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How To Distinguish Between Your Constructive And Destructive Inner Voices

Aug 18, 2007
It is always there, saying something, either guiding you or misguiding you, either motivating you or putting you down.

It's your inner voice.

If you've seen cartoons before, you've most probably noticed how, very often, a character is faced with a 'serious' moral decision. Should he pull the prank - or not?

Then, out of thin air, an angel and a devil appear by his two ears. Obviously, one will tell him to go ahead and do it while the other will exhort him to refrain.

This illustration can almost be likened to the two types of inner voices that you very, very, very often get. Even as you read this article.

They either help you or they don't. They either make you feel positive or make you feel negative. They're either constructive or destructive. They either bring about the best results or bring out the mediocre to worst results.

The trick is to first decide whether or not to listen to it at all. Some of your inner voices are utter gibberish. Ignore them. But sometimes they can lead you to a creative breakthrough. But that's for another time, another place, another article.

Then, if you decide to listen to it, determine if it is positive, constructive, useful, and will lead to effective results or if it is negative, destructive, useless, and will lead to ineffective or sub-effective results. How?

Here's how.

First, realise that the thing people commonly call your inner voice, or more precisely, your inner "perceptions" (those things in your consciousness that are not from your five physical senses) can come in many forms - voices, visual images, bodily feelings, emotions, memories, etc. It's a whole myriad of stuff.

Appropriately categorise it. Ask yourself if it is an auditory perception (that which you hear), a visual stimuli (you see) or a kinesthetic signal (that which you feel with your body). Or is it an emotion or just an intangible concept or thought?

Ask your deeper mind why it gives you this signal. What is its purpose for giving you this message? Is it trying to tell you something?

Then ask if this "voice" comes from that popular concept of your "Highest Self", that deep, innermost idea of your best self, who is perfect, of supreme integrity, of utmost wisdom and is guided by the highest good, in accordance with the Divine plan.

Okay, so that sounded a tad New Age-y.

Anyway, just ask yourself, "Is this right? Does it feel right at all?" Listen to yourself. Do you feel comfortable with this voice?

"If I listen to this voice, and I do what it tells me to do, what will I get? What results can I expect?"

"If I don't listen to this voice, and I don't do what it tells me to do, what will I get? What are the implications of it?"

"Does the core message that my inner voice is giving me match the way it is delivered?"

Sometimes, an inner voice may seem or feel negative to you, but it is in fact constructive. Hey, not all good ideas are fluffy, positive, pink (or purple) and happy!

What I mean by positive and negative inner voices refer to the outcomes that will result from your listening to and implementing the inner voices that you get.

One important question to ask is, "How do I know whether this inner voice I am hearing right now is constructive, neutral or detrimental?"

Here are some more -

"What are the clues or signs or proofs that this inner voice that I am getting now is constructive?"

"How can I decrease the quantity and quality of my negative and destructive inner voices every day?"

"Why must I decrease the quantity and quality of my negative and destructive inner voices every day?"

"What if I have drastically minimised the quantity and quality of my negative and destructive inner voices already?"

The set of questions I've just given you in this article serve a few purposes -

1. They help you to decide whether or not to listen to an "incoming" inner voice message at all. This saves a tremendous amount of time and brain power. Unless, of course, you enjoy entertaining EVERY thought that comes into your mind.

2. They help you classify an inner voice into its appropriate categories - auditory, visual, kinesthetic, emotional or abstract idea.

3. They help you decide if it is constructive or destructive. If it is the latter, you can ignore it.

4. Importantly, they help you reduce the amount of negative and destructive inner voices that you get every day.

Consistently ask yourself these questions every day for a couple of days or weeks and you will see a marked improvement in the quality of your daily thinking and questioning.
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