In the movie Postcards From The Edge, Meryl Streep and Shirley McClaine play a mother-daughter pair in a most realistic fashion. At one point, Meryl Streep tells someone that her mother is “that voice in your head that says you can’t do anything right.” (This is my all-time favorite movie, by the way, so that may tell you something about me!)
We all have that voice; it’s stronger at some times than others. I was delighted to participate in a seminar last Friday given by Steve Andreas, MA that gave practical ways to deal with that voice. (The technical name of this method is neuro-linguistic programming, or NLP). I couldn’t wait to pass them on to you.
First, determine what the voice is saying. Is it saying “I can’t do anything right” or “YOU can’t do anything right?” This is an important distinction, because it tells you whether this is a message you picked up from someone else, or one coming from you.
Next, ask the voice, what are you trying to protect me from? What do you want to accomplish here? Maybe it’s trying to make you be extra careful so as not to make a mistake. The voice has a REASON for what it says. It wants to help.
Next, tell the voice a better way to accomplish that goal. For instance, replace “You can’t do anything right” with “It’s OK to make a mistake.” If the voice is saying, “you are too fat,” replace it with “I live a healthy lifestyle.”
If it persists in the negative, try speeding up the sound of that negative voice in your head, like a recording played at high speed. Give it a childish tone. Place it across the room. Place it outside the door, as if you are hearing it faintly and it’s having to shout. Put some up tempo music behind it (I like to put mine to the Hallelujah Chorus). Give it a foreign accent. All of these are ways to gain control and thus diminish the serious authority of the negative voice.
This is the kind of work I do in session; why not call for an appointment, in person or on Skype, so we can work with that voice in deeper ways? I am here to help. Email me at info@Rockwall-Counseling.com for more information.