I used to think that taming your inner demons was a matter of transcending them. I used to believe that the gnawing notion of “not good enough” would be silenced when I was able to move past my mind’s eye, because of course, our inner demons do not base their case in reality.
Our inner demons strike us at our sore spots. They recite to us all the things that we fear people will interpret us to be. They keep us stuck in the place where what other people perceive is reality, though of course, those perceptions are extensions of those people, and these ones are ours.
I thought they would dissolve as soon as I stopped looking at my life analytically and started going through the motions as the person experiencing my thoughts and feelings, not the person who is my thoughts and feelings. But what I came to realize is that every part of you must work in tandem. And as soon as I needed to do something requiring thought and process, I was back to square one.
It’s nothing to get over and it’s nothing to disregard. It’s only something to acknowledge and understand and then cultivate differently. Because mindset is a cultivation, and to that end, it is ultimately a choice. We can change it. If we don’t, we will remain at the whim of other people’s actions and our own irrational gremlins that do nothing but prevent us from living out what we know to be true. And when these two forces collide and disrupt one another, we’ll find ourselves in the pits of anxiety and depression, because something is trying to make it’s way out of us, and something else is preventing it from doing so.
The antidote here is awareness. As soon as you realize your thought is coming from a place of irrationality and fear, you’ve taken a step toward silencing it. As soon as you discover that you don’t have to listen to that voice, and that you are not that voice, you no longer have to be controlled by it.
You’ll start to understand that having self-doubt is human. Irrational fears are, too. There’s no part of this that’s weird or strange or wrong. It’s simply nature. But if we want to step beyond it, we have to reach beyond it and start choosing. Choosing what we consume, how we structure our days, and what we give our time to. What we assign value and meaning to, and how much.
Our natural, default setting isn’t the one we have to operate on for the rest of our lives. The longer we stay in allowing ourselves to be completely overtaken by every deprecating thought that runs through our minds, we’ll continue to cement ourselves beneath those beliefs, and they’ll become real.
Because this isn’t about believing that one day, we’ll never have passing thoughts of judgment toward ourselves. This isn’t about thinking we’ll ever not care what other people think, even just a little. These aspects of humanness are universal and unchanging and programmed for a reason. But those reasons have little to do with us finding happiness. And we have to make the choice for ourselves. We’ll never not care and we’ll never not hear them. It’s only a matter of whether or not we’ll act based on them.