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This is a topic that means a lot to me and comes straight from my little heart.

I’ve been feeling sorry for myself today – I’m sick, I had an awful weekend but at least I’m finally on the back end of it! But even though I’ve been feeling poorly that hasn’t stopped me from day dreaming about what direction I want my life to go in, what I want to achieve and how many people I want to have the pleasure of meeting, helping to improve their lives, their issues and their own journeys.

Then suddenly it occurred to me! Our biggest dilemma is – how do we do what’s best for us when we have this “naughty child” in our head constantly telling us that we aren’t good enough, we don’t deserve it and we’ll never achieve it?

Well here it is – my reasoning…

That naughty child hasn’t always resided inside your head. It was put there by everyone else – your family, teachers, friends, television, magazines, the environment – you name it – it’s feeding your naughty child, making it stronger and more powerful!

Then as soon as we dare to imagine something greater for ourselves this naughty child comes alive and demands attention – “Don’t be stupid, you can’t do that, you’re not good enough! – do this instead” or “Why would you even think you can do that? You are so not that smart!” or even “You will never do it… you too scared to even try.” Unfortunately, these moments happen each and every day.

Let me ask you this… How often have you walked past a parent and child and overheard a conversation that you definitely weren’t meant to hear? You know the ones! They normally end with the child (or usually teen!) saying something along the lines of “oh, for God sake mum…” or “do you have to do that?” or maybe even something more negative like “Mum you’re so pathetic and annoying…”

Yep – awkward… They say all these different things as you walk past, and, you’re not quite sure whether to feel sorry for the mum (or dad) or to actually go and say to the teenager, “who do you think you’re talking to?”

The funny thing is, is that we do all the time. And the weird thing is we actually do it to ourselves more than others. We have that same naughty child in our head all the time. We have this little child, this little negative voice that says “who do you think you are?”, “You’re too fat” or “You’ll never do that” or “You’re never going to succeed”.

With these horrible, degrading comments swirling around in your mind all the time how can we not listen to them? Most of us get to the point where we actually let them speak freely, instead of us being strong and saying “excuse me, don’t talk to me like that!”. A lot of the time we let that naughty child take control of how we think, feel and behave; all while we take the backseat. In reality if your son or daughter was the one saying these disgusting things then you would without a doubt be saying to them “Who do you think you are? And don’t speak to people like that!”

You’d stop them, obviously. But a lot of the time we let that little voice in our head say these things and we do nothing. We do absolutely nothing except just let it carry on. And to make matters worse we then listen to what it’s saying!!! All these voices, all these things, negativities, all these self-saboteurs- we’re not born with these. We’ve picked them up along the way and we have to learn how to unpick them.

Another time I remember in school, my art teacher many moons ago gave me a six for art (the lowest grade you could get!) All because I didn’t want to use colours when I was drawing. I just wanted to use pencil so, in his eyes I couldn’t draw. Can you believe that something as silly as this has stuck with me till this very day? Even now I say, “oh, I can’t, I can’t draw.” I don’t even bother trying because that one thing has stuck in my head. I got a six, so I can’t draw. But the more I look at it now is that art is meant to be an expression of yourself; some people do use colour and some people like black and white – there is no right a wrong. But since I got the lowest mark ever, I have never drawn. It just proves, doesn’t it? That even the smallest thing can stick with you and make you lose your confidence. So here I am, I’ve never drawn again all because somebody, somewhere at some point told me that I was rubbish.

So, there we have it, that’s my naughty child. It’s something that’s stuck in my head. We’ve all got these things in our head. This negative voice says things, but we do have a choice. We can stop that naughty child running rampant by giving ourselves the chance to regain control by saying “excuse me, I am the adult. This is my mind. This is the way I think I feel and I want to behave and you are not going to take control.” Or do you say my favourite – “I’m not going to have a conversation with you yet until you calm down and you talk properly and then they have to talk properly.”

This is the only way to win. You have to treat it as you would with a real naughty child – put it on the naughty step and tell it to stay there until it has something good to say about you. In other words, you need to take control of that voice in your head and tell it that YOU are in control and YOU know what’s best for you.

Then when the voice is a reasonable voice, you can be nice to yourself.  Think about all the things that you say to yourself in your mind as if it’s a naughty child and say to yourself – “I am worth that. Actually, I am good at that. And yes, I can do that and I will do that. And there’s nothing stopping me!” Remember that the only thing that is stopping you, is you. So, think about that naughty child in your head and tell yourself that today is the day you will make the change. Repeat after me – “Today’s the day I take control of that voice in my mind and say, no more negativity, no more procrastination, no more anger, no more fear, no more worry and I will focus on the stuff that’s there and right in front of me and then I will see what I am truly good at.”

So, today my “naughty child” was busy saying “Denise, you will never have the impact you want…”

But I am saying “Sod you!! I can and I WILL have the impact on others as I am fantastic at what I do and I love seeing others develop and flourish…”

Sometimes you just have to scream from the top of your lungs “look out world as here I come – BIGGER and BETTER!!” And maybe just maybe I’ll go and get some pencils and a piece of paper and draw something.

So, what’s your inner saboteur saying and how will you control it?

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