Shut Up! I'm Not Listening to You!
“I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up.”
Musician Lauren Daigle recorded the above lyrics in a popular Christian song called “You Say.” It speaks about the lies that negative voice inside our head constantly feeds us. Sadly, we often believe those lies.
What is your negative (#negativity #positivity) voice telling you? “You’re not good enough.” “You’re a failure.” “Nobody loves you.” “You’ll never make it.” “You can’t succeed.” Whatever that negative voice is saying, its whole purpose is to keep you downtrodden, discouraged, and helpless. Why on earth would we continually listen to that negative voice?!
It is easier to believe the negative than the positive. Studies done by Professor John Cacioppo, Ph.D. showed that the brain reacts more strongly to negative stimuli than positive. That means we are more heavily influenced by negative news than by good news.
When we hear bad news, it takes 3-4 seconds for it to go to our long-term memory. When we hear good news, it takes 12 seconds before it goes into our long-term memory. If we get distracted before the 12 seconds is up, it doesn’t go in at all. So, if we are not intentional about focusing upon the good news, we will automatically focus on the bad news. (Dr. Mike Bechtle, author, professor, executive coach)
One way to help train your brain is to be intentional about counting your blessings. Make a list of all the things you are thankful for. The more often you repeat that list in your mind the stronger the connection becomes.
Another way to combat that negative voice is to give it a name. I won’t tell you the name of my negative voice because I don’t want to offend anyone who may happen to have that name. When she begins spouting negativity, I say, “Shut up _______. I am not listening to you today. I am going to believe this instead.” I encourage you to say it out loud. It is amazing the looks you can get when you are in public talking to an imaginary person. That by itself can make you laugh and lift your mood. The more often you deny that negative voice airtime, the quieter it gets. Stop giving power to your negative voice.