Avoid Negative Thinking by Calling a Critical Voice in Your Head

There is nothing wrong with a little negative thinking , but when you are too critical of yourself, you can kill your motivation completely. By naming a critical voice in your head, you will not automatically believe everything it says.

When you are working on something, such as completing a task or reaching a goal, it is important that your own negative thoughts do not become impenetrable walls. Voices appear in all our heads telling us that something is not enough or that we are about to fail, but we should not always believe what we hear. Harvard Business Review’s Peter Bregman suggests getting around this with his critical voice:

Try this tactic: When you hear voices, tell them names and personalities. Imagine Joey on one side, Vicky on the other. Notice the voices in your head as voices. Often, most of us simply believe what we hear – either from other people or from ourselves. If your inner voice calls you lazy, it’s hard not to think that you are lazy. It helps if you imagine that Joey is calling you lazy.

If, for example, Joey or Vicki say you are lazy, it’s easier to think they’re wrong or tell them to close their eyes. Ignoring the other person is much easier than ignoring yourself. As Bregman explains, when it comes to criticism, be careful about who you are listening to. It’s okay when you analyze your work, but don’t be overwhelmed by the critical side. This can lead to motivation-killing perfectionism .

Managing Critical Voices in Your Head | Harvard Business Review


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