Recently I finished the audiobook 'The Power of Story,' by Jim Loehr. Jim is a mental performance coach that has worked with many professional athletes and olympians, and his company now works mainly with business executives at top firms. In this audiobook, he talks about how our 'stories' (our perception, viewpoint, attitude, etc) that shape our life and discusses that if you have a proper attitude embedded in you, external and internal influences will have no impact on you. One of the topics we discuss a lot in our blog is dealing with the 'inner voice' in our head, and Jim poses some excellent questions about that inner voice that tremendously affects each of our stories.
The 'inner voice' is the continuous chatter in our head. It usually is stating the obvious, telling us how we should or shouldn't feel, and it usually has a critical tone. In order to gain control of our inner voice, we first need to:
- Acknowledge the private voice
- Turn up the volume
- Listen to it
Once we have acknowledged it and listened to it, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What's the tone?
- How constructive or destructive is this voice?
- Is it filled with hope or regret?
- If it's not your voice, then who's voice is it? (parent, spouse, boss, coach, etc)
- What changes would you make in the content and tone?
- Is the voice aligned with your mission and drive?
He then challenges us to align our outer voice with our private voice. It essentially means that we need to conscientiously align our outer goals with the inner voice to ensure the inner voice is not detracting us from achieving what we believe is our purpose in life.
Here are some other key takeaways from the book:
The cause-effect concept has a significant influence on your life
This means that if your story (or voice) is a mere reflection of defeat and depression, then that is the reality you will create in your life. The human mind’s natural state is calmness, and your situation only reflects the ideology you’ve acquired: mentality, inspiration, and ideas.
Move away from the ideas that keep you down
Do everything in your power to sidestep these unbeneficial, emotional influences and create a new story of life. In a matter of minutes, the internal reality of each mind can shift, and there are no restrictions.
Stop pleasing other people
Your life story is not someone else's success measurement. Eventually everyone realizes that the other voices inside your head are biased, and they don’t create value. Equip yourself with self-knowledge, and don’t let anyone manipulate you because your personal narrations are not suitable for any role.
In closing, I encourage each of us this week to be proactive with the voice in our ahead. Create the story you want for the day or the moment and let that be the story you tell yourself. Don't let the voice in your head give you the play by play in a reactive way that will inevitably shift your attitude in an unproductive manner.
Have a great week!
See a 7 minute video below of Jim discussing his book and the idea behind 'The Power of Story'