Although most people never discuss it, almost everyone hears voices in their heads. In fact, there is usually at least one internal voice that controls our behaviour and enforces perceived limitations. We often know this relentless voice as the “inner critic” or “doubter,” but where did it come from, why is it stuck on replay, and, most importantly, how do we get rid of it once and for all?
Most critical voices are the result of childhood subconscious programming, and although one or more voices could be the result of culture, religion or society, the primary voice is likely that of the most dominant or influential parent.
Since parental programming could be narrated in your voice, to discern the original source, simply ask yourself, “Where did I first hear the negative things I tell myself?”
However, there is no reason to blame our parents. In fact, blame only strengthens the voice and disempowers us in the process, but where blame fails, knowledge holds the key. Indeed, by understanding the simple Mechanics of Subconscious Programming, you will have the power to overcome all negative voices, and, ultimately, turn on the empowering voice of your True Self.
Mechanics of Subconscious Programming
Except for general survival programming, the subconscious mind of a young child is like a blank computer hard drive waiting for specific information. Therefore, through the child’s experiences and interpretations, the subconscious gathers and compiles data about the child, his parents, and the environment, and then uses this information to formulate subconscious programs.
Since survival is the primary objective, subconscious programs motivate the child to prove worth and gain approval so that he is safe from rejection and abandonment (in primitive days tribal abandonment often resulted in death).
Because children instinctually consider their parents to be the most reliable source of information, every time parents speak to, or about, their child, the child’s subconscious mind records the parent’s voice as programming instructions. Furthermore, parental criticism and judgement are recorded as factual information that will inevitably guide the child’s thoughts, behaviour and actions accordingly, especially when frequently repeated, using the child’s name, or during highly emotional experiences.
Just like a hypnotist uses language to program the subconscious mind with behavioural instructions, every parent has the same power. In fact, as part of subconscious programming, the voice of your mum and/or dad was recorded for a lifetime of playback (just as your voice was/is recorded for your child), so whenever you hear the critical voice, you are actually hearing the audio equivalent of subconscious childhood programming.
The purpose of the voice is to instruct, motivate and control behaviour according to the specific conditions upon your worth. Therefore, as an adult, whenever you consider moving out of your comfort zone or expanding yourself in any unknown way, your subconscious automatically plays the most relevant recording as clearly as you first heard it. By keeping you needlessly trapped in limitation and powerlessness, the critical voice prevents you from taking chances, but without embarking on new opportunities, it’s impossible to fulfil your dreams and live the life you most desire.
Unless consciously altered, parental programming stays with us for life, formulating the basis of who we are and the foundation of our existence, but, fortunately, the truth can set us free.
The Truth Can Set You Free
Since the subconscious mind has no ability to discern information at any age, your subconscious relied on you to reject or accept information, but by the time you were old enough to discern truth from lies, positive from negative, and empowering from disempowering, your subconscious was already programmed with a foundation of beliefs. This means that the critical voice that monitors your every move represents subconscious beliefs that you adopted before you were old enough to choose beliefs consciously, and in all likelihood, these beliefs are based on ancestral and family fears that don’t apply to you or your life. Although subconscious survival programs (and their recorded voices) are designed to keep us safe and alive as long as possible, in most cases, specific programming is based on the subjective beliefs of our parents and our parent’s parents, and so forth.
Even when mothers and fathers are unconscious in their parenting, they really want the best for their kids, and they are not intentionally malicious, nor do they want their kids to be disempowered or feel bad about themselves. Many well-intentioned parents teach their children that they’re not good enough to fulfil their dreams and it’s better to give up than risk failure because they are trying to protect them, and these beliefs are handed down to us for the same reasons our grandparents tried to protect our parents.
But, your parents had no idea who you were or who you could grow up to be, and what they taught you about yourself and life, in general, had more to do with them than you. Even the wisest parents have little or no perception of their child’s potential or abilities.
The bottom line is that when you believed your parents, your subconscious believed them too, but, nonetheless, no beliefs are absolutely true, and that is why they are called beliefs.
