The Voice in the Head is an ***hole

"The voice in the head is an ***hole." This is one of the first lines in Dan Harris' great book 10 Percent Happier. Dan is an anchor on the weekend version of ABC's Good Morning America. He had a major panic attack on air several years ago. The experience led him to learn about meditation and his book documents his journey to a calmer mind and more emotional peace. 

In last week's blog, we discussed the inner critic and the messages it sends us. One way it shows up is in the form of the voice in the head. Most of the time, the voice in the head criticizes us for some self-perceived weakness (e.g. "you are not a good speaker") or tells us we can't do something out of a misguided attempt to protect us from getting hurt (e.g "your business will never work; why bother trying?"). The voice tries to limit us and keep us small.

I challenge you to explore your voice in the head and how it affects your behaviors. Some questions for your reflection:

  • What is your voice in the head?
  • How do you know it is speaking to you? What is going on in your head, heart and body?
  • During what situations does it tend to show up?
  • How do you respond to the voice?
  • How does it affect your behaviors?
  • What is the story you are telling yourself that feeds the voice?
  • How could you re-write that story?