What you say is tremendously important.
If you are playing along at home, we’ve been tackling a bunch of stuff to help kick 2017 off. As a quick review;
There are lies that have come at you and that you’ve adopted as your ‘truth’.
Those lies come at you from a bunch of different sources.
We have installed a ‘gatekeeper’ at the doorway of everything we hear, so we can check it before letting it in. This gives you a chance to examine all this stuff that is coming at you to split into ‘good’, ‘bad’, and ‘suspect’.
You’ve started to identify suspect ‘sources’ and are applying those filters based on a ‘source profile’.
Here’s the aha moment for the day: you yourself are a source that you’ve got to get under control. You have to monitor and evaluate what you hear from yourself, in your own voice, with as much vigor and intensity as you apply to all the other voices coming at you.
When you speak, you are speaking for someone else to hear. But guess what; you are listening in. And that is critical to understand. When you read something, one part of the brain ‘lights up’. When you hear something, another part of your brain fires up. You want to learn or understand something a new way; read out loud. My wife is amazing. She processes stuff by talking it out. If you are a fan of her videos, you’ll see sometimes that she’ll say something, and THEN process it, and understands it differently after hearing it spoken out loud. I can imagine the spark of a thousand connections in her eyes as she works through it. She formed the words, then she spoke them out. Then she heard them spoken, and understood them from a new perspective. And her insights, real time, are profound. I love watching her in action.
Scientifically, your brain processes words you hear differently; it ignites a different part of the brain. When you hear something spoken, it ignites a new set of thoughts, and new sets of neurons.
So, if you are a source, aren’t your words always ‘safe’?
Not in the least. Many times the harshest things I’ve ever heard about myself are in my voice. I’m frequently own worst critic, and I have a tendency to not cut myself slack. But that’s me; you might be drawn differently. For me; it’s a constant challenge. What’s worse, and is common for both you and I, is that your gatekeeper recognizes your voice, and lets what is said waltz right in; the ‘filter’ will default to allow stuff spoken in your voice ‘through’.
Here’s where you HAVE to be really dedicated at applying that filter. It’s tough to reign in sometimes; the words come spilling out before you have a chance to check them. But If you can’t stop yourself from saying them out loud, you HAVE to take a moment after hearing them to see if they hold water. It sounds weird, but you’ll get the hang of it.
I’m personally trying to get better at not saying this stuff about myself in the first place, but I’m a work in progress. Somedays, i don’t progress. My wife will say something positive and encouraging, and I’ll find some way to twist it to be negative and a false compliment, and throw it back at her like that was how she really meant it. You’ve seen me do it; ‘You did that well’ gets turned in to ‘surprised aren’t you? Cause I normally mess it up’.
Your brain hears what you speak, and processes it. Here’s the magical, and insidious, thing about our brains. It ‘maps’ what it hears, sees, thinks, etc. Those are memories. Repeat the event, and that pattern gets reinforced a little. Repeat something over and over, and it is ‘memorized’ and you don’t have to think about the words to the song, or the chords. You just know them. Well, the same holds true with the lies coming at you. You hear them over and over, and they reinforce themselves, and get printed on you. At some point, even if you KNOW it isn’t true, you adopt that lie as your own, and then it becomes your truth in a way. I know this woman. (Married her in fact) She was a wicked smart kid, but different. She was told over and over again that she was stupid. Eventually, she started to adopt that mindset in some situations, and would ‘agree’ she couldn’t do something. (What’s amazing about my wife is that she fought back. Where the school system failed her, she taught herself grammar and English, and everything else she needed to get through school, with little help from educators who were inconvenienced by her different learning style.) If you hear something often enough, you’ll start to believe it. If you are the one saying it, that ‘adoption’ happens even faster. That is your brain hearing and reinforcing something that it has heard, eh. We’ve all seen it in action, I’m sure.
You have to filter what you say, ideally before you even say it. But if not, then for sure before you hear it and accept it BACK IN. That will feel pretty ‘disconnected’ the first couple of times you consciously reject something you just said. (Also, it might earn you some strange looks from dining companions it you have a discussion with yourself about it. You’ve been warned.)
When you stop something you’ve said from coming back in, and you tag it as ‘suspect’, it might also be a good time to pause and consider where that lie actually came from. It’s “root” so to speak. Was it something you’ve heard over and over, so you are repeating it? That is like an embedded lie that you have to dig out. We’ll get to that in a couple of posts. Is it something completely new and out of the blue? That’s how they start; unexpected and small. We’ll get to that in the Next post. Was it something Crazy Aunt Louise said about you all the time? Might just be jealousy talking.
What you say has easy access back in to your brain when you hear it spoken out loud. You have to review what you say with as much, if not more, attention as you do what other people speak.