Refuse you say? Normally refusing to do something comes with bad consequences, well not here! In fact, this is quite the opposite. First let’s talk about the two little imaginary creatures that live inside our heads. The angel & devil on our shoulders We have all been in that situation in life and in training when we feel like stopping. We feel like whatever it is we are doing we just cannot continue doing it. We have that negative devil on our shoulder whispering in our ear telling us to just stop, telling us to slow down or to do something different or something that deep down we know we shouldn’t. Sound familiar? This voice is the voice that if we listen will end up leaving us with a negative outcome. How? The more you listen to the devil the more confidence it has to speak to you, that whisper turns into a talk and soon that talking will turn into a scream. The more you listen the more this little devil grows, the more it grows the stronger it becomes. This devil is extremely persuasive. Once the devil grows strong and confident enough it will easily be able to convince you to give in, quit, slow down and do all the things you don’t actually want to do. It learns how to get to you and how to control you, after all, it is inside you. The angel. This little gem is the voice that tells us to push on. Reminds us why we started. Helps us on the path to success. The angel gives us that positiveness and that push that we need a lot of the time. This is the voice we need to pay more attention to. But how do we listen to one and not the other? Refuse In order to hear our angel, we first need to refuse to listen to our devil. We don’t need to shout back at our devil and tell it to go away as this will cause it to get angrier and work even harder to get to us. The best way to refuse the devils temptation is to notice it and what it is saying. We need to understand what it is doing and learn to ignore it. Once the devil sees we are not giving it any attention it will gradually go away by itself. Set a goal and make it happen despite what the devil tries to tell us. The way to work on refusing to listen is to take action without giving any attention to the voice no matter what it says. Question it. Because its proclamations have no basis in truth, it’s easy to take apart everything it says. We just have to ask questions to find out the falseness of what we are hearing. One more thing to learn from this is we should all expect to hear these voices when we are up against something challenging. If we can expect to hear the devil, then we are already one step ahead in refusing to listen to it and being able to hear our angel. Try It If you are reading this article, I want you to take on board what I have written and try it yourself. The next time you are up against something challenging and you need to hear your angel but there’s that devils voice inside your head I want you to follow these 3 simple steps:
  1. Expect it to come and be prepared for it.
  2. Notice what the voice is telling you - this isn’t listening, this is just noticing what it is (the devil) (even laugh about it if you like)
  3. Question the voice.
For example, you are running a track session and know that you normally start to slow down or give in around 70% of the way into your session you need to expect the voice to start talking to you. This time the voice tells you “it’s hot and you can’t breathe, get some water and slow down or stop” remind yourself you are expecting this voice to come, tell yourself you knew it was hot when you started, and nothing has changed from then to now. Are you still breathing? (yes), can you go another 60 seconds until you can drink some water again (highly likely yes) once you can convince yourself of all of these outcomes then that is the voice of the angel you are looking to hear and you’ll continue on with a more positive mind. The more times you refuse to listen to the devil on your shoulder the more friendly you will become with your angel. The more times you give in and listen to the devil the more times you’ll quit the thing you actually set out to do. We are creatures of habit. Make refusing to listen to the devil one of them. If you get used to quitting you’ll always quit. Get used to winning instead. By; George Crewe, OCR Coach