Dr. Deb’s Mental Health Vitamin: That voice within you
By Dr. Deb Wade
GCU Vice President, Counseling and Psychological Services
Do you talk to yourself? Does the past also talk to you? What about the voices around you … do they seem to talk to you as well?
The reality is that we “hear” all kinds of messages that have the power to either elevate us or denigrate us. Which ones are you listening to?
I believe that we can be our own worst enemies because our self-talk can be so condemning and destructive.
“Well that was a stupid move.”
“Why try? You’re way out of your league.”
“I am so dense.”
“Dummy … no wonder you blew it.”
At the same time, however, there may be messages from the past that are equally destructive, but for some reason we allow ourselves to replay them … over and over and over.
“You’ll never amount to anything.”
“If only you were as accomplished as your brother.”
“Hey, four-eyes, what’s your problem?”
“Can’t you do anything right?”
In addition, sometimes we soak up messages around us that we internalize and make our own.
“What a moron!”
“Blondes are just outright dumb.”
“All the pretty girls are taken.”
“Are there any real men left?”
What a disservice to ourselves when we refuse to selectively screen unhealthy messages. AND, what an even worse disservice to ourselves when the ugliest voice of all is our very own!
It’s time to stop and inspect what we’ve allowed to claim permanent residence in our psyches. Sometimes we just need a checkup from the neck up. The next time you “hear” condemning, bombastic, hurtful messages but you don’t immediately discard them, shame on you … you just fertilized them! Instead, let’s be ultra-aware of what we allow to roost in our brains.
If it’s not uplifting, if it’s not positive, if it’s not encouraging and if it’s not promoting, then DELETE! Yes, we all have a “delete” button, but to be savvy and astute in its use, it’s important to “tune in” just long enough to discern. If it’s positive, it’s a keeper. If it’s negative, it goes in the trash.
Now … some of us grew up with positive messages, encouraging words and a support system that fed confidence, composure and a sense of positive self-worth. If that’s you, count yourself fortunate, indeed. When those whom you deem important place their belief in you and then celebrate your successes, you are a blessed person!
And what a model – we must remember to deposit the same healthy messages in others. We do have a choice. Let’s find the good and the lovely rather than the warts and the pimples on those around us. When we acknowledge those positives, WE feel better, too. What a gift that keeps on giving.
So be completely tuned in to the messages that you allow to “play “in your brain … whether they are old messages from the past, or messages from those around you, or, even worse, your own messages to yourself. Nothing is gained by harboring them! Instead … DELETE, DELETE, DELETE! You GET to choose which voices you listen to!
Now … don’t you feel better?