Arianna Huffington calls them her obnoxious roommates.
I have them too. My inner naysayers. My very own doomsday friends in my head. They talk to me when I’m feeling unsure or not so confident about something I want to do.
It’s funny, they don’t bug me much when I’m 100% determined about what I’m doing.
Do you have this problem too?
My head friends, they’ve been with me for a long time. Years.
They know me well. And they know exactly what song to sing at the most inopportune times.
Actually, no. I take that back.
My theory is that they actually tell me what I want to hear when I want to hear them, although I wouldn’t admit that out loud.
They come out in a chorus exactly when I need an excuse, an acceptable reason, or a valid way out.
And I suspect yours (if you have those kinds of head-friends too) are doing the same thing.
They know when you need to latch on to something so that you can back out of that thing that you say you want to do. Like
Like that thing that most likely will break the logjam in your career or life. Or that thing that will challenge and take you to your next level. Or that thing that will get you unstuck and moving forward toward your career goal.
They’re good at catching on when you’re about to do something fabulous like that, and that’s when they come out to party.
Because they know that, deep down, you want to put the brakes on. And you’re looking for a valid reason to do so. Even if you’re not saying it out loud.
See, they’re smart like that.
That’s why you’ve got to outsmart them.
Talk louder. Let your dreams and goals shout back at them to drown them out.
Have tools at your fingertips that you can use quickly to balance out their negative messages. I have two books that I usually grab in these occasions: The War of Art by Steve Pressfield, and There’s Nothing Wrong With You by Cheri Huber.
Sometimes you need re-enforcements. Find a friend or a confidant to talk louder at them for you. I’ve got a friend who I run to when the negative voices get too loud for me to tackle on my own.
And the #1 way to shut them up? Ignore them altogether and Do. The. Thing. Anyway.
That really is the best way to get them to ferme la bouche for real. They’ll go back to their little caves and hibernate until they sense that you’re getting brave again to do the next wonderful thing.
The key to managing our inner naysayers is to recognize when and why they show up.
Understand that they’re out because you are venturing out to do something new and brave. And to have ready-made tricks of your own, that you can easily deploy before their voices can take over your plans.
What’s on Your Mind
Do you have obnoxious roommates in your head too? How do you deal with them?