Quiet the voice to tap into your true self
So I’m only on Day 3 of this new blogging-thing and already it’s painful. So much for endurance, eh? I go out on my morning walk and all this brilliance is floating around my head, and then when I return to put it down on paper (or on computer screen), it feels a bit like I’m passing a kidney stone. Unpleasant. So what’s the barrier?
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve got this little voice in my head that won’t settle down. This voice, were it personified, would certainly have ADHD and ODD and thinks she has ESP, but doesn’t. She is Simon Cowell and my mother combined. She wants to break out, take a stand and make an impact while simultaneously urging me to be careful, watch my tone, and play it safe. She knows my strengths and my weaknesses and reminds me of them constantly. She thinks me brilliant and a fool. She is highly critical yet effusive with her praise. She says what nobody else will say because she loves me. But it doesn’t always feel like love. When the little voice in my head is in charge I don’t stand a chance.
Neither does my blog.
My voice’s name (What? You don’t name the little voice in your head?): Ego.
I follow Deepak Chopra on Linkedin. Love his stuff, but my head always wants to explode after I read it. It’s brilliant and out there and I don’t want your heads to explode so I don’t share it often. The Ego, according to Dr. D, “seeks to increase pleasure and decrease pain, without realizing that the source of pain is itself”. And I find that this is true. When I’m focused on what I should be, on getting approval, on what others think, then it can be a pretty painful thing and a big ole barrier to making the impact I want to make.
His antedote? To tap into your true self. “The true self isn’t centered on the demands of ego but on higher values: love, truth, creativity, compassion. Because it is connected to the source of awareness, at a deeper level of the mind, the true self is at peace.” (Is your head exploding yet?)
For me, that’s what focusing on my Super Objective gives me access to – my true self.
For those of you who have no idea what a Super Objective is (and you wouldn’t, unless you were an actor or have gone through OnStage Leadership), here’s a quick primer: The concept of the Super Objective is borrowed from the world of the theatre. Actors use it as a tool to focus their attention outside themselves to get beyond their own personal egos to attain true connection on stage. It is what drives a character internally put into active language. When used as a leadership or personal tool, it allows us to focus outside ourselves and connect with what drives us internally, to get beyond our own ego and attain true connection and powerful results. The results are the bi-product of the focus and connection. Essentially it quiets that little voice and gives us something else to focus on that’s more effective.
Fess up. You have a little voice in your head too. Sometimes saying nice things, sometimes not so nice. If you find that it’s getting in your way, you’re not alone. Welcome to being human!
But there is another way. Next time you’re voice takes over, quiet it by changing your focus. Ask yourself, what is the impact I want to have outside myself? What’s the impact you want to have on your employees, your colleagues, your clients, your community, your friends, your family, the world? Focus on that and let that inform your actions.
The bi-product? Your true self revealed. Hasta la vista, little voice!
©OnStage Leadership, 2013
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