The 12 Thrive Days of Christmas – Day 3 Inner Voices

A series of 12 short articles published daily from 25th December to 5th January (The traditional 12 days of Christmas).  Today we look at our inner voices.

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Our critics

Take a minute to think back through your life and all the people you have known.  Who do you think has been your biggest CRITIC throughout your life? Was it a parent, teacher, friend, relative, or partner/ spouse?

Well if you chose somebody from that list I am afraid you are wrong.  By far your greatest critic is you!  The person who ‘tells you off’ the most is YOU. . The person who ‘puts you down’ the most is YOU.  Even worse it is YOU who places the most limits on your hopes, desires and ambitions.

You probably do more harm to your health, self esteem, and your ability to cope with stress and anxiety than everyone else in your life put together!



Pay attention

Why not test this out?  For one hour (any time/ any day), pay attention to that ‘inner voice’ of your own.  When you think to yourself ‘ It’s going to be a lovely day today’ , what does your inner voice say?   How does your inner voice respond when you tell yourself ‘I am going to stick to my diet and exercise regime’.  When you see that great looking guy/girl what does your inner voice tell you?

Your inner voice was probably no where near as positive and supportive as you would like, undermining you at every thought.



Our ‘inner voice’ or self talk

Your ‘inner voice’ isn’t an audible voice but a metaphor for what is sometimes called ‘self talk’.  This is the constant flow of ‘thought conversations’ going on in our heads most of the time.  Sometimes we refer to the black monkey or little devil on our shoulder, whispering negative thoughts in our ear.  It may be we are thinking of somebody who was always critical of us, challenging us, comparing us.  The impact of negative self talk is huge, stopping us being who we want to be, or enjoying the things we want to do.

Recently I was talking to a man in his mid fifties who has a good job, lovely house, and happy family life, but he felt he was an imposter. Whenever anything good happens he ‘hears’ his very critical dad telling him “You’ll never make anything of yourself lad” .Sadly dad died 15 years ago and my friend cannot even recall the occasion/s when this was said but it continues to feed his self talk in a very negative way.

Once we recognise that these’ voices’ are no more than bad habits we can learn to ignore them, live life to the full, AND THRIVE.





The Thrive Programme explains how our belief systems, tinted spectacles and inner voices can combine to place unnecessary hurdles in our path.

Tomorrow we will look at Control and how powerful we feel, so be sure to catch day 4 of the 12 Thrive Days of Christmas.

Ian Crosswell – Thrive With Ian






I’m Ian and I’m a qualified Thrive Programme Consultant. Using the professionally developed Thrive Programme – a proven, evidence based, positive psychology training programme – I work with people from all walks of life, providing the insights and skills they need to change their lives for the better.

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