Community//

Can we talk about that voice in your head? Mine can be quite the character.

It's true: even the most accomplished people have a mean voice in their head. If that voice is wreaking havoc with your confidence, read on—Joanna has some ideas for you.

We all have that voice in our heads. Mine, it’s quite the character.

  • It does high-level mathematics equations when calculating exactly how many more times I can hit the snooze button.
  • It says “Bloody brilliant idea!” when someone asks if I’d like a glass of prosecco.
  • It also says, “Oh but it’s already started, so you should finish this episode” when Netflix is running, and I’m mid-series.
  • It’s regularly convinced that I could grow up to be Bette Midler.

That voice can also be quite the nemesis. I often hear it say:

  • They’ll find you out for the fraud that you are
  • They’ll figure out you’re mostly making things up
  • I’m sure they think you’re too
    • Old
    • Out of shape (this was the mildest version of this comment)
    • Loud
    • Feminine

I could go on. Now, I don’t want you to worry—I know what an a-hole this voice in my head can be. I often respond to what it says by telling it to shut it. It helps that I have some powerful reinforcement. Let me introduce you to my pint-sized fan club.

I know. Isn’t she ridiculously cute? (I also have a video of her singing “Jo Jo’s a genius” the a-hole voice said that would be too much. So you’ll have to settle for magical.)

Old, young, rich, broke, famous, unknown, female or male; it doesn’t matter. All of us have a chatterbox in our head, and it tends to say a lot of not-nice things.

This topic came up in a private online group. Someone shared that the voice in their head was getting the best of them. She was having a confidence wobble. Here’s the comment I wrote in response:

I was listening to an interview with Dita Von Teese the other day. Yes, the famous burlesque dancer. Someone who we’d all assume is confident as all get out. What she shared is that she shows up at a venue 4-5 hours ahead of time to prepare herself because, “I’m always so worried that people won’t come, that people will find out that I have no idea what I’m doing, that people will see me for a fraud.” Yes, one of the most confident women you can imagine also has those little assholes in her head saying, “Who do you think you are?”

So how do we get past the a-hole that tells us, “Who do you think you are?”

  1. Find yourself a cheerleader. Pint-sized or otherwise. When we hear that we’re awesome from someone else, we can start to believe it’s true.
  2. Practice doing things that give you confidence wobbles. It’s in doing the scary stuff that you get better at doing them.
  3. Articulate your awesome OUT LOUD. Do you know what’s louder than that voice in your head each and every time? Your voice. “I am xxxxx.” Fill in whatever word works for you. Do I feel like a complete crazy person yelling across my office “I am awesome”? Yes, totally. But my head believes my spoken voice more than my thinking voice. Just do it once. It’s magic for telling that jerk to shut the heck up.

These all work.

But if you need some help with amplifying the awesome you, I have some good news. Our team has been building some tools just for you. Beta-testers who used them showed a lift in self-confidence by up to 20%. When we tested the tools out with a team, 88% of the managers said that the executive presence of their direct reports improved (yeah, we were pretty excited by that number, too).

Curious how this tool might work for you? Drop us a line, and you’ll be the first to know when it’s ready to go.

YOU ARE AWESOME. AND LET IT BE YOU, NOT THE JERK-VOICE IN YOUR HEAD, WHO HAS THE LAST WORD ABOUT THAT.

PS. And there you go. I just announced that a project near and dear to our hearts is launching, and that voice is having a conniption. So I’m off to watch my pint-sized cheerleader. Because she’s right, I am magical.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Rewrite your story.

by Vivian McGrath
Community//

How to keep the “naughty child” in check

by Denise Little
Courtesy of modus_vivendi / Shutterstock
Wisdom//

10 Strategies to Silence Negative Self-Talk and Defy Your Inner Critic

by Marina Khidekel

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.