Our inner dialogue is so intense it deserves a name
We all have that voice in our head. It can be loud, demanding, and sometimes outright nasty. It needs to be, right? After all, keeps our laziness and complacency at bay. That then lets us continue down the path of high-achievement.
It Started with a Metrocard
My inner voice was pretty gnarly. I thought it was my motivator, the secret to my competitive “professional edge.”
But usually it would go overboard. I’d occasionally forget my Unlimited Metrocard and would berate myself for the remainder of the ride.
It was patronizing ?:
Rookie mistake, you f’in idiot.
It made me question my self-worth ?:
How are you ever gonna crush it at work if you can’t remember a simple Metrocard?
It triggered my “poverty mindset” ?:
If you keep it up, you’ll be broke one day.
You get the gist.
Naughty or Nice?
What is your ratio of kind voices to berating voices during your self-talk? For much of my adult life my ration was 90% Berating, 10% Kind.
In his book Positive Intelligence, the author and researcher Shirzad Chamine makes a compelling case that the key to performance is shifting that ratio from 90% Kind, 10% Berating. (He also shares how 15 CEOs truly feel.)
Name It, To Tame It
But how does one quiet this voice? For starters, it helps to notice when it starts its rant. I’ve worked extensively with a Life Coach who’s given me a few mantras when I get emotionally triggered.
Naming an emotion helps you a) realize it’s presence and b) create some distance between the emotion and your true self. Which helps Tame the emotion.
Enter Mr. SaltyPoop
Yesterday on Snapchat (?: RadReads) the community came up with a few names for their own voice. There was a strong proclivity for potty and fart humor. But Mr. SaltyPoop was the hands-down favorite.
So the next time you disappoint yourself giving a big client presentation. Instead of saying:
“Khe, you really messed that up, why didn’t you do X, Y, and Z differently?”
Bring in our new friend:
“Mr. SaltyPoop, you really messed that up, why didn’t you do X, Y, and Z differently?”