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Do you have a little voice in your head constantly criticising you? As if you have an invisible little gremlin on your shoulder telling you that you are doing everything wrong and not quite good enough? You are not alone – this Saboteur is within all of us. The more we listen and interact with this voice, the more it can impact our anxiety and make us feel on the back foot.

You can take control back and decide to experience life differently – without this little voice – or at the very least with a quieter and less dominant voice. You can do this by connecting with a different voice in your head, your Best Self. Your Best Self can reduce your anxiety and help you to feel happier.

A powerful resource

We all have a Best Self within us. It is an inner strength; the part of you that knows what is right and shows you the best direction to head in. It is a gentle voice that does not judge us – just wise and kind. Your Best Self is a wonderful resource to use when we are feeling overwhelmed and struggling. By connecting to this compassionate part of ourselves (rather than the horrible voice), we can find the best way to move forward, regardless of how challenging the situation might feel or seem at first glance.

When we have to do something that feels difficult and makes us nervous (such as going to a dinner, speaking up in a meeting or even making a phone call), our Best Self can give us the inner strength and the confidence that we need to see it through. All whilst ignoring the Saboteur voice.

Your Best Self will help you to overcome fears and doubts, and that is why you should always try and connect with it. Here is an easy exercise that can help you to clarify and utilise this resource:

Toolbox: Tune in to your Best Self 

Take deep breaths – right into the pit of your belly. Feel where you might be tense, breathing into the tightness and letting the tension go on the exhale.  Close your eyes and get comfortable. Tune in to the part of you that knows your strengths and talents – the part of you that has always been there. Think of what it looks like. Is it an object, an animal or a human? What else do you notice? How do you feel in it’s company? Does it smell of anything? What does it say? How does it act?  Draw it. The clarity you get now will benefit you later on when life feels tough and you need to access it. Consider when you can call upon your Best Self and how it will change things for the better.

Be your Best Self every day

How can we sustain the connection with our inner strength on a daily basis? Consciously finding the time each day to connect to this part of you – your best self – will help reduce your anxiety. As with creating any new habit, it is best to try and do this at the same time each and every day. Put a reminder up somewhere that will prompt you to connect to your Best Self, perhaps every morning on your mirror.

To be the best version of you every day and be operating from your Best Self rather than your saboteur, there are a few things you can try:

  • Surround yourself with good people.
    The ones you spend time with can affect how you feel. Find people that give you energy, make you feel happy and at ease, and can inspire you.
  • Get away from negative self-talk.
    Try to catch that inner voice that criticises you and reduce it – turn off the volume! Consciously decide that you are not willing to listen to it anymore.
  • Focus on the positives.
    Take a few minutes every day to think about what you are happy about, what you appreciate and have in your life.
  • Enjoy today.
    Try to be in the moment and just think of what is happening right now. Forget about yesterday and tomorrow.
  • Take responsibility.
    Try to take ownership of the events in your life. If you “own” the circumstances, then you can also better take control of it. And shift it in the direction you would like.
  • Set goals.
    Generation Panic’ers are often good at setting goals and striving high. Try to imagine your future in a non-judgemental light. So, consider where you see yourself in the future, not what you think others expect you to be or become in the future.
  • Spend time with yourself.
    Disconnect from the “noise” (i.e. social media, tv…). These are all messages from someone else. Instead, listen to your own messages. Listen to your gut. It will give you clarity on who you are, who you want to be and what is important to you.

Try now to take back the control, replace the harsh voice in your head with a kinder one. It will reduce your anxiety and you will be happier. Go out and be your Best Self – every day.