Is it counterproductive to acknowledge the naysayers inside your head?
One blogger friend refers to this interior chorus of whiners as the “melon committee,” and he doesn’t give them many openings for conversation. The only interior voice I’ve ever known him to acknowledge specifically is his Inner Ass Kicker, who presumably keeps the rest of those clowns in line (and which probably explains why he’s able to gut out such grueling cycling workouts).
When I finally began tackling my weight problem in 2010 I started giving these interior voices nicknames: Inner Child. Inner Whiner. Inner Pig. It helped shift the blame for dumb ideas and poor decisions from “me” to “them.”
That may seem unfair or even irresponsible – how many times have I griped at my kids for trying to shift blame to someone else? – but it was a huge breakthrough because I was no longer paralyzed by guilt. It was MUCH easier to reject dumb ideas if I thought of them as coming from some flabby cartoon character.
Still, it raises a question: By acknowledging a counterproductive interior voice, are you inadvertently giving it permission to stick around?
Every horror novel I’ve ever read would suggest that to be true. And so with that in mind, lately I’ve been working on cutting off negotiations with my own “melon committee.”
Round about lap 22 of my first mile swim that familiar chorus of whiners started up: “How long is this going to take, anyway?” For once I didn’t just ignore it, didn’t allow the complaints to escalate, but simply told them, calmly yet firmly, to shut up.
It took some repetition, but eventually it worked. Enough so that now I’m thinking of introducing a new member to the melon committee: the Inner Parent. Gotta dish out some discipline, start setting some boundaries around here. If that Inner Child and its minions won’t go away, maybe I can at least get them to grow up.