Ever wondered why some people, in spite of encountering major setbacks, always seem to come up smelling of roses? While others, despite working from morning till night, day in and day out, find themselves going round and round on the same spot, as if with one foot nailed to the floor?
What's the difference between these two types? What makes one able to move elegantly through the challenges of life, grow through them and rise higher while the other, though doing their sincere best, watches on, wounded and embittered by life's challenges and battles?
Consider that fundamentally, it comes down to one key quality: the ability to trust yourself.
This, however, becomes difficult if your mental and emotional landscape is filled with negative self-talk. Believing in yourself is possible when your mental communication with your own self is empowering and nurturing.
So, what exactly is 'internal dialogue'?
This is communication that loops around within your own mind--mental chatter that's often critical or negative. Call it an influential commentary from a part of you that's perhaps ill-informed, lacking in self-awareness. Therefore, it's generally under-developed and less than enlightened.
The bottom line is that it results in negative self-talk that clouds your judgement and constricts your perception of what is truly possible for you or your life. It keeps you from seeing things objectively and with a fresh perspective.
This type of negative mental chatter--call it your inner critic, call it your demons; in my Karma & Diamonds trilogy, I refer to them as 'mind monkeys'--is subconscious and goes undistinguished. In other words, these 'mind monkeys' hide in your blind spot, outside your conscious vision, where they cause you to make erroneous judgements and poor decisions.
The most common types of internal dialogue fall broadly into five categories:
1. The fear of how others will perceive you such as "What will they think of me?", "I don't want to make a fool of myself" and "My family / friends won't approve of this".
2. The fear of being inadequate feels something like this, "I'm not good enough", "There's something wrong with me" and "No one takes me seriously".
3. The fear of failure has emotionally charged questions such as "What if I can't do it?", "What if I get it wrong?" and "What if I don't have what it takes?".
4. The sense of not having control gives rise to a sense of resignation. For example, "There's nothing I can do about this", "This is outside of my control" and "It's not my fault".
5. Poor self-esteem has you dumping on others due to the inability to manage your emotions, being a victim where you habitually feel that others are out to get you, being hypersensitive and perpetually thinking negatively about others or needing incessant validation and no amount is enough.
This kind of mental chatter, if left untamed like wild monkeys in a jungle, can run havoc with your life. The chaos of such mental commentary determines what you can or cannot achieve, how you feel about yourself, your level of confidence and generally, these mischievous 'mind moneys' give rise to noise in your head that can even annihilate your happiness and peace of mind.
So how do you banish your inner demons or tame your 'mind monkeys'?
Start listening to the noise in your head and decipher the jumble of negativity that's running within you. It's important to be aware of how you're feeling at any given moment because underpinning the feelings is a set of reasoning that's going on in the background, all without your conscious intervention. First, turn your attention inwards and simply bring your awareness to the activity of your thoughts. Then, like a fly on the wall, merely observe which thoughts are the loudest.
Catch your 'mind monkeys' in action. As you pay attention to your automatic thoughts, you'll be surprised at just how many of them there are and how they just seem to be there, with little conscious effort on your part. How did these thoughts get there? Are they the kinds of things that your parents might say? Are they beliefs of your culture or conditioning from somewhere else? As you shine the light of your attention on what's going in your mental landscape, you'll catch the more dominant thoughts. Then notice if and how they might be shaping your emotions.
Look at the effect they have on your life. What have you stopped yourself from doing as a result of these interfering 'mind monkeys'? How have these inner demons impacted your relationships? Have you killed off romantic or personal relationships because you believed the negativity of your mental chatter to be real?
Your inner demons and 'mind monkeys' are not real. Develop an empowering, nurturing and positive inner dialogue. Once you've rumbled the workings of your mental chatter, that's three quarters of the work done. Now that you have brought the negative internal dialogue into your conscious awareness, it can no longer remain in your hidden blind spot and cause you to make destructive decisions or take action that creates disharmony in your life. Becoming aware of something that was driving you subconsciously means you can now choose how to respond to situations, and not simply react in a knee-jerk fashion.
So, the key to banishing your inner demons this Hallowe'en is switching on the light of your awareness and shining it on them to determine to let them go. Retire them from lurking in the shadows of your mind. Then, you will be free to choose kind and positive thoughts that help you to increase happiness and success in your life.
Smita Joshi is the author of the Karma & Diamonds trilogy, a gripping journey of Self-discovery across continents and lifetimes. For more information, go to www.Karma-and-Diamonds.com