The go-to life coach for Fortune 500 companies, Silicon Valley, and wellness pros like Dr. Mark Hyman and Elena Brower, and an mbg class instructor, Lauren Handel Zander knows how to transform lives. Her new book, Maybe It's You: Cut the Crap. Face Your Fears. Love Your Life, out April 4th, is designed to help you figure out what you want out of life (love, success, healing, weight loss, fulfillment, and more) and how to get it. Here's what she has to say about the power of our internal dialogue, and how you can harness it for good.
Ever notice how we are constantly talking to ourselves in our heads? We not only profess to know what others are thinking but also what their responses will be—and even what they really meant by what they said.
Apparently, we are all mind readers, without much proven psychic ability.
Whether we realize it or not, our thoughts profoundly affect us. We spend our entire lives having thoughts, and because no one can hear them or sense them, we think they are fairly inconsequential unless we act upon them.
But is that true?
When it comes to fully understanding the voices in our heads or knowing what's really happening in our heads, we actually plead ignorant. Like, "Huh, me? I'm talking to myself? Really?"
Sure, there's a level to which we'll admit that we know we're in our heads a bunch, but are we really that attuned to the smack we say to ourselves when we look in the mirror? When we are lying next to our mate? When we're driving to work? When we're attempting to brush our already reluctant kid's hair and she's got a huge (and I mean HUGE) knot in the back of her head?
There's this illusion (delusion?) that nothing important is really going on in that dark nightclub where all our thoughts, theories, and inner dialogues dance. But, the truth is, we've all done such a lousy job as a bouncer in that club, it's kind of amazing.
When I start to work with a client about their thoughts, most don't even know what I'm talking about. They've never named it, never caught it, never really understood how much that inner dialogue is running their life. But how could it not matter? We are listening to it all the time. It's like a radio or television that is always on that we've gotten so used to, we can barely hear it anymore. No one has ever called a timeout on our mind, blown a whistle on it, and seen its cycle for what it is.
There is a whole level of consciousness that we are not tapped into, and worse, we are not tapped into on purpose...
This entire book is about getting you in there. Getting you in charge of your own mind and narrative. Getting you curating everything that is going on in your brain—so you can change it if you want to.
Our mind can be mean. It holds grudges. It exaggerates. It's mad. It's lazy. It lies. It's irrational. It's hypersensitive. It's hypocritical. It's cynical. It's two-faced. It's sad. It's an addict...
Clearly, I could go on and on. Our mind has a mind of its own. The only part that we don't admit is that we're not the boss of it. I mean, no wonder we haven't been able to dream in certain areas. We're currently not the one in charge.
That is, until now.
Mastery over your mind comes from the learned ability to choose what is best for yourself to think and feel. To not bullshit yourself, but to align your mind with your desires. To get your own hands back on your life's remote control and press mute when your mind messes with what matters most to you.
Heading in is your way out...
You are going to invent a higher self and start distinguishing yourself from your thoughts, from your lower self. Your higher self is now going to witness your thoughts, evaluate them, nickname them, and yes, curate them. You are going to stop and giggle as you notice what your head says about your husband, your wife, your partner, your boss, your body, the driver next to you. Your higher self is going to ask your lower self, "Is that really me? What am I really like?"
And, you will see that the very minute you start to ask yourself what you are really like, you have a say over it.
Excerpted from Maybe It's You: Cut the Crap. Face Your Fears. Love Your Life by Lauren Handel Zander, with the permission of Hachette Books Copyright © 2017.