For Christmas, my mother-in-law got both of my kids iPads. They are now glued to them. Thanks grandma! During down times in my house, the family can be found in the living room… me watching tv, the kids staring at their new iPads, and my wife jumping between tv and Facebook.
It is during these “tense” times where we battle for volume! I’m trying to hear the tv while they are listening to their new toys. But here lies the problem, they crank up the volume on their devices and have little concern for anything else. I think they get this from my wife (just saying ).
It shocks me how loud they make these things when they are only a few inches away from their face. You can hear me regularly asking, “Can you lower that?” I guess as I get older, I have become more aware of the noise.
As much as there is this constant noise in my house, it is truly the fun part. We usually turn these little situations into a joke about daddy being grumpy or they get this trait from their mother. No harm, no fool!
I use this tender family anecdote to uncover a bigger problem in most of our lives. It is the constant noise that goes on in our heads. And just as I battle for volume with my kids, we have this same battle erupting inside us.
Do you remember the cartoon image of an “angel” and “devil” sitting on a character’s shoulder? One sharing the right thing to do (that is the angel). The other trying to get the character in trouble (this is the devil).
This is how I envision thoughts in my own head. On one side, the angel is pumping golden nuggets into my ear. She is sharing confidence, inspiration, and tales of triumph. However, on the other side, the red guy with the pitchfork in hand is filling my mind with doubts, fears, and concerns.
If you are like most people, the latter is what tends to be louder and more consistent. We will call this “noise”. In most instances, this noise in our head is overblown. We tend to create these amplified versions of reality and it gets in our way.
There are several references to negative thoughts, but to summarize, we have approximately 50,000 – 70,000 thoughts per day. That doesn’t seem so bad. However, on average, 80% of those thoughts are negative. The more time we listen to it, the more we begin to believe it. This causes many people to limit themselves and their potential. Does this happen to you?
What is it about limiting beliefs that gets the best of us? Why do we listen to these fabrications of truth? How do we move past this and focus more on the positive?
Unfortunately, it still happens to me to this day. I would consider myself a risk taker and driven. But occasionally, the noise gets the best of me. Typically, it takes a day (sometimes 2) to lower the volume in my head. Get the negativity out!
How do I do it? I believe in strategic goal setting and using daily reminders of what those goals are. Is it perfect, no! But it is extremely consistent. This helps lower the noise. As I start to apply common sense to the situation, it is never as bad as where my brain was taking me. It takes some consistent reminders that there is a plan in place and everything is going to be alright.
And it always is! Even during our darkest moments, the light will ultimately shine again. You just have to get past the noise to see it. These minor speed bumps, that we affectionately refer to as “life”, just need to be recognized as setbacks or detours.
It’s ok to question yourself every once in a while. I think it’s perfectly natural. Life will get in the way and knock you off track. Just don’t crank the volume all the way up! Doubts, fears, and concerns are a part of change.
If your making positive changes in your life, this will happen. Continue on your path and believe in yourself. Pretty soon you will be hearing music, instead of noise.