Ever feel like you’re waging an internal war? It might not be bloody, but it does kill. It kills your self-esteem, confidence, and your dream.
One side wants to see you succeed, feel good about yourself, and exceed in all of your endeavors. The other is taking every chance it gets to drag you down. The fierce battle between the two sides can drive anyone crazy.
Becoming an entrepreneur means taking major steps outside your comfort zone. It will most likely trigger fear, disbelief, and doubt. It will probably make that mean voice inside seem louder and even more condescending.
If that’s the voice that’s running your inner dialogue today, it’s time to make it stop. It’s time to say goodbye once and for all.
Here are the 5 steps on how to silence the side of yourself that wants to see you fail:
1. Detach yourself from your toxic thoughts
The monkey. That’s what I call that destructive and mean voice that can come in and overpower us. Because let’s face it, it can behave just like a drunk, neurotic monkey who’s tirelessly jumping around and chattering in a desperate attempt to get our attention.
The monkey thinks he’s protecting you. But in reality, he’s hindering you from creating the life you truly desire. Why? Because the monkey is trying to protect what you’ve accepted as truth — whether it serves you or not.
If you believe that making money requires hard work and struggle, the monkey will want to prove you’re right. If you think you aren’t smart enough or consistently lack time, the monkey will do just about anything to prove that your belief is correct.
The thing is, if you’ve heard something repeatedly in the past, or if you’ve had an emotionally painful experience, your monkey will remember that. And he’ll do just about anything to protect you from feeling that pain again.
Now, it might sound like this little guy is your enemy. He’s not. He’s just a scared little monkey who needs you to take charge of the situation.
So, when you have these toxic thoughts, start by separating the monkey’s voice from your own. It’s not you talking, OK? Detach yourself by acknowledging and observing his presence. Don’t fight or get upset over his comments; that will only fuel him. Instead, be polite, and greet the little fellow by saying, “Well, hello little monkey!”
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson
2. Take control over the chatter
So, now that you’ve acknowledged the monkey, it’s time to calm him down. How do you calm a drunk and neurotic monkey?
That’s right, by giving him a big hug. And by telling him soothing phrases such as, “Thanks for looking out for me, but don’t worry. I’ve got this under control.” You can even imagine yourself petting the little monkey on its head.
Remember that poking current beliefs is scary to the monkey. It will trigger him. To remain in control of your inner-dialogue, simply acknowledge what caused your monkey to go bananas. Play detective on yourself to get the bigger picture of the situation.
Maybe you’re stepping outside of familiar boundaries? Maybe you’re facing struggles on your path as an entrepreneur? Maybe you’re diving headfirst into something that scares you silly?
Remember, it’s probably a good thing you’re doing here. You’re probably stretching limits, breaking boundaries, and growing as a person. See the situation for what it is (and not through the eyes of a terrified and neurotic monkey).
So, sooth your monkey, and simply acknowledge what made him scared. That’s how you put yourself in the driving seat. That’s how you become the master of your monkey (and not the other way around).
3. Replace negative thoughts with better feeling ones
Now that you’ve calmed the monkey, look for better-feeling thoughts around the subject. The trick here is to find thoughts that are positive, but not too positive so that your mind asks, “What the heck are you talking about? This isn’t what you’ve been telling me!”
Thoughts gain momentum, so you can’t instantly go from “I can’t do this” to “I can totally do this!” without feeling like a big liar. So go step-by-step. First aim to reach a neutral place. Play around with thoughts until you find those you resonate with emotionally. Here are some of my favorites:
- “I’ve done similar things in the past, and that’s gone well.”
- “It doesn’t matter where I am today, when I know where I’m going.”
When you’ve managed to come to a neutral place, find more positive thoughts that can lift you toward a positive place. Once you’ve done that, reach for another one that makes you feel a little bit better than the previous one. Small and simple steps, that’s all.
4. Keep nurturing your positive thoughts
So, now that you’ve shifted focus to more positive thoughts, things start to become clearer. Ah, the haze is dissolving (love those moments!), and you can start building positive momentum that will propel you forward.
Now, think of your thoughts as a garden. Whatever you plant there will grow. The monkey loves a beautiful and prosperous garden where he can relax. If that’s what you’re growing, he doesn’t need to worry for you. Then he can just sit back and smell the flowers.
So, pay attention to what you’re planting in your garden. Are you growing appreciation or criticism? Is it a garden full of opportunities or limitations? Is it the successes or failures in your life that are in bloom? The flowers you take most care of will blossom and overshadow the others.
Simply, bask yourself in the feelings of already being, doing, and having what you want.
“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.” – Joyce Meyer
5. Leave room for the voice that will guide you right
Being bullied around by your inner voice is hard. Not only does it shatter your great vision – it leaves you feeling unworthy, disempowered, and frustrated.
You deserve to feel good about yourself. You deserve to live a life of excitement, exhilaration, and bliss. You deserve to make your dream a reality. That’s the whole purpose of a dream, isn’t it?
So, take control. Calm and soothe your monkey when he’s active, and nurture your positive thoughts. Don’t let your monkey master your life. Instead, master your monkey to master your life.
Leave space for that voice inside that wants to see you succeed and be happy. That’s the voice worth listening to. That’s the voice that knows what you’re truly capable of. That’s the voice that will guide you right.