Think about a moment in time when the internal talk track is off track from where you want to go and who you wish to be.
Maybe you're thinking about your career, your relationships, yourself... in a way that’s counterproductive and leaves you feeling less than.
That's the nuisance of self.
Or so we may believe.
Could negative self-talk actually be a map towards a new sense of self?
Is the unfiltered voice of the "nuisance of self" actually the voice to a "new sense of self."
Perhaps this incongruent narrative isn't a nuisance at all. It's actually telling you something really important and those thoughts and feelings have a depth of intention and insight within them.
That feeling of resistance or threat towards a certain challenge or opportunity isn’t confirming your need to avoid it as much as it’s letting you know something about it and your perceived relationship to it, such as inadequacy, or undeserving, or impossible.
A new sense of self takes the impossible and turns it into I'm possible.
Like changing a belief in your ability to be successful in that specific situation. Gaining this awareness might actually provide you a personal growth roadmap towards a new, more congruent belief that will lead you up the path you're choosing to travel.
What was once a nuisance of self is now a new sense of self.
As humans, we react emotionally to those things in life that threaten us, yet also to what is important to us–things that provide us with a sense of purpose and meaning. Having the awareness that our thoughts and emotions are insightful messages from our subconscious mind, we can choose to respond to them versus reacting to them, to learn from them versus suppressing them.
Doing so is the map towards a new sense of self.
A new sense of self is as much a choice as the nuisance of self. However, a new sense of self requires purposeful action as it's changing an old, automatic sense of self and replacing it with a more truthful sense of self. This takes deliberate practice and loads of patience because it's going up against some tough conditions.
When we develop a new sense of self, we're no longer controlled by our environment: our relationships, our identities, our circumstances, and conditions, meaning, those embedded beliefs built by external experiences.
Negative self-talk is the nuisance of self when left to monopolize the conversation. A new sense of self listens, is curious, and politely questions the validity of the thought. What's this telling me? Is it true? Is this MY thought or a thought influenced by an old condition?
When we begin to notice them, to question them, to learn from them, and to provide the space to respond to them, we no long associate "them" with "us". We are no longer "them." They are no longer "us." They're just information.
On my path to earning my MEh.D., I've found no greater freedom than freeing myself from thought. Doing so isn't motivated by avoidance, meaning, exerting the effort to avoid suffering, it's motivated by a desire to approach a new sense of self.
If you’re interested in exploring a new sense of self, try this: Gain an awareness of your current sense of self. Do your thoughts, feelings, and actions align with where you want to go, who you strive to be? Are YOU learning from them or giving THEM the convenience of assuming their truth? Be honest, and don't judge. Just listen and be curious.
When we begin to do this, give it time, patience and self-compassion, we create a new sense of self. And in doing so, we human, better.