What do you do when that voice in your head is saying, “You aren’t good enough”?

If you try to ignore it does it just get louder and more persistent?

What You Resist Persists

Psychologist Carl Jung said, “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.”  When my clients need to tame that mean little monster who wants them to fail, we focus first on understanding and accepting where the monster comes from.  Then we identify some possible responses to it.

A Mantra Gives You Power

A very powerful response is a short, positive mantra in the present tense that you can repeat whenever you hear the monster’s voice.  If the monster says, “You’ll look stupid in that meeting with your boss if you don’t have all the answers,” your mantra might be, “I know everything I need to know.”  That enables you to say with confidence, “I don’t know but I will find out.”

What might be different if you respond rather than resist that monster in your head?

While recovering from foot surgery, I had a lot of time to think about how hard it is to give up control – of my schedule, my mobility, my environment.  As I began meeting with clients again, this issue of control came up in different ways.  I heard things like:

  • How do I keep people from interrupting and distracting me?
  • Why won’t my boss be honest with me about my promotion potential?
  • How do I deal with the uncertainty of constant organizational change?

Sound familiar?  If so, consider that you have also given up control, although not because of a physical limitation.  You are limiting yourself by believing that you aren’t in control – of how you respond.

Here are some suggestions for taking control of your responses to:

  • Dealing with interruptions – I can’t talk right now but let’s get together at 3:00 this afternoon
  • Getting feedback – I’m going to schedule a meeting to ask my boss what I need to do in order to be considered promotable
  • Dealing with change – I accept that change is inevitable and will focus on what I can influence

I invite you to challenge yourself to take control and change how you respond to one thing this week.  If it works for you, keep doing it.  If not, try something else until you feel like you are in control.