Self-Defeating Self-Talk, or: The Enemy in Your Head, Where Your Friend Should be

It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head.
Sally Kempton

David Allen is mostly known for Getting Things Done, and there are some really good introductions to it (e.g., this webinar with the unfortunate logo placement). I also highly recommend the book itself. Recently, I listened to an interview with him where he talked about how smart/creative people can easily think up problems and difficulties. ( seems like a nice site, even provides the raw transcript :-)). And yeah, there is the voice inside one’s head that sometimes likes to paint the future in the darkest colors. That goes on catastrophizing every action (and even inaction). And then he said something that really made me think:

“What if your friends talk to you like yourself?”(*)
David Allen

And waow, he’s right. He goes on how this saves from disappointment, but I rather stick with that question.

I mean, there are things I would not tolerate from my friends. In fact, I have ended a couple of friendships, even long-term ones, because the friendship became unequal and/or untenable. It hurts like hell but it is sometimes necessary.

So why would I accept even worse behavior from the voice inside my head? And why would you?

I have no answer, but I’m probably going to have discussion with my inner voice about it …


(*) or something to that effect, personally, I think I go with: “What if your friends talked to you like you talk to yourself?”