By Glenys O’Connell @GlenysOConnell
“Argue your limitations and sure enough, they’re yours.” #Richard Bach #quote
Do you talk to yourself? Most writers do – and we’re not alone. Most ‘Normal’ people talk to themselves, too. Not always out loud, but there’s that inner voice in your head that comments on just about everything you do, advises you, comes up with great (or not so great) ideas, comforts and inspires.
Because lots of us have voices in our heads that talk us down. Sometimes they may even sound like someone in our past who has told us our ‘limits’. Your mother, another relative, a teacher, a friend, an employer, people who may have said things ‘for your own good’ or to ‘stop you getting big headed’. Perhaps people who were afraid to step out on Life’s High Wire themselves, and passed that fear on to you. Or people afraid they’d lose you if you became successful, or who were genuinely afraid you’d be hurt if you strove for high dreams and fell flat on your face.
But now that self-talk is firmly embedded in your mind. You want to write a book? It’s too much work…I’m not talented enough..who would want to read what I have to say…it’s silly, everyone would laugh….no-one from my social class has ever…I’m too old….
You want that beautiful home, that fulfilling job? You want love? Success? Happiness? A healthy inner voice cheers you on, tells you that you do deserve good things; but that negative inner voice will come up with all the reasons why it’s a bad idea, you don’t deserve it, who would love you anyway,. and why can’t you just settle for, well, second best?
Or fill in the blank here for what your little voice says:__________________________________
It may be a little voice, but it puts huge limits on you. It may help you stay within your comfort zone, but it doesn’t help you achieve the dreams that are in your heart.
Negative Self Talk Limits You.
Basically, your mind accepts what you tell it. If you say you can’t, well, you can’t.
Say you can, then that wonderful organ, your brain, will have all its neurons scurrying around for ideas and plans to help you do what you want to achieve.
Of course, it’s not that simple;sometimes you want something that just won’t work out for a number of different reasons that may be beyond your control. Funnily enough, if one dream doesn’t work out, your clever brain often comes up with a substitute dream much more suited to you, and do-able.
So, spend some time every day having a chat with yourself; tell yourself that you are a smart, caring, competent, deserving person.
It won’t be easy, it won’t be painless, but you can erase the limitations that experiences and other people have encouraged you to put on yourself. Talk nicely to yourself, be positive, and believe that you can.
I leave you with one of my favorite quotes. Write it out and hang it where you’ll see if often:
‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it – boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” Johann von Goeth #quote
Glenys O’Connell is a trained counselor and the author of Depression: The Essential Guide and PTSD: The Essential Guide