Raise your hand if you think of yourself as a collection of many different selves.
“I'd bet a dollar to donuts that 99% of your clients do not think about themselves this way" remarked Tom, a client of mine in last week's session.
After I explain to my new clients what I am about to explain to you they immediately understand my POV. Most people have never thought of the never-ending constant stream of thoughts in their minds as the thoughts of multiple sub-personalities.
Am I crazy? A little bit, maybe :-)
Fact is: you are not alone. Multiple selves and their voices exist in your mind.
We speak about 400 words to ourself each minute.... I did the math...that is 384,000 words a day. That's the Game of Thrones 5-Book Box Set per day!
The trouble is that these voices cut into each others’ sentences, they crowd each other out, they squabble for attention. It’s one big mess.
Our first job is differentiation. We need to name the voices and then we ask them to show up to a meeting so we can get to know them.
My friend Michael Taft who teaches mindfulness tells me: 70% of his clients come to his meditation class because they want to silence their inner critic.
One of the key selves is our Judge, our inner critic. Making peace with our Judge can be one of the most liberating moment in a person’s life. It was in my case.
There are also other voices who keep you from being in the moment. They build unnecessary expectations. They build bubbles in your reality about how things should be. When these bubbles pop, as they surely will, you are painfully yanked back to reality.
The second job is to hear these voices out, figure out what they want and how can they get it and reason with them.
These inner voices are on your side. While they might have a bad idea about how to help you, they do want to help.
Our third job is then to reach collaboration among the voices. Not integration - most of these voices will want to stick around, they are your sub-personalities! But the inner voices are always ready to make new alliances to help my clients reach important goals. Your Judge can be your greatest ally!
For those who are interested in going deeper: these voices are not yours alone. These are archetypes, your connection to our shared reality. They are in your mind and also in the common unconscious. We are all connected to each other through these archetypes.
Getting in touch with your voices is surprising and fun, and moreover, healthy. Plus, doing so can provide meaningful answers to questions you have been asking yourself your whole life.
So whenever you hear a negative voice in your mind, don’t try to block it or silence it. See it through, address it directly with ‘yes, and?’ and see where it wants to take you and what it wants to show you.
There might be something there to learn about yourself.
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