Imagine I invented a revolutionary new device that only does one thing. Through a form of Bluetooth connection it would externalize your internal voice over a small speaker. All your inner dialogue, everything you said to yourself inside your own head, would be audibly broadcast on the outside.
What would that experience be like for you? How would it affect your day? Your relationships? Your perception of yourself?
I’ve used this thought exercise for almost two decades in my workshops. I love it. No, this device doesn’t exist and odds are it never will. That’s not the point. But I will give you a simple alternative strategy at the end of this message that you can start today.
In your head it stays private. It manipulates your mind unchecked, often below your full awareness. That lack of conscious awareness is the problem. Given that your internal dialogue shapes your entire human experience, you can’t afford for your mind to have a daily stream of thoughts, ideas, opinions, and beliefs that you’re neither fully aware of or responsible for.
Not if you’re reading this at least. Not if you want to be a person of discipline and build things of lasting value, whether it be a relationship, a business, or a quality life.
That’s what makes this imaginary device thought exercise useful. It forces you to consider the implications and consequences of your internal dialogue in a way you normally don’t, maybe in a way you never have. It gives you a fresh perspective on a private experience.
You can’t hide from your inner voice, but you can change the script.
Everything is training for something. Do the work.
Don't worry. I’m not going to invent a magical device that externalizes your internal thoughts. Luckily, you can do it manually.
Keep a pen and paper near you as much as you can for the rest of the week. Do not use anything digital for this.
When you find yourself aware of internal dialogue, whatever it is, write it down just as it was said in your head. Do not edit the content. Transcribe it as if you’re a court reporter. Then go back to whatever you were doing. Anytime you’re aware of your inner voice saying something new, write it down again.
Also at the end of each day this week, using the same pen and paper, write down as much as you can recall from the contents of your internal dialogue that day. How much real awareness do you have about exactly what you said to yourself throughout the day? Expect this to be a real challenge, especially the first few tries.
Read through everything you wrote down each day. That’s a good start to gain awareness of what your inner voice is saying and how it’s influencing you.
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Brian Kight is a multi-industry leader on the topics of leadership, culture, and behavior. He provides simple systems that produce exceptional results for organizations, teams, and people.