Are the conversations that you're having with yourself healthy or do you have that small inner voice that always wants to hold you back?
Hi, this is Grant Herbert, International Influencer and Sustainable Performance Coach, and today, I want to continue our conversation around building our Personal Power by talking about changing the internal dialogue.
I don't know about you, but I have lots of conversations with different people every day. And the conversations that I have with myself, I have found to be the most important. Now, I'm not talking about sitting in a corner, talking to myself. I'm talking about that inner dialogue that we all have that either empowers us or holds us back. And I know for many years, this was a major issue for me.
Every time I went to expand my comfort zone, every time I went to do something that was outside those limiting beliefs that we've worked on before, I have this voice that would remind me of where I really belong, remind me of my shortcomings, remind me of what it is that I should be doing and shouldn't be doing. And in my experience of working with people all around the world, just like me, human beings, I find that this is the case for everyone.
Now, the first thing we need to understand is that this voice was created by us. I like to call this voice my mini-me, my little version of me, that voice that is deep inside my subconscious that reminds me of who I really am. Now, the challenge with that voice is a lot of times, that reminder of who you really are is not the truth. It's a truth that you have created based on the things that we've talked about in the weeks previous, where we've talked about those limiting beliefs, those things that you've done in your past, those experiences that you've had that you have created a meaning from that changes the way you feel about yourself, changes the way you see yourself.
And that inner dialogue is either helping you or harming you. Then, what I want to do today is to help you to retrain that voice, to make sure that we understand that because we were able to train that voice. We can retrain that voice today. Let's get started.
Now, we've all heard of this thing called the comfort zone. It's that place where we feel safe, where we feel confident, where we feel competent, and anything that's outside that comfort zone, by virtue of what it's called, feels uncomfortable. Now, one of the things that I realised years ago is that language is vitally important. What we say to ourselves, what we say to others then creates what we get back. So, it's really important for us to understand some language around comfort zone.
Now, you've all seen them. You've seen those memes that say the magic is all outside your comfort zone. Well, it's not. It's uncomfortable out there. So, it's not about it being magic and it's not about being hard or what's inside the comfort zone being easy. It's all about whether or not it's familiar or unfamiliar.
So when we look at it in this context, when we look at it in this way, we can see things that we now do that we might say easy, I'd like to say familiar, that fit inside our comfort zone. Now, remember the first time you did some of those things. I remember the first time that I picked up a telephone to ring someone that I didn't know to ask them to take me on and utilise my services.
Many, many years ago, I almost had a pink fit. I had butterflies that were not flying in formation. And my inner dialogue was reminding me that they were not interested in me because I wasn't good enough. But nowadays, I can pick the phone up and I can ring anybody. I can speak to anyone because I'm not ringing them to see if they like me or if I belong or if I'm good enough, I'm bringing them to offer them a service, a solution that they need.
So now, it's in my comfort zone. It's familiar. It's something that comes easily and effortlessly for me and I'm sure there's things for you as well. I'd love you to talk about them in the comments below. So when we want to retrain our mini me that inner dialogue, we need to remember that we have trained that mini-me, that small voice to keep us inside that comfort zone. Because when we step outside that comfort zone, it feels uncomfortable.
So let's say for example, you're one of these people that doesn't like speaking in public. Apparently, in the list of fears all around the world, speaking in public is only second to death by fire. So, there's something about speaking in front of other people that people feel fearful of. And we know it's because their focus is on themselves and they're concerned that they won't be good enough, that they won't belong, that people won't like them. So, it's not the speaking in public itself. That's a challenge because we've all learned to speak since we were tiny babies.
So, let's just say that you're one of those people. And if it's not speaking in public for you, just put your own story in there. But let's just say that you decide one day that you're going to get up and speak in public. Let me tell you, and if you've already done this, you'll know there's that small, not so quiet, inner voice that will remind you that that's not something that we do.
"We don't speak in public. We've got nothing good to say. No one's going to listen to us. What if they don't like it? What if they throw things at us? What if, what if, what if...?" And what do we do? We then have a choice to go, "Yeah, you're right. What was I thinking? Thank you. I'll just pull back from doing that." And I'll miss out on that opportunity. And there's many times in my life where I've done that, where I've let that small voice keep me comfortable in my beliefs about myself and about my ability and about the world, and it stopped me from going forward and serving in the way that I'm meant to serve.
