The Voices in My Head

You’re Not Good Enough

I’m reading a book now, How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything…in Business (and in Life) by Dov Seidman.  In it, the author talks about how our minds get in our way:

…[W]e all have voices in our heads.  Each represents a part of our personality or experience—like integrity, insecurity, resistance, or comfort with authority, or compassion—and at different times each voice exerts primacy or influence over our actions.  [After a slight insult by our boss]…[w]e have a noisy conversation with the voice inside that still resents that teacher.

[Digression alert: I for some reason really like that “slight” can both modify “insult” and be a synonym for it]

As I’m looking for a job, I hear the derisive voice more and more often in my head, “why would anyone pay you [my current salary].”  [Ed. note: No, it’s none of your business.]  “You’re just not worth it.  What value can you possibly bring to any company that would make you worth the effort.  In fact, you’re not going to get anyone to even hire you.”  Which is immediately followed by the super-derisive voice: “you’re not a real man, you’re not going to be able to support your family.  You’ll lose the house.  Your wife won’t respect you, your kids will treat you differently because they’ll sense Mommy’s disappointment and resentment.”

Then the really dark thoughts begin.

And I have to take notice of Patton’s famous quote: “Never take counsel of your fears.”  [Another ed. note: As I was fact-checking, I found out that this quote was said not by Patton but by Andrew Jackson.  In fact, Patton said something almost exactly opposite, “There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear.”  Another Patton quote?  “Never tell people how to do things.  Tell them what to do and they’ll surprise you with their ingenuity.”  I thought this one was also relevant to our discussion here.]

My voices come in many flavors: the one I just described is my insecure voice.  My dark voice.  I wonder how many people have an overdeveloped dark voice.  I think a lot.  Mine is, I think, normal-sized.  I am able to tone it down internally, and turn up other voices.  I think that ability comes from—and I’m sorry if I sound like a wuss—being loved as a child.  Mrs. LNU once said about me: “I can tell you were really loved as a child.”  She was being slightly sarcastic, but it was true.  That childhood love formed a fortress that I can go back to.  And the love of my wife and kids makes a huge difference too.  I am a good father.  I have nothing to prove to anyone. 

And finally, my religion is a big piece of that too.  Our definition of happiness is someone satisfied with their portion.  I am.  Fundamentally, I’m a happy person.  That makes the dark voice easier to shout down. 

Never take counsel of your fears.  My fears are controllable.

I have to say this post didn’t go where I thought it would at the beginning, but here we are.

Have a good day.


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