Most of us accept that our need to interact with our fellow human beings will determine much of what happens to us, including the success we do (or do not) enjoy. However, just how much of the outcome do we feel is under our control and how much is a fait accompli?
There is one area of communication that we must accept is entirely under our control, whether or not we take responsibility for the outcome when others are involved – that of self-communication!
The voice in our head
We all have it – the voice in our head! It’s there whether we like it or not, constantly chipping in, adding tothe stress and for the most part it will not shut up. It is as though we are not controlling the voice, even though it’s inside our own head!
It has the power to keep us awake, make us feel miserable, even stop us making decisions – or worse still to make the wrong ones. In fact, through its communication, the voice in our head, is controlling our lives. And that’s not the worst thing about it! The worst thing is that this voice is acting on information that has been put in our heads during most of our lives, some even when we were babies, when we had no choice in accepting this information!
Some of us, thankfully, have a positive voice in our head; a positive thread of communication. However, it is well recorded that we have a greater chance of our voice giving us negative input than positive, especially when we make no effort to control it, or don’t have the knowledge to know how to take control.
We can think of our brains as computers and, knowing that computers will only work in accordance with their programming, we can accept that our computer will produce thoughts and actions according to our programming, i.e. the information (communication) placed there throughout our lives. Since this information so often takes the form of a warning (be careful) or admonition (why don’t you do as you are told), we store this as controlling information.
Why does someone feel they have to finish a plate of food, however full they feel? Could it be that they grew up hearing, ‘I like a man that clears his plate’ or ‘I’ve worked hard to make your meal so don’t let me down by not eating it’ or even ‘good boys eat all their food’?
Why do some people have an inferiority complex? Is it perhaps that their parents never gave them the right kind of encouragement or even worse told them often, by words or deeds – again through communication – that they were not good enough?
We want to do our best but we worry that we will fail! Our voice says, ‘be careful’.
We have some challenges or problems that are hard to deal with. Our voice says ‘why me?’.
We lose something or somebody. Our voice says, ‘I am very unlucky’ or ‘I should have been more careful’, or even ‘it’s my fault’.
So, not only are we programmed by others and events, we continue to program ourselves – again mostly in negative ways.
We need to undertake a project – a big one and one we have not attempted before. We worry about how to approach the project and what results we can achieve. We ask ourselves the question – can I do this? Our computer brain kicks in and searches the archives for information. Finding no evidence of success in such a project our computer returns the answer – no! Thus causing more worry!
Supposing we had asked the question – ‘how’ can I do this? You computer will now search for methods, ways and understanding, only this time, it will come back with suggestions of how, (if only – get help) and there is no mention of ‘no’.
If we considered this as one of the most important areas of skill (communication) and studied to control and improve it, there is no doubt our social, domestic and business success would improve out of all recognition.
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