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Have you ever beat yourself up inside your own head? For some of us, it’s more common than we may realize.
What if every time you looked at yourself, you called yourself a monster? What if the mere thought of yourself brought labels like broken, useless, or worse?
On The Art of Making Things Happen, we talked about the importance of inner conversations.
Chris Ruden was born with a physical disability. It left him with two fingers on his left hand and a shorter left arm. On top of that, he had type 1 diabetes.
Despite these challenges, he’s a world-record powerlifter, bodybuilder, and motivational speaker. Nonetheless, it wasn’t always this way for Chris. He gets honest about his self-transformation in his new book, The Upper Hand.
Ignorance Is Bliss and Seventeen Years of Hiding
Chris explained, when he was a kid, he had no worries about his physical disabilities. He went about his day like all other kids. It wasn’t until Chris got to middle school and high school that things changed.
He calls this period his seventeen years of hiding. During that time, he hid his hand inside his pockets. He wouldn’t even remove it to take his backpack off his shoulders. He would ask to use the bathroom so he could remove his backpack in secret.
To his friends, he remained a confident facade. On the inside, though, he was crushing his very soul with the most unkind of words imaginable.
A Verbal Assault of Epic Proportions
Chris spent his days in hiding. He was a person who could project confidence when it was necessary. In private, he was his own worst enemy.
He called himself a monster, broken, useless, helpless, and more. It was a seventeen-year torture of negative thoughts barraging him every day.
If that wasn’t enough, he also heard from other children at school who didn’t understand.
That one problem washed away his potential for seventeen agonizing years. Until the day he decided to change the conversation that he had with himself.
How to Change the Conversation You Have With Yourself
To change the conversation we have with ourselves, we must first sit with it. Then you must ask yourself a few questions:
- Are the thought processes I’m having now going to help me or hurt me?
- Are the thought processes I’m having right now going to make me proud?
- Looking back, are the actions I’m taking today going to make me proud?
Chris mentions that you have to have a guiding principle. He gives the analogy. If you’re at the Grand Canyon, you may have thoughts about slipping, falling, or even jumping into the canyon. You can have that feeling and not react.
It’s the same with your negative thoughts. Chris says it like this, “Feelings are not facts!”
When you have negative thoughts that create negative feelings, you can feel them. That’s fine, but don’t invest in them. Don’t give your negative thoughts more weight than is necessary.
Chris says that there’s a difference between your feelings and your response. You don’t have to let your thoughts and feelings affect your life. It starts with the choice to let them affect you or not.
Get the Upper Hand—Over Yourself
In Chris Ruden’s new book, The Upper Hand, he teaches you the first step for changing your life. It’s all about changing the conversation you have with yourself. Your inner monologue is what separates you from your dreams, goals, and ambitions. Take back control!