“Stinking Thinking” – the tragedy of having vicious self talk.

When we feel held back by our own inner voice telling us ‘I can’t’, ‘I’m going to come across stupid’, ‘they don’t like me’, it’s like we have a mental coach forever criticising us and putting us down. And we listen and believe that voice – it seems full of authority and true. How can we get on and enjoy life with an inner mean tyrant abusing us like that?
A while back I watched a ‘Would you believe’ interview with the world class opera singer Celine Byrne. I remember her story of how she could go from a standing ovation in La Scala opera house – attended by people who know what they are listening to and who consider her the best in the world right now – to crying in her room with feelings of depression and worthlessness.
The interview moved me and once again I was reminded of how torturous the inner critic can be. It doesn’t take into account all of the evidence of how good, accomplished or deserving of a night off of self loathing we are and instead just keeps berating us with negative comparisons and put downs.
I was privileged to go see Andrea Bocelli in the 3Arena in Dublin and for the first time got to hear Celine Byrne – his guest soprano – in person. We use terms like ‘amazing’, ‘world class’, ‘transcendent’, ‘unbelievable’ when we witness excellence and a human being expressing themselves at the top of their game and yet those terms can’t ever fully describe how we’ve been transported by a performance. She was all of those things.
If I didn’t understand psychology I would be dumbfounded to comprehend how someone that effortlessly competent, and instantly likeable, could complete a performance like that and end up in tears of self doubt.
Our “stinking thinking” is relentless, ever on the look out for danger, ever fearful of our capacity to make it. It can ruin our experience of life.
It saddens me that this is the case. I was saddened that someone who gives so much and is so appreciated would not be able to feel good about herself and saddened that all of the various techniques and practices that are helpful in stopping ‘stinking thinking’ are not more widely known and available to the people who most need and most deserve the release for the inner prison of abusive self talk.
So yet again I’m inspired to let it be known – we don’t have to keep suffering, to keep battling demons, to keep struggling to have a good day. And if your ‘stinking thinking’ is saying ‘well I’m not world class – I’m not that good at anything’ it just is an indicator that you are unnecessarily holding yourself back and limiting yourself by listening to such thoughts. There are ways out and those ways can be thought, learned, applied and you can get results. Anyone can. World class performers and people with more ordinary lives, all of us can silence the inner critic.
I’m always happy to discuss how life can be experienced with more ease and happiness.
If you’d like to have a chat you can get me on
at 087 2201 543
Have a great week,

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