by Jessica Wilkerson, LMFT
Have you ever found yourself mumbling under your breath, “get it together, man! What’s wrong with you?” or “Of course you didn’t get that good thing, your life stinks.” It’s human nature to try to use an inner voice to encourage ourselves to do better or to coach ourselves not to experience upset. Somewhere along the way some of us learned that by admonishing ourselves it softens the blow of disappointment, frustration, or feelings of powerlessness.
There’s a false sense of empowerment that comes from negative or chastising inner dialogue, and it feels like those statements keep us on our feet and alert. Without the inner coach saying, “There’s no such thing as second place!” or “You already know you’re unlovable, don’t bother putting yourself out there.” We can feel like we would accidentally make fools of ourselves. Our perception is that the way we are talking to ourselves is keeping us safe.
It’s absolutely not keeping us safe.
It’s keeping us from thriving and from flourishing. It’s keeping us from following our dreams. It’s not a voice of reason, but it’s a voice of discouragement masking as a well-meaning friend.
Instead, acknowledging what’s actually going on for you. “This is really disappointing” and “I don’t think this person sees who I really am, and that hurts and frustrates me. I feel powerless.” Allowing those feelings and comments to exist also allows them to flow out and away. Then, you have the mental space to make a plan of action and to see other true statements. “I’ve been hurt in the past, but this person is wholly different from the other people I’ve loved and lost.” “I didn’t get first place this time, but I’m going to switch up my game plan so I improve and next time it’ll be a homerun!”
The inner voice is an accumulation of people in our lives that we noticed: parents, teachers, friends, coaches, tv personalities. It comes from so many sources that it’s not always important to figure out why we talk like this, but to start by noticing that we do it and then working toward a shift.
If you need help shifting the way you talk to yourself so you can continue living your life, but with one more person in your court (you) then please feel free to reach out!
You can call for an appointment at (530) 809-1702.
All therapists are providing Telehealth for any clients physically located in California and in-person sessions at the office in Chico, CA.
Jessica Wilkerson, MA, LMFT 104464 is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She is the owner and clinical supervisor of Inspired Life Counseling as well as one of the treating clinicians. Originally from Redding, Jessica has been in Chico for almost a decade and loves how the community comes together and supports each other anytime there’s a crisis. She also enjoys all the fun community events. You can often find her shopping at a morning farmers market or enjoying any of the food truck related events – they bring out the fun in the city! Where there’s a food truck, there’s usually music and a good time!