Someone once called me “stupid” when I lost some money in the stock market. I didn’t feel bad, because he has been doing it for many years. Whenever I make a mistake or fail in something he insults me using such harsh and rude words. Nobody criticizes me as much as this ‘person’. He often tells me: ‘Don’t be too smart’, ‘You can’t do it’.
He has been living with me since my birth but became very dominant from my teenage years. Until then, I listened more to my parents and teachers than him. I have great respect for him as he does everything in my best interest. He doesn’t want me to fail in life; he wants me to be happy and successful always. He gets annoyed with me when I do things against his approval. Now you know how close we are and how much he influences me.
You might be wondering who this person so close to me is, yet insults me like this? Well, it’s my inner voice whom I would like to call chatterbox! We all have this chatterbox and we continuously communicate with him 24/7. Even as you are reading this article there is this voice within you trying to tell you something. This chatterbox would be more active when we are alone and we consult this inner voice of ours before making any major decisions in life. In most cases, the chatterbox tells us: “Don’t try to be a hero”, “Stay where you are”, “Don’t take risks”, “It’s dangerous”, “You can’t do it”, “It’s impossible”, “You will look stupid”, etc. Very often we listen to him, and give up on many of our dreams and aspirations.
I remember how hard it was for me to outtalk my chatterbox when I decided to run a full marathon in 2012. My chatterbox kept telling me: “You are too old”, “You might get a heart attack”, “You will injure your legs and ankles”, “People will laugh at you”, “You will be the last to finish and so on”. At first I listened to this voice and didn’t do anything about it and just believed it is true. But later on I told him to shut up, and I pushed myself beyond my comfort zone. And I made it. In five hours, 12 minutes, I was at the finishing line. After collecting my medal, I waited for my chatterbox to congratulate me. But, you know what he said: “You were lucky, it happened once but don’t expect it to happen again”.
Denny Joseph is an International Corporate Trainer, Career Coach and a certified Neuro‐Linguistic Programme (NLP) practitioner. He is the author of Design Your Destiny and Speak With Confidence. He is the founder of Genius Minds Academy (GMA) in Bangalore and co-founder of Nexus Training International in Singapore.