Beware of listening to your own voice


Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you?—D. Martin Lloyd Jones

The voice you hear the most is your own. Question that voice because often you cannot trust it. My unfiltered, unchallenged voice is often random, paranoid, pessimistic and feeds on assumptions. Self-talk can get us into trouble.

Let’s make this practical. Right now, before you click to the next email, identify two or three thoughts that you’ve had in the last 24 hours that came out of nowhere, from an unidentified source, that you have, nevertheless, entertained and perhaps become anxious about.

Take control of your inner conversations.

We can’t control all of our thoughts (for instance, we have no control over our dreams: we don’t pick the topics and we can’t choose to stop) but we can control our conscious self-talk. Even though we often don’t initiate self-talk (as Jones asked in the opening quote, where do those first waking thoughts come from?) we do have control over whether or not we continue to coddle those thoughts. An old Chinese proverb teaches: “That the birds of worry and care fly above your head, this you cannot change; but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.”

Constantly analyze your thoughts: identify who’s talking and reject suspicious thoughts from dubious sources. Simply change the conversation and start thinking of something else.

For more thought on this topic, see my posts Control your thoughts and Be careful of making assumptions

[reminder]What are your thoughts about this essay?[/reminder]

Here are answers to last week’s puzzles:

SEQUENC_ – complete this word—sequence—using any letter other than E – Insert the letter F; when put on top of _ it creates the E vowel.

Using six pencils, create four equilateral triangles. Place three pencils on a flat surface in the shape of a triangle; then position the other three pencils on top of the triangle, vertically, to create three other triangles. 

4 Replies to “Beware of listening to your own voice”

    1. Thanks, Chip, for sharing your thoughts. I wish I had known this truth all my life; it would have saved me a lot of frustration. Thanks for our friendship. Don

  1. Very good and thought provoking Don. As I Christian I often assume that my thoughts are prompted by the Holy Spirt, but at other times I knoiw they are coming from somewhere (or someone) else! It is good to remember that we can control the conversation and our thoughts.

    1. Bob, you’ve brought up a good point: analyzing where thoughts come from. For sure, we need to “filter” our thoughts and only preserve those that are helpful. Don

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