Everybody has self-concepts, a bundle of beliefs, facts and opinions about themselves that are created by both external and internal factors. External factors are the events and experiences that influence you from the outside. When you look at these, you will most certainly come face to face with some pain.
But your external factors are what they are- a history. You cannot change your history, but you can change your internal responses to these external factors. These internal factors determine how you perceive your place in the world and your entitlement to quality. For example, you failed in an exam, you broke up with your friend, hell- you got fired from your job. Your reaction might be”I hate failing, hate being dumped, hate getting fired but I am a talented person, good to the core of heart. I will use this experience to my advantage so that I don’t mess up the next time“. This is being realistic, yet not suffering a huge blow to your inner self.
On the other hand, maybe your reaction is: “I am a loser, I blew it, it always happens with me. I’ve got what I deserved..” With this type of self-reflection, your inner self will definitely suffer.
If your self-concept is based on this second type of thinking and you are talking into believing that you are some kind of a loser, you are messing up big time. If you ever want to rise above on the occasion, or as it is said “rise above your raising”, you need to get honest with yourself; be honest with your history. Before you can step out of the prison of your past, you need to identify and challenge your own internal rhetoric-the dialogues you have with yourself every day.
Whenever we look at the world and ourselves, we see it through a set of filters. Unfortunately, our perceptual filters can be highly sensitive to negatives. It is humane. As information flows through our filter, it takes the form of thoughts. Thoughts take the form of words. Words become dialogues, a real-time conversation that we have with ourselves. It is a voice no one hears but us, and that means no one can control it but us.
Here’s a personal example. I remember a particular time in college when I was constantly being mocked for my accent, weird personality, ignorance, and introversion. Mocked for not studying, not socializing, mocked for not being present, and mocked on the higher probability of failing. I was told this countless times that I won’t pass the exams. People were talking behind my back. There was negativity all around. Had I succumbed to their negativity, I would have proven them right. But I chose a different course. I told myself “I have a talent and I can use it. I can rise to the occasion and do what other’s cannot. I’ll study what I am interested in, not what others want me to do”. Exams came and went by. Unknown to many but few- I top scored some subjects but continued with my daily routine.
You only have to be truthful to yourself. If your personal truth is riddled with doubts and anxieties, so too will be your internal dialogue: “you are not smart enough, you are not good enough, you are going to fail”. It gets loudest when you are deciding something big. Because internal dialogue is ever present, it can either wreak havoc or lay down the foundation of success.
But everyone has doubts, so why not challenge that internal dialogue instead of letting it paralyze you. Ask yourself, is your inner self-letting you closer to what you really want to achieve?
Remember “you are smart enough, you are good enough and you are not going to fail.”