As soon as you read this post title, some of you will be hearing a voice inside your head saying, “what voice”? And no you are not going mad, almost everyone has them!
Well what are the voices? They are generally the internalised voices of your parents or anyone who has influenced you in life so far, sometimes its your own voice. When you read this to yourself (not out loud) you are generally hearing a voice.
Help or hinder?
Often the inner voice is limiting rather than encouraging. Particularly when it is saying “you can’t do it”. If we can categorise the voices, we can then try to filter out the limiting, critical voices and concentrate on the positive encouraging ones. We have the inherent ability to do this but it requires practice.
Intuition and Hunches
Often our gut reactions or hunches are right, well how can this possibly be? Remember the times when you played Trivial Pursuit and a question came up that you really were not sure of? Almost instantly an answer popped into your head as being correct but you doubted it could be right so you deliberated and applied some logic, you chose another answer and then found that you were wrong! The answer didn’t just come to you out of thin air, you already knew it, it was a piece of information you already filed you just didn’t remember you had it.
One Massive Database
As we grow up from childhood and through our adult lives we are collecting information every single day. Some information is important and some less so but it all goes into a massive ‘database’ in our brain, some of it goes in without structure and association, sometimes we learn rules which create frameworks for this information to be organised in and this is the information that we can easily recall. Remember your times tables, or those equations from physics? Sometimes the information may lay seemingly isolated in your brain until such time as it fits, like when you play Trivial Pursuit.
We all have the capacity to store far more information than we have the ability to access. Has anyone ever actually filled their brain? There are rare cases of people with ‘photographic memory’ where access to information is needlessly and frustratingly easy and this plagues them because the access is needlessly sustained and they actively need to purge the things they really don’t need. Not because their brain would otherwise be full but because the information is too accessible and it swamps other thoughts. As we get older we forget things, or do we? The information is still retained it’s just the access links that get corrupted or rusty. My Grandmother lived until she was 102, and in her last days I remember asking her about a photograph I had seen of her when she was young, now at this stage she didn’t really remember who I was, or what day of the week it was but the memory of the photograph (I didn’t even show her the photograph) triggered access to the information and she recounted in great detail why the photo was taken and details about her dress and what the occasion was. She was 18 at the time the photograph was taken so she was fetching 84 year old information with great clarity!
Take time to think!
Give yourself some regular quiet thinking time, close your eyes without sleeping and just listen to your thoughts. How often do we give ourselves time for this? Typically only twice per day, once as we go to sleep and once on awakening, the rest of our days run at a frenetic pace, taking in more visual stimulation, more human interaction and experiences, there is simply not enough time to think.
- Take some quiet time every day, start with just 15 mins, I guarantee its more than you have now.
- Don’t try too hard, think of the times you have tried to remember something and failed, only to have it come back to you when you least expected it.
- Learn to recognise the encouraging inner voice, if you have a hunch go for it, try this for a month and see how often it pays off.
- Innovative ideas need an outlet, once you suppress the limiting inner voice you will find you have better ideas more often.