The Cynical Voice



That cynical voice inside your head isn’t you. At least it isn’t all that you are. Its a part of your psyche that formed to protect you from your fears. It does this by creating a barrier between the outside world and your emotions. It intellectualises, helps you to analyse instead of directly experience or feel.

In many circumstances in this tough and unforgiving world it is necessary to shield your feelings. You can’t function in society if you’re are blubbering mess. But problems arises when you identify with the cynical voice alone. You lose other aspects, awareness of feelings and you shrink. 

When you have identified with the cynical voice you can’t be authentic. This inner critic is so good at protecting you from you fears and vulnerabilities that eventually it starts protecting you from your hopes and dreams too. You forget what makes you happy, what you care about. Life becomes less about thriving and more about surviving. 

Instead of seeking hope, joy or inspiration all you have left is avoiding discomfort. And so we stay in the shitty job we hate, we eat or drink to excess to numb the pain further. We seek out fleeting moments of escapism and we trudge through life.

That is the life ruled by the cynical inner voice.

The wonderful thing about being a human is that even if you have been listening to the cynical voice for a long time all the other aspects of yourself, your feelings, hopes and dreams still exist within you. They are just a little bit shrunk and probably hard to find given you have been completely ignoring them for some time.

The thing about life is that you have to take risks. You have to put yourself out there. To know that you might fail, you might get hurt. But that it is okay because it doesn’t make you any less of a person. It makes you someone with courage, someone who tries.

Living in your comfort zone for too long is the same as the frog slowly boiling in the pot. At first it’s good, it feels nice and safe. But slowly without you realising it the water becomes less and less comfortable. And while it probably won’t kill you it will completely desensitise you to everything that makes life worth living.

As much as we might like to think otherwise, human beings are animals, we are living things. And all living things have a life cycle. A life cycle full of changes and challenges. With technology and medicine we have been able to manipulate our environment and our lifestyle. Making it so much easier to find food, shelter and comfort. But these advancements don’t take away from our innate need for change and growth. By avoiding challenge we deny ourselves the opportunity of healthy development. Much like if a toddler could chose not to walk for fear of falling. When we listen to the cynical voice and live hidden behind our barriers, we stay stuck, we stagnate and it isn’t good for us.

So do yourself a favour. Find something you secretly want to do but are afraid of, that the cynical voice says is too hard, stupid or not really worth the effort and give it a go. It won’t be easy and it will not be without strong inner opposition. But just as you have trained yourself to listen to the cynical voice you need to train yourself to ignore it. Because when you do you leave space for the other parts of your psyche to show themselves. The hopeful part, the brave part, parts that you didn’t think existed.


Image © Vivienne Flesher

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