By Karin Leonard
whether it refers to leading others, or being the executive of your own
life, means taking charge of the internal environment, along with the
external one. Building
“Inner Authority” starts with developing the kind of dialogue within
that has you experiencing victory at the end of the day, instead of
feeling drained and overwhelmed.
ability to observe and direct the thought process is one of the most
precious assets for personal mastery.
Negative thoughts can follow us anywhere -- even into the
infinite sea of bliss. Truly,
the key to heaven or hell is between our ears, and we make the choice
many times a day.
Is Your Internal “Weather”?
Awareness is the first
ingredient for creating an inner climate conducive to success.
Only when you become conscious of what is going through your
mind, on a regular basis, do you actually have choice.
As long as you are on automatic pilot, the forces of habits
determine internal experience, and along with these patterns, the
results you produce in life.
For thirty days, turn up
the volume on your inner dialogue, and notice what you are saying to
yourself. How will you
remember? Examples would
be: Notes to yourself, a
daily log, wearing your
watch on the opposite arm – or whatever has you waking up many times
during the day.
As you become conscious of
what you are saying to yourself on a regular basis, you can begin to
cultivate what you want -- instead of repeating outdated messages.
Let’s take the example of Susan, a small business owner. If we step
inside her world for a moment, we are bombarded with: “I just never
get enough done…I’ll never catch up … I don’t have any time.”
This constant chatter has her feeling exhausted, without truly
experiencing the rewards of her success.
Assuming that this inner dialogue is her attempt to motivate
herself, Susan may wish to change her self-talk to “I use my time
well” or “I am highly effective and competent”.
At first this may be awkward, just as learning anything new. Yet
after some ongoing practice, the new self-talk becomes automatic, and enjoyable
suggestions sink into the deepest caverns of the mind, inviting
Of course, Susan also needs
to decide whether her daily expectations of herself are realistic.
And, healthy self-evaluation has us objectively judging
whether we can improve our process, or skills.
Is The Key
self-talk goes deeper than just using affirmations.
The goal is to distill the gold from negativity, and to embrace
the positive intentions within self- criticism.
The messages we internalized from childhood on were usually aimed
at success and happiness. Parents,
who nagged us about grades, for example, probably wanted us to have
options later in life. We
can witness an extreme example of that in the movie Shine, based
on a true story. Geoffrey Rush plays David Helfgott, an incredibly
talented concert pianist, who is being incessantly pushed to perform, by
his intensely critical and obsessive father.
After David experiences a nervous breakdown, he emerges
permanently damaged. In the gibberish he speaks out loud, we can still
identify his father’s relentless voice.
As you hear the echoes of
your own early messages, you can seek to understand the well-meaning
intent within them. And
just like Susan in the earlier example, you may want to experiment with
more effective strategies for motivation – with self-talk that
inspires, rather than nagging criticism.
our professional and personal relationships many of us will also have a
ruthless inner critic. Let that be a reminder of the importance of
recognition, and honest praise, reinforcing what you want, instead of
focusing on failure.