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Why Do People Let Their "Inner Voice" Put Doubt in Their Minds?

Recovery can be a difficult road. Each one of us has an “inner voice” that we hear. Many people think of that inner voice as our subconscious. What we hear from our inner voice can make our recovery journey easier or more difficult.

When you hear your inner voice, pay attention to how you feel in response. You may experience an authentic, peaceful feeling; you may even feel empowered. If the voice you are hearing makes you feel afraid, doubtful, stuck, angry, or resentful, this is your critical inner voice. When you pay attention to how you feel when your subconscious communicates with you, you can become an active participant in your life instead of a fearful bystander.

How Can Your “Inner Voice” Undermine You?

Your critical inner voice is the part of your personality that is defensive and negative; it is the part of you opposed to change or growth. When this voice causes feelings of doubting and questioning yourself, it prevents you from performing at your full potential.

This is the voice that keeps you stuck in old patterns and behaviors. This negative voice can subconsciously keep you stuck doing the very things that you are trying to change. This is the voice that will interfere with your work in recovery, and it is the voice that needs to be ignored. These negative thoughts can be intense and persistent. Instead, you need to turn your attention to the positive voice and learn to pay attention to it.

Can Your Inner Critic Be Helpful?

It should be noted that sometimes your inner critic serves a valuable purpose — when that negative voice points out an old, harmful pattern that could hurt you. Look for times when you should pay attention to the negative feelings and determine if there is danger or a reason to pay attention. Learn to accept the positive aspects of your critical inner voice when it is saying something that can help; after all, it is part of you. However, don’t let the inner critical voice cause you to feel fear or anger that can undermine your recovery.

How Do We Quiet Our Inner Voice? When Should We?

Once you identify your “critical inner voice” from your positive “thoughtful voice,” you can challenge that critical voice, which can be difficult. While your critical inner voice can be persistent initially, it is possible to distance yourself from that critical voice and focus 100% on your goals and the positive voice that supports your goals, thoughts, dreams, and happiness.

The best way to move forward is to make your thoughtful voice your ally and focus on your thoughts that help you remain positive and focused on moving forward toward your goals. Practice is all it takes — identifying the feelings and emotions that cause you to feel fear and anger and redirecting yourself to the thoughts that help.

Sometimes an “inner voice” can be a critic; sometimes, an “inner voice” can warn us of trouble. It is essential in your recovery journey that you silence the “inner critic,” the voice that causes you to doubt your ability to succeed. Every time you make good choices, you reinforce your most authentic values and can silence the negative voice that feeds your substance use disorder (SUD). It is hard to listen thoughtfully to yourself, but each time you do, you contribute to your own success. To learn more, call The Guest House at (855) 483-7800.