You’ve got voices in your head.
I’m pretty sure, at least.
Of the hundreds of people I’ve talked to and worked with over the last five years of coaching, I have yet to meet the person who doesn’t. The one we notice most easily is that nasty voice of exaggerated fear and doubt, the gremlin voice.
I call mine Whampus.
And Alfie and Heather and Itty Bitty Betty depending on the nature of the chatter I’m hearing.
Over the years since I named mine, I’ve learned to hone in on these gremlin iterations more easily and quickly, keeping me from buying into their nonsense.
Well, keeping their nonsense in check.
It’s this practice of listening inwardly that has transformed their chatter from a cacophonous muddle of self-punishment into more distinct messages that I can then refute. Bonus: Listening for the distinct messages also means I can more easily hear that much quieter voice of wisdom that also lives within me.
Just a few weeks ago, I was in the midst of a pretty nasty shame spiral. Ultimately, it was just a rotten mood that spun out of control. I sat on my sweetheart’s porch and listened in, hearing all the nasty messages yammering away within my own mind and then in the background came that other voice saying, “There’s nothing actually bad going on here. Get through tonight without lobbing any emotional grenades at anyone else and you’ll feel better in the morning.”
That, my friends, took a ton of practice in listening to get to.
And so I sat, my sweetie next to me in quiet support, until I was ready to sleep. Sure enough, when the next morning came, it brought the relief of rest and a break from the chatter.
Occasionally, people tease me when I talk about the variety of gremlin voices I hear. “Maybe you shouldn’t share that,” they say with a wink.
Let’s not feel ashamed of the voices in our heads but instead remember that 95% of what they say is fear under a microscope, doubt on steroids, and not The Truth.
Let’s not hide the voices in our heads but instead remember that fear and doubt personified are one of the things we all have in common.
Sure, some of us hide it better than others. Or, said differently, some of us isolate ourselves more effectively than others.