I was standing in the big conference room, with my training course buddy, preparing to take my turn in our exercise on ‘reliving your experience of Strength’ …

It was my turn, so…

I stepped forward and…


No thoughts came to me.

Inner Critic

Why can’t I do this properly?

Then I started to sweat and panic, and all I could hear was a voice saying

“You’re not doing this properly”,

“You’re wasting time”,

“Come on, hurry up”.

…and I felt swept away in the stress of it all.

The end result ?

I ‘wasted’ my time slot and didn’t get the exercise done…. At all.

I remember feeling that oh-so-familiar feeling of ‘failure’…

Here was something else I ‘couldn’t do’.

When we all sat down afterwards, the trainer asked us to share what we learned, how we found the exercise, and I told him “I couldn’t do it”, and explained about this voice in my head.

And it was like a huge ‘Aha’ moment for him – he thanked me for noticing, and then went on to tell the group, at some length, about ‘inner dialogue’.

It took me a while to realise what had just happened.

I had felt like a failure for not being able to do the exercise, and yet here the trainer was telling me, “Great for noticing that, well done”.

As I sat with it, it dawned on me that this was actually a really useful learning.

Huge…… in fact.

(and it was only much later that I realised what a MASSIVE gift it was).

I hadn’t even noticed this voice, it was my constant regular companion, unseen and before now, unheard (at least consciously).

Yet there I was, in a pressure situation….. observing my response, and then given a chance to reflect on it, and to speak about it afterwards.

Now I’d heard it, I couldn’t ‘unhear’ it… and so I began a learning and awareness journey, that still persists to this day!

Who said that?

Next time you’re in a pressure situation, feeling stuck because you ‘can’t’ do something, or feeling that you’re not doing it ‘properly’ …

just stop…

take a deep breath, and ….

go inside your head and listen.

Just listen.

It might take a while… you might even think to yourself, “Well I can’t hear anything”…

Who said that ? (There’s no-one else here but me! )

Whatever it is that you hear…. write it down, and keep writing for a short while, to really get a flavour of what’s going on in your head.

When you ‘think’ your thoughts, you’re probably thinking them ‘out loud’, even though you’re not actually speaking.

If you still don’t ‘hear’ anything, then focus instead on your ‘feeling’.

When things are not going the way you planned, you may feel a certain uncomfortable feeling…….

Practise checking in with that feeling… instead of avoiding it…

because inside the feeling there will be thoughts,

(….and underneath that, there will be words)….

Unlocking those words may be the key to YOUR awakening…

I’d love to hear about your experiences of your ‘inner thoughts’ !

How about you?

Do you ‘hear’ your inner thoughts when things are not going to plan ?

Do you have a familiar uncomfortable feeling in stressful situations ?

Please share how this lands for you,  by leaving a comment in the box below …

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