If you are, you’re not alone. There are psychiatric hospitals filled with people who hear voices telling them to do bad things. Those are not the kind of voices that I am writing about today.
In my hypnosis training I learned that we all have different parts to us and that sometimes we hear those parts speaking to us. Sometimes those voices are critical, telling us we're not good enough or that we’re too fat. Sometimes those voices are mean telling us nobody's going to like us because we’re not pretty enough, smart enough or thin enough. Sometimes the voice is like an enforcer saying you can't do this, you shouldn't do that, or you'll never be able to be successful if you do that.
I had a client who came to me because he had a fear of failure. Even though he was doing well as a teacher and had positive reviews on his evaluations and was a high achiever in college, he never thought he was quite good enough. When I asked him to just close his eyes and tell me whose voice he heard telling him this, he quickly told me it was his mother's voice that he heard.
Our worst critics come from the past; from teachers or parents or even siblings and peers. It seems like the negative things we hear stick, and then we repeat them continuously in our unconscious minds. We believe what they say is true. Remember that a belief is nothing more than a thought that you repeat over and over again. It doesn't really mean that it's true just because you believe it.
People often try to avoid those voices they hear by distracting themselves with food, alcohol or by completely immersing themselves in work. They try hard to be better but the voice is still critical. I have learned that instead of trying to wipe out or ignore those critical voices it is more effective to embrace them and find out what their positive intent really is.
In hypnosis there is a technique called Parts Therapy in which I help my clients to encourage their parts to work together to eliminate the voices to help them feel stronger in order to enjoy their lives. Parts therapy is one of many techniques I use to help resolve these negative thoughts.
The voices heard in our heads are from the past, even before birth, and they are part of our programming. It's not only negative voices we hear, but the loudest voices are usually the most negative. These voices can belong to our parents, teachers, clergy, bullies or friends and siblings. These voices influence our self-esteem, our thoughts and behaviors and create beliefs that are not necessarily true. Remember, a belief is nothing more than a thought that gets repeated over and over again. Usually those beliefs are either outdated or just not true.
I wonder what beliefs you have about yourself that are getting in the way of your happiness or success. I wonder what your voices are telling you that it's time to dismiss. Begin by identifying what your voices are saying to you. Find out how they’re trying to help you. During those times you can often identify yourself as feeling like a child. Those voices make you feel out of control, just like when you were a child. You regress to the time in the past and that child lacks resources to fight against those voices. Remind yourself that you are an adult and you can take charge of the situation.
We all have voices but they only have the power we give them. Awareness is the beginning of healing. Let the healing begin!