We all have inner thoughts and sometimes they’re encouraging us, supporting
us, egging us on and helping us succeed. Other times, we have thoughts that
are not so helpful.
Let’s recognise our thoughts for what they are – our inner selves.
We have different version and visions of who we are and what we are.
Depending on our mood we have different inner dialogue going on inside
– there are multiple voices in each of us.
You may recognise yourself as a helper, a teacher, a warrior or a worrier, a romantic, a realist, a genius, a fool, you may even be a rock star, an astronaut or an explorer.
It doesn’t matter what labels you put on it, you should recognise and embrace
your inner believer, your biggest supporter and your inner critic.
Realise that we are complex beings. We are not just ‘one thing’, we are
many things. We could be a daughter, son, sister, brother, cousin, friend,
teacher, trainer, mother, father, trusted adviser, partner, boss, coach, neighbour
and many more.
How can we be all of those things to others and not have many complex parts
In my experience I have found that we are normally very hard on ourselves.
We sometimes push away our ‘inner supporter’ and try to quieten them
down when they’re encouraging us and egging us on. But we don’t do that
so often to our ‘inner critic’.
You’ve got to wonder why that is?
Ask yourself, if you had a friend who was as harsh on you as your inner critic,
would you want to hang out with them? Would they still be your friend?
You should surround yourself with people that lift you up, that give you a spring
in your step, that believe in you, even when you don’t believe in yourself.
As John F Kennedy said “A rising tide lifts all boats”.
I believe we live in a world of abundance. There is plenty for all of us, if we allow
there to be. This saying means that if we support, encourage and lift each other
up, we will all win. So, embrace helping others and open yourself up to ask for
and accept help. Let’s lift each other up and make the world a better place.
Let’s reduce fighting and encourage collaboration.
And you should do that within yourself as well. Your inner supporter is there to
help you grow and do well in life. Your inner critic is there to protect
you – although sometimes that inner critic just needs to shut up!
Try this exercise* and see how you go.
*adapted from Bryan, Cameron, Allen 1998, The Artist’s Way at Work, Secret Selves(11)
Identify your different ‘inner characters’. You will have a few inside you.
There may be the supporter and the worrier etc. etc.
Name each character, then write a description next to their name of what
you imagine them to look like.
You know, if they were actually standing in front of you giving you that bit of advice, what do you imagine them to look like, sound like and be like?
Then describe their behaviours – these are the things you say to yourself, the way
in which you say them and how that part of you impacts on you eg: is it one of
your supporters or one of your critics?
Have a bit of fun with this – let your imagination run wild and tap into your
Here’s an example to get you started.
The point is, they all have different aspects and as a human being, we need
to realise and recognise our inner thoughts that help us and hinder us.
This exercise will help you identify the different aspects of yourself and realise
that each you these different ‘you’ have a purpose, role and a value, you just need
to embrace and harness them.
Sit down by yourself and think about a situation or issue in your life at the moment.
Ask each of your inner selves to give you an insight or opinion regarding
Really think about what each part of your inner self thinks about it.
Then see if each part is in agreement or if there are different opinions
because they’re looking at the situation differently, through a different lens?
Using this approach can help you look at opportunities and threats because
you’re tapping into the ‘whole of you’, instead of just listening to whichever
part is yelling at you the loudest in that moment.
It can give you a different perspective and hidden insights and sometimes,
it can and will surprise you.
Try it a few times in different situations and see if it helps.
Helen brings a wealth of experience gained over 20 years in Human Resources in Australia and overseas.
Images by JKO
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