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Stop yelling at yourself!

Those voices in your head, you have heard them for years, the ones that stop you from doing what you want to be doing, or the ones that make what you want to be doing, so much harder than it needs to be. You might be wanting to speak on stage, write that book, starting a new job, a new business, or finding a new hobby.

Those voices yelling at you are all you! 

It wasn’t always you, it may actually have been your parents, your boss, or a bully at school, but at some point, someone yelled at you, laughed at you, criticised you, and told you that you can’t do ‘it’. Your head, in its wisdom, replayed those voices to the point you eventually started to believe them, and instead of your boss or your parents yelling, it is now you yelling at you.

The ‘it’ that you couldn’t do, or messed up way back when, most likely won’t even be related to whatever ‘it’ is now that you should be able to do. Unfortunately your head is taking you back to the time you couldn’t do something, and is replaying all those voices again, you can’t do it, you stuffed it up!

No one likes to be yelled at, so to save yourself any potential embarrassment of being yelled at, or scolded as an adult, and from the safety of your comfort zone, you decide not to go for ‘it’.  It isn’t always a conscious thought, but you decide not to do ‘it’, with your not so friendly inner voices (yes, there are many of them) of self-doubt telling you that you can’t do ‘it’ anyway, or you wouldn’t do a very good job, so why bother.

Why would you want to do ‘it’, when you are only going to be yelled at you when you fail, because you have assumed you will fail, so of course you will yell at your-self. By not doing ‘it’, you don’t get yelled at, problem solved.

The reality is, you can do it.

There was a time in your younger life that you did almost anything without fear of what others would say or think. In fact, you had no attachment to being embarrassed, no feelings of shame or disappointment, and would simply go for it.

Bring on your wise and mature adulthood, and you (and don’t worry, I’m included in this as well, and still am) started using your brain, not always in the best way, and you started using your logic. It might be due to safety, or security that you decide not to do ‘it’, but you also started caring in a big way about what others think.

The scales do tip back the other way where you start caring less, but this is your journey, and unfortunately I can’t tell you if it’s in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s or beyond, but it will happen, and you will eventually start caring a little less about what others think. It doesn’t mean you become recklessly selfish in your ways, but the words and feedback from others have less of an impact on you than they once did.

In the meantime, while you are waiting for your very own ass-hat to arrive (or you stop caring so much), start paying attention to the words you use on yourself.  

If you wrote down all the words you said to yourself, you would be embarrassed, offended and I dare say shocked at how you speak to yourself.  

Now, instead of saying those words to yourself, imagine saying any of those words or phrases to a child, friend, or a work colleague. Ouch! Seriously, you may actually need to call the police on yourself, those words can be nasty, and really hurtful, and you will be saying them to yourself multiple times every day. It really is no wonder that you don’t want to start something new, try your best, or do something different.

When you understand the power of the words you use on your-self, you understand both the positive, and negative effect they can have on you in either overcoming, or staying put, in your self-doubt. 

Do yourself a favour, and give yourself a fighting chance at doing something you want to do. It might start with something small, as you need to re-build your confidence in being able to do ‘it’. The something might be in your current job, or something at home, but whatever it is, this is about you getting back on your own wagon of belief, and seeing that you can do ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ is for you.

It’s time to stop yelling, and start encouraging and supporting you.

This post was written by Simon Moore, founder of The School of Purpose for Introverts. Connect with Simon on LinkedIn

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