You know that voice in your head? That one that's always babbling about what went wrong, and what you shouldn't do? Yeah, that one.
It's maddening, isn't it? I mean, it tells you all kinds of crazy things and ends up keeping you stuck in unhealthy thought patterns and dark storylines.
After I started listening to that voice in my own head, I wished I could turn it off. I didn't like the way it whispered to me when I was trying something new, or trying to sleep, or even worse—verbally kicking me while I was down.
But over the years, I've learned some things about that voice. Maybe this will help you.
The Voice isn't trying to keep me stuck.
It's trying to keep me safe. That's why The Voice is so risk-averse. After a debilitating breakup, naturally, The Voice is going to say all men are jerks because I don't want to get my heart broken again. And when I think about skydiving, The Voice tells me all the reasons why that's dangerous because, well, it can be dangerous—and I prefer to live. Therefore, I've come to regard The Voice as an overprotective parent.
The Voice contains keys to self-awareness.
When I really listen to The Voice, I gain a deeper understanding of myself. For a long time, The Voice in my head told me marriage is suicide. Upon closer inspection, I was able to decode my own feelings and needs within that statement. Suicide = Death = Scary. I was afraid of marriage because I thought it meant I'd lose my sense of self. I'm a fiercely independent person, and the idea of matrimony threatened my need for autonomy. After realizing this, I was able to shift my focus to become more aware of my need. I determined particular boundaries to minimize infringement on my sacred Self. I recently got married to my second husband with no fear.
As it turns out, that dark voice isn't so dark after all. However, it does have an unhealthy preoccupation with the shadowy side of your psyche. You can combat the negative effects of these thoughts when you pause to listen to the message. Then ask yourself what am I afraid of? Dive deep and discover your feelings and your unmet needs. Then, from a place of knowledge and power, you can take positive action in your life. And afterward, you just might find The Voice to be a little quieter.
Written by Tara Eisenhard
Tara Eisenhard is a divorce coach who helps struggling singles overcome shame and frustration, en route to finding peace and cultivating a life they love. She is also the author of the novel "The D-Word: Divorce Through a Child's Eyes." Other articles by Tara can be found at her blog, Relative Evolutions.