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You need to color inside the lines…and other stories I tell myself.

What the hell have you done?

You are going to fail!

You need to follow the rules!

Those statements, my friends, have been running wild through my head for the last few months. As change continues in my world, leaving corporate, downsizing our home, starting a coaching business… My fears escalate and the voice in my head get louder.

I find myself listening to the stories the voice is telling me, which are fueled by society’s expectations of success and happiness. It’s all about the title, the house, the car, the money, the image, etc. Do what is expected of you! Fall into line. Color inside the lines. Be who we except to you to be. Doing so will make you successful and everyone happy.

Stop right there!

Are these stories I’m telling myself really true?

HELL NO! But how do I convince my inner voice of the truth?

Let’s start by getting to know our inner voice. It is the running commentary most of us have as we move through life, make decisions, and plan for the future. The intention of our inner voice is to protect us, but at what cost? How can we wrangle our inner voice? Use it as a force of good, not evil!

Yes, there are benefits of our inner voice. Our inner voice reminds us of what we have done and offers suggestions on how to avoid mistakes. Which can be incredibly helpful. Especially, if we translate those comments into lessons learned.

  • What worked well? How do we incorporate our knowledge, strengths, and skills that worked in the past into today’s situation?

  • What did go so well? How do we approach today’s situation differently? What new or alternative perspective have we learned from our past?

Our inner voice can be a great teacher if we are open to learning and avoid judging.

Our inner voice can take a dramatic turn and become a very unhelpful, judge-y, and annoying character in our life story. The story may quickly translate to “I’m a failure.” or “I’m not good enough.” Or my repeat story, “I’m not worthy.”

These judge-y thoughts can stop us in our tracks. Paralyze us with fear. Hide the amazing lessons we can learn from our life experiences. Keep us from designing our unique path forward to fulfillment.

Here are a few suggestions which may allow you to tap into your powerful, supportive inner voice and learn from your stories.

  • Listen carefully to how you speak to yourself. Your tone of voice and the words you use have a huge impact on you. Remember to be kind to yourself and talk to yourself as you would a close, dear friend. Also, remember to explore your inner voice without judgement.

  • Record what you are saying and thinking about yourself and about others. For one full day, take notes on your thoughts, feelings, and stories you are telling yourself. At the end of the day, look for patterns. What is helpful? What is damaging? Are these stories or thoughts really true?

  • Decipher the lesson from your inner voice. What lessons you will you learn from these opportunities? Decide how you can incorporate these learnings into your life to move you forward.

  • Dump the thoughts which are dragging you down and holding you back. Let go of those stories which are not true or no longer serve you.

Here are a few of the lessons I have learned from my life experiences.

  • Every experience is an opportunity to learn. I try to approach every moment and situation with a growth mindset. I willingly admit when I do not know something and acknowledge when I need help.

  • Cultivate connections. I ask for help when I need it. I know I am not alone and have amazingly smart people supporting me who want me to be successful. I use my resources wisely.

  • Go for it! I approach life with courage and confidence. My perspective is supported by my belief that every moment is an opportunity to learn. As I learn more, I can choose to adjust along the way.

Shifting your perspective on your inner voice is not easy and takes ongoing attention. Take time to listen and learn from your inner voice. It is your way of replaying your experiences and giving you an opportunity to grow stronger and courageously face your next adventure.

Reflection questions

  • What story are you telling yourself? It is really true?

  • When have you felt your best? What were you doing? What knowledge, strengths, and skills were you using during this time?

  • How can you reconnect with those feelings, thoughts, and actions today.

If these questions or topics intrigue you and you want to explore them more deeply, schedule a free 30-mintue consultation with me. You can also join my mailing list below to keep in touch.

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