Your Inner Voice is the one that guides you in making the best decisions. It speaks through your feelings. It has a calm, supportive voice.
And sometimes it doesn't.
You have another Inner Voice that also uses your feelings. It mocks, screams and yells and brings you down, slows you down and stops you from making the best decisions.
You probably have many Inner Voices. A whole choir of them. They sing through your feelings especially when you are triggered by situations that bring back uncomfortable memories.
That's why you need to develop your mental agility, balance and resilience.
Agility: the ability to move away from the negative feelings offered
Balance: the ability to return to neutral feelings quickly
Resilience: the tendency to remain unaffected
First, check in with yourself and get a measure of how agile, balanced and resilient you already are. For example, how do you react when you imagine being put into one of these unprepared situations*?:
*These situations are common. You can probably think of more.*
Take a couple of minutes and reflect. On a scale from 1 to 10 (best), how did you do?:
If you scored yourself less than 4, maybe you have a tendency to respond defensively, to expect the worst, to not see the bigger picture. You may need to develop your mental agility, your balance and resilience. Here are five simple strategies that help:
Strategy 1: Desensitise
Over the next two weeks, spend two or three minutes on imagining an unexpected situation, reviewing your reaction and then reimagining how you would like to respond.
Strategy 2: Pause and Breathe
Train yourself to react less often and respond more often.
As you enter the unexpected situation, pause to allow your reaction to ebb away. Take three deep breaths before you respond.
Strategy 3: Respond with acceptance and curiosity
Mentally say to yourself, some 'accepting phrase' such as:
- Ahh, this too happens today!
- And I wonder what comes next?
- Where will this take me?
- And here we go (again)
- Never saw that coming
Strategy 4: Expect the best, with openness and courage
Mentally say to yourself, some 'encouraging phrase' such as:
- I am going to learn from this
- And here comes the life lesson of the day
- The door opens and...
- Be bold my friend, be bold
- Courage, dear heart, courage
- Ah, reality, you call on me again
Strategy 5: See the bigger picture
Mentally shift or widen your perspective:
- What is being asked of me?
- What changed?
- What is the greater need here?
- Who is calling on me to become more human?
- What will this look like ten years from now?
- What does this look like from outside this room?
- Who needs to see me behaving like the best person I can be?
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