So if you're ready to retrain that voice right now, I want you to come on a journey with me and I'm going to take you through a simple process to do that.
Now, I, at the time of doing this video, have three amazing grandkids. They are the greatest grandkids on the planet and I've taught them that all they need to do is say, "Grandpa!", and I forget everything else that's going on around me and I focus on them. That's exactly the same as what you and I have done with that inner voice. We've trained it that all it needs to do is say these things that we've taught it to say and it will get our attention. So, let's just say, while I'm talking to you right now, one of my grandkids came to my studio door and said, "Grandpa! Grandpa!", and I totally ignored them and kept talking to you.
Yeah, we all know what's going to happen. They're going to change their behaviour, their tone of voice, the volume of their voice to get my attention because I have disrupted their pattern. Normally, they speak, I listen. Full attention. It's exactly the same with your mini-me. So, let's just come back to the analogy of getting up on stage. Let's say you go to step up on stage. You take that first step and your mini-me goes, "What do you think you're doing?" Instead of just walking up on stage, the first thing that we need to do is acknowledge the mini-me. Why? Because we have created it and we've asked us to keep us safe.
So, let's say it's one of my grandkids coming in again and I go, "Hey! Just excuse me, everybody." And I get them to come over and I hold them up and I go, "Hey, this is my grandchild." And I give them attention. I say, "Hey, I'm just going to talk to these nice people for a minute and then you and I are going to get ice cream." We do the fist pump, they sit down, and we're ready to go. Now, the children, it's a metaphor. We do know that if I don't go back to them immediately, then we're going to continue with the same behaviour, but work with me.
So, let's say we were to do the same thing with our mini-me. So instead of disrupting that pattern, we would have say, "Okay, I hear you. I know I taught you to stop me from speaking in public, but I want you to unlearn that because we've got a lot to say, and we've got something that these people need to hear. So therefore, watch and learn." The beautiful thing about a mini-me, that inner dialogue, is that it can be retrained. If we trained it once, it tells us straight away that it's teachable. So therefore, just like us, just like every bit of learning that anyone does to be able to move forward from past beliefs, from past learnings, we need to first unlearn.
So once we've unlearned that past belief, the root cause of why you wouldn't walk up on stage, the now mini-me will go, "Okay, I'm ready to learn the next bit.", just like they did the first time you taught them the last belief. So, you get up on stage and you speak and it's fantastic and the people love it and you have served and you've given your best. And by the way, I teach people how to speak in public and sometimes, I'm sure that every speech that they said no to doing, once they get up there to do a two minute speech and they've got to just come out and you've got to hook them to get them off the stage.
The reason being is the belief has been debunked. We've gotten rid of that one, chucked it out back to where it belongs, and we've got a new belief now that says, "Hey, this speaking in public thing is good." So now, over a period of time of repeating the new behaviour, we now develop it in a dialogue that says, "Get up and speak on stage because now we have changed the underlying belief. We've changed the underlying language.
So, I had to retrain your mini-me to get on top of this inner dialogue, the first thing we need to do is retrain that inner voice. We need to dispel those myths, get those new beliefs embedded and through neuroplasticity with my friend just behind me here, our brain, we can rewire those neural pathways. So when that initial thought comes up or that opportunity or that behaviour or that experience, we think this way, rather than what we did before.
So, a key step in being able to develop our Personal Power is to change the inner dialogue, the way that we speak to ourself. So, what I want you to do over this coming week is I want you to look at some of those limiting beliefs. I want you to flip those beliefs and I want you to affirm those new beliefs to yourself. I want you to practice retraining that inner dialogue so that we can have a healthy voice that empowers us that moves us forward.
Well, that's it for me for another week. Join us again next week when I'm going to continue this conversation and add some layers to this retraining of our mini-me by looking into our past and looking at our previous success so that we get some evidence of the things that we can do to help us to dispel the myths that we have about the things that we can't. I'll see you then.
The VUCA Shift
Creating Your Own Change
Being More Intentional
Maintaining Realistic Optimism
Developing Personal Agility
Building a Bond of Trust
Conflict Management Strategies
Active Listening to Avoid Conflict
A Failure to Communicate
The Healing Power of Empathy
Support and Accountability
Disarming Your Hot Buttons
Managing Disruptive Emotions
Changing Behaviour Patterns
Speaking Your Truth Assertively
Setting Healthy Boundaries
Recognising Past Achievements
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