ignoring your inner heckler

looking out from a cave on tunnel beach at oceanside, oregon. photo by me.

we share a similar palette when it comes to the range of our emotions. we all hurt, laugh, and cry. we all love, yearn, and wonder why. we all want to find our purpose, to be fulfilled, to be happy, and to matter.

we also constantly obsess over ourselves. we think too much about the past, and we dwell far too much on the future.

we’re haunted by our self-analysis.

we're so distracted by what's already happened or what might possibly become that we're rarely able to soak in the immediacy of the present. we're only half aware of what's actually happening right here, right now.

our inner dialogue stalls us from doing many of the worthwhile things we strive for. the negative self-talk that we repeat inside our heads stands in the way of both our peace, and our happiness.

the problem is, we convince ourselves we're not worthy.

“what’s the use?”
"forget it, i'm too fat"
"i'm not smart enough."
"ugh, i could never do that"
“why do i even bother anymore?”
"i'm doomed. i'll be alone forever."
"if only i had this, then i could do that."
“what’s the point in even continuing to try?”
"i'm a failure, i'll never be able to succeed now."

sound familiar? when we listen to our own inner doubt, we convince ourselves to do less than what we're capable of.

our ongoing inner critique permeates virtually every thought we have. take a moment to notice it. it's probably judging you right now as you read these words. you're reading too slow. you should've taken out the trash. you should really be working right now.

it infects our every intention and questions every action we try to take.

we're so blinded by our ongoing opinions of ourself, and everything around us, that we stumble into walls in places where there are none.

while we can't control the thoughts that randomly appear in our minds, we can control our reaction to them. how we respond to our ongoing inner narrative creates the flavour of our experiences. it also controls our fate.

pay attention to the nature of your thoughts. stop and notice your inner critic when it wells up inside you. umask its attempts to pass its disparaging words off as logic, knowledge or common sense.

if you do this, you'll see that it's not the world that's out to get you, it's yourself.

we're united by the melodrama of our human psychosis. we're all haunted by that nagging voice who calls itself "I" and who comments on everything we think and do.

this is our ego.

it's not something reserved for only those who are overly confident and proud, nor is it something for only the emotionally wounded or weak. it's an innate trait of our consciousness that sits deep within all of us.

it's like those two grumpy men from The Muppets who sat in the balcony and heckled everything and everyone. they are our ego.

listening to them will get you in trouble. they'll make you do rash things in the heat of the moment that are out of your character and that you'd otherwise choose not to do, if you had the clarity to.

your ego is that thing that not only gives you an over-inflated sense of your self (narcissism and conceit), but that also drags you down and makes you afraid of the world.

your ego can make you afraid of yourself.

take control of your mind. refuse to listen to your ego when it pipes up and attempts to offer an opinion you didn't ask for. strip away its power of speech so that you can move freely beyond it.

begin by practicing to notice the constant barrage of doubts and fears that proliferate inside your mind. one leads into the next, and before you know it, you're rapt with anxiety.

it's what happens when you talk yourself out of something you wanted to do. it's how you feel when an unanswered text message spirals out of control and you end up thinking that person hates you, when in fact their phone's battery simply died. it's what happens when you don't ask for something because you've convinced yourself the answer will be no. it's what happens when you stop trying.

let go of these thoughts as soon they arise and they'll fade away as quickly as they appeared. but if you give them the focus of your attention, if you listen to them and try to reason with them, they'll grow and consume you, and you'll become attached to their false words.

ignore your inner critic.

untie the ropes that tether you to unfounded fears and limiting opinions. let go of all those beliefs, emotions and points of view that keep you trapped inside of yourself.

enable your true self to reach its full potential. ignore your overthinking. be mindful. don't believe your own lies.

brian thompson