How often do you have negative thoughts that seems to try to pull you down, preventing you from doing what you want or being who you are? Do you hear negative voices in your head that you’re unworthy and not good enough to deserve what you dream for?
Recently I had the privilege of coaching a senior enforcement officer who takes charge of training cadets. He brought up his personal issues on the table so we could both look at them to see where he was at and how I could help him.
In the beginning of the conversation, I could feel that his energy was low, his lowered head and slumped body suggesting signs for discouragement and helplessness. As he began pouring out his frustrations, I could see tears welling up his eyes as he admitted of giving up the fight.
As we dived deeper into his issues, I realized his true issue was his own self-limiting beliefs that were crippling his ability to take powerful actions to reach his goal. He soon admitted that there were these negative thoughts and voices that were trying to “kill” him and his ambitions. He said no matter how hard he tried to fight them, he couldn’t silence and get rid of them. It became apparent to me that he was fighting with himself.
I was curious and probed more.
I inquired and explored his issue by listening and asking powerful questions. I was raising his self-awareness and creating points of view to let him see his issue from different perspectives. His breakthrough came when I asked this, “What are your negative voices trying to do for you?”
It hit him like a ton of bricks.
All these while he viewed his negative voices as enemies which were trying to “kill” his self-confidence and ambitions. My question suggested that they may be trying to work for him, not against him.
It was like removing the veil covering his eyes and he could see clearly for the first time in a long while. The conversation that entailed was effortless as he was then empowered and realized that he need not fight against his inner voices anymore. His inner struggle ended in an instant. It was an incredible relief for him. For the first time, he saw his negative voices as friends, not foes. He’d soon discover that they were only trying to protect him from the pain of failure.
I felt the surge of energy rising up inside him as he came alive. We then explored new options and possibilities that were previously ‘hidden’ from him.
Winning The Inner Game
If we’re not aware or disregard the inner voices going on inside of us, especially those that”criticizes” and try to “bring us down”, we’re alienating and shutting out a part of us. Whatever solution that we may cook up to move us forward will not have true integrity (wholeness).
Many of our major obstacles appear to be extrinsic but they are really intrinsic when you honestly work on them in the coaching journey. We struggle with ourselves because we do not fully understand what’s going on deep inside, or/and discard the negative thoughts and feelings as “bad”, while the positive ones we labeled as “good”. How is dividing ourselves into different parts going to help us grow with integrity?
Personal mastery is the first and most crucial step to winning the inner game of life and business. Most of our most important battles take place on the inside, like the submerged 90% of the ice-berg where no one sees.
I would like to conclude today’s post by presenting a few coaching questions for you to process:
- Have you notice lately, any inner negative thought or voices that are criticizing, putting you down and preventing you from being who you are and what you want to achieve?
- What are they saying, really?
- What are they trying to do for you?
- By integrating every part of your self and living your highest integrity, what will that do for you in achieving personal and professional goals?
Be curious about the inner voices that go on inside you daily. Make friends with them, they’re telling you something. Sooner or later, you”ll realize that working with them instead of fighting them, will empower and free you to do amazing things with your life you had never thought you could.