We talk to ourselves regularly. There is an ongoing narrative voice in the back of our mind, and sometimes we listen to it; other times, we let it go on autopilot, not even realizing it’s there.
Relapses almost always happen in our mind first, long before you take a drink or substance. That little voice creeps in and starts to get louder and louder until you believe it. Our own thoughts can be our biggest obstacle.
I’ve lived this lesson.
When I was thinking about going back to graduate school for counseling, I called several counselors to learn about their experiences. I told one of them that I wasn’t sure I’d go back because I thought I was too old. She said, “Well, if that’s what you want your narrative to be, then you probably won’t.”
I was stunned! I was pissed! Instead, I wanted her to tell me all the reasons I should go back. Her comment stuck with me and got louder and louder until I realized she was 100% correct. I was the one talking myself out of believing I could go back to school, and I was also the one who could change it.
I’m so glad I did.
What narrative voice do you have when no one is listening, but you? When working with clients, I often help them reframe their thoughts, but what do you do when you’re alone with your thoughts?
Our thoughts are powerful tools. Use them wisely.