I’m reading a book at the moment called “The Map to our responsive universe – where dreams really do come true” by Boni Lonnsburry (I’ll write a book review of this when I finish reading it) and I just read a section called “Your Dark Side: Your Negative Self”. This talks about how we all have a “negative self” that tries to sabotage any positive efforts that we make and keeps telling us that we can’t do things, that we’re unworthy, unattractive, etc. I can relate to this easily. My negative self is quite loud and vocal.
Boni discusses how to deal with the negative self in “The Map”. She talks through a process of allowing your negative self to “have a voice”. Basically it’s like getting into a conversation with your “negative self” and letting it have its say. Letting it say all the negative things that it can. Just allowing it to keep going, keep complaining, until it has nothing else to say. In a way, this takes away its power.
When I was reading this section, it made me think of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, or Tapping – see this website or this book). It made me see one of the possible reasons why EFT is effective. The process of EFT is essentially split into two parts where the first part mulls over the negative feelings around a particular problem. After there’s a sense that the negative feelings are starting to subside, then the second part of the process begins and these negative feelings are replaced by positive feelings.
So, could the first part of the EFT process be equivalent to letting your “negative self” have its say until it’s exhausted and somewhat disempowered? Thus leaving the door open for more positive thoughts to be introduced without strong opposition? It seems to me that this could well be the case.
This concept of a “negative self” introduced by Boni Lonnsburry seems very useful to me. I like the idea that this is another “self” and not really part of myself. It makes it more easily possible to ignore this “negative self”. I can get on with what I really want to do and I have permission to ignore the rantings of my “negative self”. That’s liberating.
I like this. I’m going to work with it for a while and see how it goes.
Do you have experience with this type of thing?
My negative self seems to come out whenever I have a job interview or a major public speaking engagement.. In the run-up.. He can make me sick with worry and self-doubt.
I have been gradually learning to control him and his bad advice, and I am slowly but surely finding tricks to reign him in..
Jeff, thanks for sharing. I really appreciate it.
If you haven’t tried EFT (Tapping) yet, it might be worth a try. It’s easy, free and has helped a lot of people. Nothing to lose really. The Tapping Solution website has some good introductory information in its “Tapping 101” section.