Achieving the Impossible: Create an Encouraging Voice Inside of You
When you were getting rid of the tyrant inside of you based on the exercise in the previous post, you probably noticed how loud and critical the tyrant sounds. A tyrannical voice is controlled by volume and so is criticism.
What I found after having my Nazi dreams, was that when the tyrant was present, I wasn’t able to hear an encouraging voice inside of myself. It is a pretty interesting phenomenon because when I can’t hear my own encouraging voice with sufficient volume, it as if the vision I have for achieving things has no engine. I have read a great deal in many books about the importance of creating a vision. Most companies and organizations have a vision statement these days, but very few have the internal engine that runs the vision. They do not have an encouraging company voice.
Up until recently mine also was very non-existent. It was as if the tyrant had drowned it out. Getting it started is no easy matter because for the most part I had sought my encouragement from others, especially tyrants. Ironic, eh? Stupid is more like it. Seeking an encouraging voice from the outside has its own sets of problems the obvious of which is it is dependent upon the good pleasure of others. They rarely deliver. If they do, it is short lived.
The best engine to run your vision is your voice of encouragement with a fair amount of volume. I cannot speak for everyone’s process, but if you are having trouble doing the things that get you to your vision, the issue with encouragement is most likely that you take criticism too harshly. The research in this area suggests that 80% of us take criticism badly and another 10% just don’t process it in a worthwhile manner. That means that about 9 out of 10 people which is just about everyone turn off their vision when they are criticized. It is not a very promising statistic because we all love to tell each other what we are doing wrong and where to improve. Constructive criticism by and large is destructive. It doesn’t work.
This doesn’t mean it couldn’t work. It just only works for 1 out of 10. So what should we do when we have vision that turns itself off and is no longer active like the next day after New Years when you give up your resolutions. How do we find an encouraging voice inside and then achieve what we never thought possible? Most people grow up in homes and neighborhoods that are more critical than encouraging. It is rare to find a culture that encourages. Most are characterized with jealousy that spews criticism and backbiting.
So when I started doing this work on myself, I found that criticism was like having my guts stomped on and then I lost my goals and quit relationships. It was really a surprise to me, but a great revelation. The wonderful thing about it for me was that it is very easy to fix.
I was watching the movie Invictus the other night which portrays how Nelson Mandela uses the Rugby World Cup to unite a nation. One of the great things he taught was the importance of forgiveness, to let go of the fast and envision a positive future. He said that it was impossible to get to the future if you are holding onto grudges of what people did to you in the past. He was in prison unjustly for 27 years. This was definitely speaking to me directly. I was so holding onto a lot of things, but watching the movie convinced me that forgiveness is a powerful tool. My hurts pale when I think of 27 years in a small cell.
Something would happen to me at the hands of others, I would take what they said and did really strongly, and then I would hold it against them. The result was a lack of relationship with them and a lack of vision for me. It always makes me forget the vision. Aargh!!! Then I just found that what was missing was an encouraging voice inside to go after my own goals because as soon as the voice is in me, I can let go of the negative feelings toward others, start relating to them again, and really strongly go after goals. It is pretty remarkable.
This is what it is like inside. First I would hear criticism or remember what someone did to me. Then I would interpret it as having my guts ripped out. (pretty graphic). This then caused me to drop the vision, hold onto negative feelings toward others and then quit activities.
The solution for me was to see my goals and then have a really big voice of encouragement inside. As soon as I did this, I started acting toward my goals and had decent relationships with those who had hurt me. What changed? It is hard to say. The words and actions they used were negative for sure, but now they don’t matter because the encouraging voice is like an engine that keeps me on track moving me forward despite what others do or say.
I am pretty new into the process to say just how beneficial this is going to be. All I can say right now is that it is a really great feeling and I am looking forward to more to each moment.
This is how I made the change. I listened to the critical and hurtful voice, then I interpreted as a metaphor for ripping my guts out, and then I stopped relating and doing positive actions toward goals. With changing it, I relaxed saw the positive vision listened to my own encouraging voice inside, turned up the volume, felt like everyone was with me, and then just starting acting.
If you have done this already or try it and it works for you, I would love to hear from you.