me to follow my dreams.
You can do the same.
Here’s how to create an inner voice that inspires:
1. Become aware what your inner voice is saying.
Creating awareness of the thoughts we’re having is the first step because it allows us to see our thoughts as just thoughts. They come and go, and if we learn to acknowledge them as passing thoughts, rather than reality, our perspective will begin to change.
The best way I’ve found to do this is through deep breathing. When you feel like you’re caught up in a bout of negative thinking, come back to your breath. Close your eyes, place your hand on your heart, and take a few slow, deep breaths. Remember they are just thoughts. Acknowledge the thoughts you’re having, and allow them to pass through. They are a product of your mind. You are not your thoughts. Your thoughts are not your reality. A thought is just a thought, and it can be changed.
2. Choose what your inner voice is saying instead.
As Louise Hay suggests, the most important change to make is to stop criticizing yourself. Tell yourself you’re simply not going to do it anymore. It does you absolutely no good and nothing positive will come from it.
When you begin to have critical or fearful thoughts, put your hand on your heart, close your eyes, and say “No, I’m not going to think this about myself.”
It doesn’t come naturally at first, but keep with it. After about two months of consciously changing my self-critical thoughts, I hardly ever have them, and when I do, I’m able to quickly replace them with loving thoughts toward myself.
3. Use “I am” affirmations.
Affirmations are statements (such as, “I am abundant,” “I am blissful,” or “I am a beautiful light in this world”) that you repeat out loud or in your mind. They are incredibly powerful. I notice a difference in my inner voice when I haven’t used affirmations for a few days.
Write down your favorite affirmations on a sticky note and stick it to your bathroom mirror. Repeat them to yourself as you get ready in the morning. Listen to affirmations on YouTube. When I was learning to change my inner voice, I listened to them on my commute to and from work, while I was cleaning the kitchen, and even through headphones while falling asleep at night.
4. Learn to let go.
What are you still holding on to that is taking up space in your mind? Is it a past relationship that didn’t work out? A friendship that ended? A bad habit? A mistake you made? Something you wish you had done differently? What in your life are you holding onto that doesn’t make you feel good?
If it’s no longer serving you for the better—let it go. Once you release things in your mind that are not bringing you love and are draining your energy, you create space for beautiful things to happen—for beautiful things to enter your life.
I’ve had to do a ton of emotional clearing. My favorite way to do this is to find a quiet place to lie down and close my eyes. Think of what you’re trying to let go of and allow yourself to feel all the feelings it brings up. Sadness, anger, fear. Feel all the physical sensations. Cry, laugh, and allow your body to experience fully what comes to the surface.
Next, imagine what you’re trying to release rising up and out of your body. See it floating above you and know you are separate from it. Make the decision to let it go. Release it into the light or watch it blow away—whatever resonates most with you. Allow it to clear from your physical and emotional being.
Repeat this as often as needed until you feel free of what you’re trying to release. Until you feel lighter, relaxed, at ease, relieved, and content.
If you’re new to meditation, don’t worry, I’m not talking about sitting on a pillow in complete silence for two hours a day. I learned to meditate when I learned to change my inner voice, and now it’s a regular practice that I can’t live without.
Everyone is different, so experiment to find what works for you. For me, it helped to start with short, two-minute guided meditations. There are several apps which you can do anywhere. My favorite time is at my desk in the afternoon. It helps break up the day, allows me to quit my mind, and recharges my batteries. I come back to myself, connect with my heart, and am then able to carry on with the rest of my day in a more peaceful state.
Usually I don’t need that afternoon cup of coffee if I’ve done a short meditation. Gradually increase the amount of time you meditate for. I find that about 10 minutes a day works wonders for me.
Once I learned that we have the power to change our thoughts and shifted my inner voice from constant criticism and negativity to one that uplifts and inspires me, my life has changed in so many ways.
I learned what self-love was all about. I have a whole new respect for my body, compassion for myself, and confidence I didn’t have before. My marriage improved, and I was finally able to be a mom without the constant distraction of underlying messages saying I was doing everything wrong. And I was also able to pursue my dream of starting and running my own business.
Once you clear your mind of all the negative thoughts and replace them with inspiring, loving, encouraging, and beautiful thoughts, you create space in your mind, in your heart, and in your life for happiness, creativity, and abundance.
You become your own biggest fan and cheerleader.
You begin to create the life you were destined to live.
You become you.
Author: Erica Carrico
Image: Hobvias Sudoneighm/Flickr
Editor: Danielle Beutell
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Khara-Jade Warren