What I am referring to as the “chattering monkey” is that little voice in the back of your head that keeps reminding you of your inferiority. The phrase is not mine. I stole it from Seth Godin.
It happens to be a loud, shouting, obnoxious voice that only you can hear; but you can hear it above all the other din in your life. The shame is that you (we) actually listen to it and give it credence.
It is the voice of doubt, warning, fear, hesitation, past negative events, memories of embarrassment or down, and out “in-your-face rejection.” Your “monkey” surfaces both night and day reminding you “You can’t do that. Remember when… What if… Get real … Don’t be silly.”
Everybody hears their monkey. Some monkeys chime in more often than others. This may be the result of one’s gene pool, your upbringing, the crowd you pal around with, or your failure to celebrate positive results throughout your journey.
I believe (and have found personally) that the best way to silence this little critter is to overwhelm him/her with some upbeat happening, proactive, potentially fun and exciting action. It is amazing how a little success can elevate your self-esteem. Just ask any duffer who hits one good shot after losing a half dozen balls into the lake or just clear out of bounds.
I am reminded of a quote I heard recently from a former Masters Golf Champion. It was his opinion that the “The winner on Sunday will not be the golfer who played it safe. He will be the one who takes risks and shoots for the pin.” (Hidden Message: In the competitive travel industry, he/she who plays it safe will not be the one holding the trophy on Sunday.)
Your “monkey” isn’t telling you something you haven’t already thought of yourself. It is simply reminding you over and over again of the same old negative baggage. And that is exactly what you don’t need to hear.
Tell the little fella to “back off” before you recognize and focus on your many positive accomplishments. Give weight and some serious thought to the possibilities. Remind yourself of what got you this far in life. Smile at your “monkey’s” absurdness. Take a few practice swings. Take aim. And then shoot for the pin.
Once your monkey sees how brave and really cool you are, he/she will realize their input is falling on deaf ears, and you will be showcasing a new bounce in your step.
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.