The Noise Inside

Are you one of those people for whom, everything can be going great but then you get those whispering doubts in your head? You know, the ‘you’re not good enough’ whispers, that tell you your efforts haven’t quite made the grade. They’re annoying, right?

These cheeky whisperings take up residence in our head and do such a convincing impression of us that we believe it’s actually us speaking. And because we think it’s us, we listen to it! But as the saying goes, don’t believe everything you think!

A while back I was spilling forth with a friend on all the doubts I had about myself but then he stopped me mid-flow, “Andi. You are WAY too hard on yourself.”

I’ve been told that many… many times. All my life, I’ve pushed myself to achieve but though I’ve accomplished much, I too often focus on what I haven’t done. 

Are you one of those people too, where self-congratulation is short lived compared to the ongoing conversation of, ‘Not good enough!’

Thankfully, my mate was able to put a spanner in the works of that repetitive cycle and allow me to see the unhelpful self-talk I was bombarding myself with. 

It’s so easy to focus on where you’re failing rather than the wins. I remember once, setting out to contact someone pretty high up in the movie industry but instead of patting myself on the back for my Columbo-like detective skills when I finally got in touch with them, I actually berated myself for not aiming higher. The pressure coming from within is relentless.

As I spoke with my mate I realised that ‘I-should-do-better’ is where I look at the world from and everything I do gets coloured with that thinking. Luckily, even if it was for a brief moment I got to see the whole mechanism in action and could intervene but in a way that didn’t energise it. I reminded myself that I didn’t need to judge it or tell myself I shouldn’t be thinking those things (because isn’t that just more of the same thinking! i.e. “You should be doing better at ‘not thinking of those things!’”). 

I just saw it, allowed it to be but didn’t take those whisperers at their word, simply seeing them for what they were – a noise within that I could choose to ignore as I got on with my day. Is there a noise within that’s telling you untruths about yourself? Not good enough, not slim enough, not clever enough, too loud, too quiet – whatever the whispers, know that, though we all have this noise we can always choose to ignore it because what it says most likely isn’t true and definitely doesn’t define us.

Blog originally posted March 2013

Andi’s second novel, Tough Crowd is out in June 2022 and available to pre-order now from, Amazon and Waterstones.

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