So Lise, you want to change your mind about what to focus on next. Well, I don’t think you’re going to be able to do that because you’ve got this client on the go plus you’re coaching, and…
Hey Neville! Haven’t seen you for a while. Thanks so much for bringing that to my attention, but you know what, I got this!
What just happened there?
You just witnessed a conversation with Neville. It always starts out with some form of negativity and pointing out all the reasons why I can’t or shouldn’t do something that’s going to be outside my comfort zone.
And I know what you’re thinking… I really should get rid of Neville as a friend, right?
Who needs enemies when we’ve got frenemies like this, amiright!
Well, unfortunately, Neville ain’t going anywhere.
You see, Neville is my inner negative voice.
Now before you call the local mental institution and have me committed, hear me out…
And let me fill you in a little bit on Neville and how he came to be…
The following is an excerpt from my latest book, Mind The Chatter: Master Your Inner Voice, Gain a Positive Mindset and Get Your Power Back! You can learn more about it here.
I can’t remember the exact date, but sometime in mid-2015, I became very aware of my negative inner voice.
It was around the same time that I was going all-in on being a full-time author and coach. And I was feeling more than a little apprehensive.
Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a ‘glass-overflowing’ kinda gal and as my husband often puts it, ‘annoyingly optimistic.’
But not in this moment. In this moment, I noticed how my inner dialogues were NOT so positive or optimistic.
And it made me think of this kid I went to school with.
He was nice enough. But was always dragging his feet around and looking down at the ground when approached. And always the first to point out the negative in any situation.
He was a definite ‘Negative Nelly/Nancy’ or ‘Debbie Downer’ type of person.
His name was Neville (sorry Neville! If you’re reading this, no offense intended, it’s just what I remembered from my childhood!).
And I remember one incident where my inner chatter was particularly loud, and myself saying out loud, “Oh shut up, Neville!”
And that inner chatter? It went quiet.
Only for a few minutes, but it was long enough for me to take notice. Long enough for me to start wondering how I could use this further…
Now I could focus on how I could use that to deal with my negative inner chatter.
From that point forward, every time these negative thoughts would float across my mind, I’d have a conversation with “Neville”… as if he was a real person that I was talking to.
This made a huge shift in the way that I started to deal with all the negative things that were popping up in my life. It made me see that I could take back my power and change the way the outcome happened, rather than wallowing in the negativity of it all.
Neville and I have an interesting relationship, and yes, you might think I’m crazy, but don’t knock it until you try it!
How to Change Your Mind
“A Rose by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet…”
Neville isn’t the only name used to describe this inner negative chatter though.
Other people, like one of my fav authors, Jen Sincero, likes to call hers, ‘The Little Prince’.
You’ve likely encountered these other ones often too: Negative Nelly and Debbie Downer.
Hosea is what my husband calls his inner voice (don’t ask!) and I have a friend who called her’s ‘Betty’.
Different names, same ‘person’.
And it’s not that Neville is bad or trying to make life harder for us. No, he’s not that vindictive. It’s that he comes from a different time when life looked a little like this…
Lise and her clan are hunting in the dense forest. The women are foraging for nuts and berries while the men are far off ahead, hunting deer.
Lise is busy picking berries from a low-hanging branch when she hears a rustle and low growl in the bush behind her.
Her inner voice screams loudly; ‘It’s a Tiger! Scream and make a lot of noise.’
Lise screams, bangs the stone container she is carrying and everyone else around her does the same.
The tiger jumps out and runs in the opposite direction, scared of all the noise.
Lise breathes a sigh of relief and the women retreat back to their camp, securing all entries and notifying the sentries of the tiger threat.
As you can see, our inner voice is always there to protect us, but where that voice kinda fails us today is that our lives don’t look like this anymore.
The fight or flight trigger isn’t something that we have to face on a day-to-day basis.
So where does that leave 'Neville'?
It leaves him with trying to figure out how to best look after us. How to keep us safe and out of harm’s way.
The problem is, he hasn’t figured out that we’re no longer living in such dangerous times, so his inner commentary isn’t always that helpful.
How many times have you been in a situation where you had to make a choice. A decision that could take you in two or three different directions?
Which choice did you land on?
The one that 'Neville' guided you towards?
The one that kept you in your comfort zone?
The one that keeps you safe and protected… as far as Neville is concerned anyway.
I know it might seem like this is going to be a hard nut to crack. And I won’t lie, it’s not easy training Neville or getting him to let you steer the ship, but it is worth it.
Life starts to look a lot different once you take back the reins...
And start making decisions that are best for you, instead of decisions that are safe and keep you in your comfort zone.
Gay Hendricks, the author of The Big Leap and Five Wishes, refers to his version of Neville as being an 'Upper Limit Problem.'
“If you don’t clear the Upper Limit Problem out of your way, it will be a drag on you until the day you die.” [Extract from The Big Leap, available here: http://amzn.to/2HrNB27]
If you’re ready to strip Neville of his power and get your life on the track that you want it to be on, keep reading to learn what that looks like...
I wanted to give a special shout-out to my amazing launch team, who have helped me kick off this book and spread the word around the world, something I couldn't do on my own.
In no particular order, here are the awesome people who continue to support me with each book I release:
- Kathryn Jingling - http://www.katzawesomelifejourney.com
- Claire Corry - www.clairesfamilylife.com
- Julie Bestry, Certified Professional Organizer® - www.juliebestry.com
- Heather Ritchie - ritchiewriting.com
- Allyssa Riley
- Jill Rogers
- Paula Schuler
- Leslie Spalding
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