The yellow lab next door has an invisible fence. He is “fenced in.” Sometimes he is lured to the very edge by the promise of anyone who might toss him a frisbee. He comes right to the edge, but stays inside his boundary because if he doesn’t, the consequences are a slight electrical shot, a little unpleasant and not worth venturing outside his fenced area, at least most of the time.
Likewise when we tend to venture outside our comfort zone, our negative voices are there to give us a jolt. They act as our “invisible fence” to keep us on guard because something terribly wrong, just might (but most likely not) happen. However, when we venture outside our comfort zones something absolutely amazing might happen instead. Many of us tend to spend our lives imprisoned by those negative voices and our comfort zones grow smaller and smaller. Challenging our comfort zones, in little ways, putting our big toe over the edge and testing the waters, allows us and our comfort zones to grow.
What are you doing with those negative voices in your head? You know the ones.
- Why bother, it won’t work anyway.
- You won’t get that job.
- Your relationship won’t get any better.
- Who do you think you are to deserve a raise?
- You’ll never get a date?
- You won’t get that finished on time.
- You can never get loose that weight.
- Who do you think you are to try that?
- No matter what you do it won’t work.
Any sound familiar? Most of us tend to beat up ourselves regularly. We would never think of being that negative, critical and judgemental with a friend. Interesting, how often our fist instinct is to go to why we can’t do something instead of how we can be successful. What if instead of treating ourselves with harsh judgement and criticism we spoke to ourselves as we would to a fearful child, with love and compassion, curiosity and wonder.
Our negative voices contain our fear, our uncertainty and our self doubt. We can do a much better job of beating ourselves up than anyone else on the outside can.
What if we choose self compassion instead?
The negative voices keep us stuck doing the same old thing instead of moving forward. The more we are willing to take risks, the more we move out of our comfort zone the louder the voices and the bigger the fear. What if we choose to love ourselves unconditionally instead? What if we looked at those voices and fear differently?
What if we could love our negative voices?
Believing in negative thoughts is the single greatest obstruction to success.
Charles F. Glassman
It is normal for that fear and those negative voices to come up when you are taking a risk, when we are operating outside our comfort zones or ready to take a big action. The first step in dealing with those negative voices and that fear is merely to love them. To realize them for what they are, the scared small part of you – your ego that justs want to keep you safe – and small. The less importance you give those negative voices, the less power they will have over you.
Most importantly don’t let those negative voices keep you from doing what you most love or creating the live of your dreams. Believing those negative voices can be the difference between success or failure. Those negative voices are just a friend along the way saying that you’ve crossed your “invisible fence,” you’ve left you’ve comfort zone behind because you’re willing to take action. And that’s a very good thing!