The mind is a beautiful thing. Among all of our relationships the most constant companion across our lifespan is our own mind. It is always there feeding us with concepts, predictions, thoughts, and feelings. Right, wrong, or indifferent our mind is a beautiful thing and it should also come with a warning sign.
“Caution While Using”
From the moment of birth our minds are consuming, interpreting, and developing concepts of the world around us. From an evolutionary standpoint we are afforded some basic survival instincts. Beyond that our environment, caregivers, community, and other facets of life have an on-going influence on our self-development.
All along, while both protecting us and preparing us, our constant companion in good times and bad is our own mind. Our mind can be our greatest ally and it can also be our worst critic. If your mind was a best friend would you tolerate a friend who constantly fills you with negativity, doubt, critiques your every action, impatient with you, seeks perfection, and is just a bully at times? Or, do you seek a best friend who is kind, uplifting, forgiving, patient, expresses empathy, and can make you laugh?
Instinctively, our mind is primed to figure out problems and fix them. I rarely meet with a client who isn’t an expert at telling me what they do wrong and why they are bad at something. Although, by doing that, the bad feelings and myth that they are not normal tend to persevere.
For many individuals, they find themselves living in the theater of their own mind rehearsing the same intolerant script. At some point, for many, they become convinced they are broken in some way and that they cannot be helped.
On the other hand, there is credible research that leads us to believe that our choice and use of words and imagery strongly influences our mind and ultimately our behavior. Which is why you need to ditch that current companion who drags you down and develop a new relationship.
Discover that inner companion that represents the type of friendship you value most. Develop a new internal talk-track that constantly reminds you of your values, strengths, perseverance, and courage. Hire a new director and start rehearsing a different script in the theater of your mind which enables your story to become a blockbuster.
A healthy first step to begin to influence your own internal talk-track is to understand what you look for in an ideal friend or companion. How does that friend support you? How do they bring out the best in you? What words do they share that inspire you? Once you’ve identified those characteristics and words then flip the script and start to incorporate that talk-track into your own new tune.
You can initiate a new script by rehearsing more of this vs. that.
Think this… vs. Thinking that…
I will ask to join them… vs. They didn’t ask me because I’m boring…
I want to try this… vs. I’ve never done that, and I know I will suck at it…
I am a loving and supportive partner… vs. He/She doesn’t think I’m good enough…
To combat the unhealthy dialogue in your mind you need to begin to build a new vocabulary that encourages your mind to be kind, healthy, and courageous. Be your new best friend!