Getting Out of Your Head
Somebody asked a question the other day on a forum I was reading entitled; “How do I get out of my own head.” I didn’t have time to answer at the time because I was too busy either pondering the meaning of life or getting the laundry in, I forget which now. It’s really a great question, especially when asked in the cold light of day in a self development forum rather than at 3.00am in a hot, sweaty nightclub by some guy with a shaky jaw that appears to have misplaced his shirt.
I think without him even realizing it, the person that asked that question is half way there. Most people can’t, or rather don’t, get out of their own head because they never realize that there is an alternative. They think that this is how life is, that how they think is how everybody else thinks, or at least should think. They will usually possess a conviction that they have no power over their own thoughts and will often proudly announce to me during sessions “I really have no control over the conversations I have in my own head” That will usually lead me too glance suspiciously over both my shoulders, lean forward in my chair and ask in a conspiratorial whisper “Then who does?” Let me say at this stage, if they are wearing a tin foil hat and hopping around on one leg muttering lines from Celine Dion songs I tend to not bother with this conversation and refer them on to Dr. Phil.
We all have a chattering voice inside our head pretty much 24/7. Even when you think yours isn’t saying anything, it probably is. It chats to you when you’re at work, it chats to you when you’re at home it even chats to you when you kindly ask it not to. It can talk good supportive stuff, bad aggressive stuff or even really annoying stuff like the occasions when it decides it’s going to hum the ‘Birdy Song’ for the next 8 hours whether you like it or not.
The above is how most of us view the voice, we disassociate from it. We refer to it as THE voice or A voice and distance ourselves from it. That may lesson the impact of some of the really negative stuff (equally it may not), but it also has the effect of making us feel like victims and losing the belief that we can change the situation. So how about trying this on for size and repeating the paragraph below? If you are in a large office make sure you stand up and speak very loudly so those people at the back can hear clearly. You might want to hold fire with the promotion request for a week or two afterwards though.
“I chat to myself when I’m at work, I chat to myself when I’m at home, and I even chat to myself when I don’t want to. I can talk good supportive stuff, bad aggressive stuff or even really annoying stuff like when I decide to hum the ‘Birdy Song’ for 8 hours.”
Does that feel different? It may actually feel worse, but that’s not important because it will almost certainly feel like you have more control and that’s what really matters.
Now say this:
“I now recognize and accept I have complete dominion inside my own head and from now on I intend to be helpful, caring and supportive of myself. I will always strive to see the positive in every situation and make sure I buy all Tim’s books as well as recommending his Blog and Life Coaching services to every person I meet”
That’s the easy bit, now comes the work. Please repeat that phrase everyday for the rest of your life and also whenever you hear ‘The Voice’ giving you a hard time.
At this point people often tell me they’ve tried this out and it’s not as successful as they imagined. “No kidding, my Blog traffic has gone nowhere” I usually think to myself. What’s usually happened, is that they’ve tried it a few times and then simply forgotten to keep it going or been discouraged by the fact that they aren’t feeling like Pollyanna on Prozac after two days.
I’m going to give you some tips on ways to change your thinking as well as getting out of your own head, but it will have to be next post. I know I’m such a tease, but I have stuff to do and anyway, you should be getting some work done.