[OPINION] Listening to the voices in your head
If you do not believe you have a voice in your head, just sit quietly without a word and listen to it say: ”I do not have a voice in my head!” That is the voice I am talking about. It talks to us every waking second of our day. Sometimes I feel like I might have a committee on board, not just one lone voice!
Growing up one always heard about “the voice of reason”. In person, that voice referred to a parent, a friend or someone with experience in the area you were grappling with. For me, the voice of reason always refers to what people call a gut feeling, your conscience or your intuition.
What if I dared tell you that the voice of reason generally gives us reasons why NOT to do something. Our experiences inform our voice of reason. Our opinions become more reasons and the voice takes over our lives. It, not us, decides what we do and don’t do.
I gently ask you to be mindful of the voice of reason, your voice of reason. Another name for reason is excuse. Imagine all the times you felt scared, unsure, confused or torn between this and that. Instead of listening to your reasons, call them your excuses. Quickly, challenge yourself to look at what is holding you back from life. Why you are standing in your own way?
Between living a full life and surviving life, you will find a voice of reason. Excuses for you not to be great, a risk taker, not to follow your path or passion, not to take good to great and ordinary to extraordinary. Instead, we hide behind the false perception and protection of our voice of reason. Most of the time, the fear it conjures up in your mind and heart is not realised. More often than not, taking the risk and the road less travelled takes less energy and yields better results than the imaginary fear. When you are fully self-expressed, you don’t need to listen to your voice; you can be your actions.
Our reasons and excuses block us before we even start. Think back to most of life’s situations; going to an interview, making new friends, being with our current friends, being with our in-laws, with our domineering or subservient parents, being at our children’s schools, play dates, sitting in the traffic, standing in the bank queue, the grocery store. The voice is talking to us all the time. Our judgements of other people, things and situations, our insecurities, our unmet expectations, the routine and standard procedures that upset us consistently and, of course, the incompetence of strangers around us.
By incompetence, I refer specifically to what we have heard from our voice before actually giving the person, circumstance or group a chance. We are usually at the receiving end of what we anticipate. If you think it is going to be a waste of your time, breath and energy it probably will be. If you quiet the voice of reason and BE where you are and create an outcome by choosing to listen differently and show up freely, a miracle happens. If you don’t believe in miracles, then it is pure magic.
There are either questions, statements, judgements, expectations or opinions. There is never silence and space to open ourselves to new experiences, new opportunities, less judgement and self-righteousness unless we actively choose to close down the voice, the reasons, the excuses.
Many times we don’t say what we mean or mean what we say. There is no better time than now to be mindful, thoughtful, honest, authentic and speak our truth. Too many of us are fearful to offend, contest or share ourselves, so we become complacent with a raging voice berating our inaction, or we over share what we think people want to hear, or we hold back who we are because we don’t accept that we are enough and that we can speak for ourselves without any voice of reason guiding us.
Tune into your voice and thank it for playing, then take it from there by yourself. You can be authentic and truthful; it takes practice and lifelong learning. It also needs a lot of unlearning.
Ahead of fear is usually a voice of reason. Silence that voice.
Lisa Joshua Sonn is a social activist. Follow her on Twitter: @annalisasonn