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As high performers we must create skill and discipline around tuning in and observing our inner dialogue. Why? Our internal chatterbox, if left unchecked, can derail our growth and our ability to live our potential.


The internal chatterbox is a term that references the “monkey mind” part of our brain that runs on automatic. When we are fully identified with our chatterbox we easily get caught up in spinning imaginary dramas in our mind and worrying about future events. Of course our internal chatterbox is also obsessed with past situations and experiences as well and we can end up wasting a lot of our focus and emotional energy with that type of thinking. 


The other damaging part of our internal chatterbox is that it poses as the voice of reason in our lives but actually is more often than not an inner critic that focuses on your flaws and constantly evaluates and points out where you’re coming up short. This is the voice that tells you that you need to be more (more experience, more qualifications, more expertise). 


We can see that our internal chatterbox can cause a lot of trouble for us if left unchecked. When I think about unchecked thinking I imagine a horse galloping wildly along with nobody at the reins. As high performers we can harness the power of our conscious mind to grab the reins on our chatterbox so that it doesn’t lead us into negative and self-sabotaging emotional states. 


The power of this is life changing because you have more control over your inner dialogue. The way that we begin to access this is through mindfulness and meditation. Both of those strategies help us begin to identify and practise tuning into the part of our mind that can watch and observe our automatic thinking. Over time as we train our focus we can actually starve those negative thinking patterns of their power. We become mentally stronger so even if we do get hooked into our automatic thoughts, we don’t stay stuck in them for long. 


If you’re new to mindfulness and meditation I highly recommend the book Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris. His approach is that even one minute of meditation a day is a win because it serves to briefly interrupt the current of our internal chatterbox that carries us along. That’s all it takes to start–a minute of your day to build a life changing high performance habit. 


– Coach Liane

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