It’s your belief in a belief that makes it true, and if you can make a belief true, you can just as easily make it untrue, and this gives you the power to turn off the critical voice.
Command Your Subconscious Mind
Now that you understand the source and cause of the “Inner Critic,” you have the ability to turn off this voice once and for all, but to do so, you must convince your subconscious mind that you have the power to command it. Therefore, before you can approach reprogramming, you must release blame and let your parents off the hook. As long as you blame your parents, your subconscious will believe that they still have power over you, and, therefore, it will not listen to your reprogramming commands. When you blame your parents for disempowerment, you strengthen disempowerment, and consequently you have no access to reprogramming your subconscious.
The ability to reprogram depends entirely on your willingness to take ownership of your life, as well as full responsibility for the content of your subconscious mind – no matter where your thoughts and beliefs originated, they belong to you now.
While blaming others makes you powerless, taking ownership gives you full control, allowing you to reprogram yourself with unconditional worth and self-empowerment. Since subconscious programs are based on beliefs, to turn off internal programs, we must release the belief(s) that perpetuates the program. Therefore, since the “critic” and “doubter” always have their bases in unworthiness and powerlessness, you must claim your worth and become empowered through self-expression and self-responsibility.
How to Erase Negative Voices
1. Identify the Voice
Identify the voice in your head and name it. If there are multiple voices, do this for each one.
2. Stop Believing
As you now know, the subconscious mind has no ability to discern information, and if you believe something, your subconscious does too. This means that every time you believe the critical voice in your head, you fuel it with your belief. Therefore, you must recognise the voice as false, and consciously choose to disbelieve it. Command the voice, “You are a lie, and you no longer have the power to control me.”
3. Ignorance is Bliss
The same way you might ignore your mum’s real life voice, you can ignore the voice in your head, so when you recognise it, don’t give it power by negatively reacting. First, identify it as false and then withdraw your attention.
4. Replace the Voice
Once you identify the critical voice as false and withdraw your focus, immediately replace it with an empowering command, such as, “I can do it, I am powerful, I am more than enough, etc…”
5. Distort the Voice
Oftentimes, a critical voice sounds like the authority of your life, but it’s really not. Since it’s easier to disregard a silly voice than a stern one, you might imagine the voice of Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck, for example.
6. Record Your Song
Find an uplifting song that inspires and empowers you. Then, record the song in your subconscious mind by listening to it so often that the words get stuck in your head, and you hear it even when there is no music playing. The point is to program your subconscious with empowering lyrics that overshadow the critical voice.
7. Dump Labels
The labels we carry through life usually represent the limiting beliefs we adopted in childhood, and while defining us, labels limit us. Since it’s difficult to release beliefs without releasing the labels that represent those beliefs, dump the labels, and kindly request that others stop labelling you as well. Who you really are cannot be defined or confined by labels, roles or titles.
Because consistency is essential, you must block the voice every time you hear it. At first, this could be dozens of times a day, but, each time you do, the voice will lose power and your brain will learn to rewire itself accordingly.
Your True Voice
You are the only one who can ever know yourself, and know what’s best for you, and, therefore, as an initiation into adulthood, and a prerequisite for awakening, you must overcome parental programming, and erase all internal voices that are not your own.
Although the voice of your True Self may be hidden beneath the loudest voice in your head, it’s still there and as wise as ever. Your True Self is never negative or disempowering, and because this inner, wise voice knows who you really are, and your absolute potential, it is always positive and empowering.
Instead of defining yourself according to external opinions and internal programming, why not ask yourself, “Who do I choose to be?” If no one ever told you that you could be whoever you want to be, consider yourself told!
Indeed, you can be, do, or experience anything you choose – the world is your canvas and without limiting beliefs, every day presents a new opportunity to create your dreams and desires.
If you take the time to explore your dreams and desires and follow inner guidance, you will eventually discover who you really are, and, in doing so, you will be able to bridge the gap from subconscious repression to conscious self-expression.
Ultimately, your only job is to be you, and, therefore, the one and only voice in your head should be the voice of your True Self, and as your True Self, you can be, do and have anything you desire!
With love, grace and gratitude,