“That’s not good enough.”
“You’re not working hard enough.”
“You’re not bold enough.”
Like all sorts of people, I struggle with internal voices and internal self-talk like this. It can be limiting at times, keeping me from taking leaps I need to take, or making me kick myself for past regrets.
Often internal voices reinforce things our parents or other authority figures trained us to accept. When they go wrong, we then tend to blame those authority figures for the voices. But this only goes so far, and I think there’s more to the origin of internal voices.
To a greater extent than people realize, internal voices spring from our own past actions, inactions, and regrets. Maybe the reason I keep hearing these voices is because they are, to some extent, true. In any case, they could be mine.
Maybe I have not fully satisfied what I realize needs to happen in my own life. Or maybe I have not properly remembered, clarified, or celebrated my achievements. Maybe I need to do some combination of both. All of the times I chose not to work hard, or breezed past a key victory, or did not take a chance when I should have, I guaranteed that I would later hear a voice not only condemning me for my past failure, but attempting to doom me to future failure.
We create the voices in our own heads. And if they can be limiting now, we can imagine that listening to them again will only make them louder in the future. We must do whatever it takes to silence or change them.