Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to licensed counselor and intuition coach John Harrison. John has written a fantastic guest post about the benefits of negative self talk. Yes, that’s right! John shows us how to make friends with our inner critic and let it guide us back to authenticity.
by John Harrison, LPCC Sharon Martin, LCSW
We all experience positive and negative self talk.
We’ve been alive long enough to have experienced viewpoints of ourselves that are negative, self deflating, and undermining and those that tell us we are limitless creators, lovers of life, and the masters of our own destiny. One set of beliefs tells us we “aren’t”. The other tells us we “are”. How do we know which is the affirming view of our own reality? Who are we, really?
Most of my clients come to see me looking for guidance to help them “get on the right track”. One person in particular has a stretch of weeks where her life is really coming together for her. She’s engaged, excited, and feeling she’s turned that corner. Then, to her disappointment, she’ll have one of her negative interactions with her family. They’ll tell her she’s being selfish. They’ll suggest she’s wasting her time with her career and that “if she’d just change” she’d be able to find someone that would want to date her.
After these run-ins with her family she’ll come to my office completely devastated. The self doubt creeps in. “What if they’re right? Am I being selfish? Can I ever be happy with my decisions?” She really feels that each time she has a setback she is starting over from scratch. I know that it feels that way to her. But she’s doing just fine.
Your inner critic doesn’t define you.
Although we all contain negative self talk, we are actually much more than this “self chatter”. Sure, we carry the doubts and fears of our parents, our families, the experiences of failure from growing up. We hear those “voices of the past” as we move into adulthood and even now in our current life experiences. But this isn’t actually who we really are. There’s a part of us that knows the “right way”. A part of us that knows joy and peace. So how do we tap into this? How do we tune out the negative self talk and ignore those crippling, shameful voices that tell us we aren’t enough?
You don’t turn them off. You can’t completely stop that negative self talk. But you can actually use those awful feelings you get when your negative self talk is at its worst to give you guidance. You can learn from your negative beliefs, self talk, and feelings. The negative feelings caused by negative self talk are the first indication that you aren’t in alignment with your true self. Why? Because you are worthy just by being alive. You deserve to feel good. You deserve to be confident, healthy, and thriving.
Self affirming thoughts and beliefs feel good. They feel right. And if you want to feel good, this is all you need to pay attention to in knowing you are “on the right path”.
You don’t need permission to feel good.
You are supposed to feel good. You are supposed to be happy and get what you want. Feeling good, alive, and engaged in life is what life is all about. Sure we’ve all been taught in one form or another that we get love and acceptance as long as we “play by the rules”. But I’m going to tell you this: You are deserving of what you want because you are. Period. You don’t need permission to feel good. You don’t need to be ashamed to feel happy and get what you want.
Your negative self talk can guide you back to yourself.
You have an internal GPS. A guidance system that tells you when you are “off” and when you are “on” and where you want to be. If you use those negative beliefs of yourself, or that negative self talk, to signal you that you aren’t where you want to be, the negative voices and stories in your mind can be a powerful ally. Stop trying to look for proof that your self defeating beliefs aren’t your reality. Stop trying to prove yourself and look for external affirmation. Give yourself permission to accept that you can demand and get what you want because you say so. And I’m assuming that you want more good in your life. You want to be happy, content, and be in love with your life.
And here you are. Living your life while going through the ups and downs. But you’ve made it this far. You know that for every self defeating belief, there is still a part of you who continues to seek something better. There’s a “you” that’s constant through all of this. The you that knows the contrast of life. The pain, the shame, and the love and excitement of being happy and alive. All of it. The truth is you want to be happy, engaged, and in love with life. But as life does, it gives us the negative experiences that bring those voices of doubt to the forefront of our conscious minds. But “you”, the real “you” continues to tell you through negativity that you aren’t living your truth. This is your intuition. Your internal GPS. It loves you. It doesn’t lie. All you have to do is listen to it.
John Harrison is a licensed counselor and intuition coach who works with individuals and couples helping them get “unstuck”. He shows them how to empower their lives, helping them see they are their own greatest asset. John counsels individuals and couples in Cincinnati, Ohio and coaches people from all over the country showing them how to use their “higher self” to get the lives they want. You can find out more about John and his services at johnharrisoncounseling.com.