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Del Morrill, M.S. C.C.H


A Center for Counseling & Hypnosis
Tacoma, Washington, USA
(253) 752-1506

The Ego: Our Eternal Inner Critic - How to Quiet It and Learn to Love It.

Michael C. Pollack, Ph.D, CCHT

    Ever get really tired of hearing all the negative thoughts, the negative mind chatter in your head?  I know that I really did!  I will tell you of some of my experiences with my negative mind and how I learned to quiet it dramatically.   So can you! 

    First, we need some background and the basic premise behind this powerful tool. As we grow and develop, our conscious mind comes to believe that all we are is the physical body and that the survival of the physical body is its primary function.  In other words, we come to consider that we are our mind and perhaps nothing more.  Since the function of the mind is the survival of what we consider ourselves to be, the function of the mind perpetuates its own concern with survival.   The result is the EGO and one of its main functions is to keep us safe and protected.

    The ego is constantly judging everything and everyone, including itself and its own behavior.  The purpose of this judging is to survive by being right.  This manifests as the "voices" most of us hear inside of ourselves; the critical, negative voices that tell us how bad we are, how wrong we are, how unworthy we are, how we can never do anything right.  This is the negative mind-chatter with which we are all familiar. 

     Those voices that keep reminding us that we “screwed up,” that we made ANOTHER mistake, that we will get in trouble if we do something we want to do.  This negative self-talk forcefully leads us away from who we really are and into believing what we and others have told us we are.  We have learned to criticize each other and ourselves.   Such criticism invariably translates into predictable failure.   After all, if I believe that I can’t do anything right (as my father often told me when I was a child), how likely is it that I will ever succeed at anything in my life.   That was the story of my life for many years.   

    Learning the tool I will describe below has been of incredible value in my life. Since those “voices” arise out of the positive intention our mind has for our survival, rather than any malevolent or vindictive intent, we can separate the positive intention from the actual behavior.  In other words, see if you can accept the positive purpose behind the negative mind-chatter and separate it from the mind- chatter itself.

    Another way of looking at this is to think of it as reframing the negative message from our mind into the positive intention behind it - our survival, our safety, our protection - even though the actions (negative statements) behind the intention (survival) don't usually seems very positive.   A common example of this separation is about a man who robs a 7/11 store late at night and steals all the money.   It turns out that he wants the money to buy medicine for his sick child or to feed his family or pay his rent, etc.   While the method he used was, I hope you agree  LOL!, not very positive, his intention was.   This is what I was referring to about separating the intention from the behavior itself.

     I can almost hear you thinking “but the end does not justify the means.”  I agree.   However, acknowledging the positive intention can help us understand the situation better. 

    One tool that I have found very helpful for dealing with the negative self-talk, both for myself and for many of my clients, is something so simple that it is almost comical.  I have used this approach for so long that I no longer remember if someone taught it to me or if I created it myself. 

    THE TOOL Any time and every time that you hear any messages, thoughts, Ideas, etc,  in your mind that are anything less than 100% positive for and about yourself or others, say to yourself, in a gentle, loving tone of voice, "Thank You, Good-Bye."

    Seems silly doesn't it?   However, it is not and it works! The "Thank You” is acknowledging the positive intention behind the negative message.  It is not acknowledging the message itself.   It is almost as if we are saying to our inner critic, our ego mind, “Thanks, I know you are trying to help me.” The "Good-Bye" is giving that message permission to leave your consciousness as easily and quickly as it entered.   

    After a rather short period of time, sometimes only a couple of hours, at most a few days, if you are consistent in using "Thank You, Good-Bye," it is quite likely that you will notice a significant decrease in your negative mind-chatter.  Of all the hundreds people to whom I have taught this simply approach, everyone who has used it consistently has reported success!

    Before I began using this technique, there were times when I actually thought I was going crazy because of the incessant negative thoughts and messages I was having, most of them in my father's tone of voice.   Now, I rarely hear from him. "Thank You, Good-Bye," or TYGB for short, is useful not only when our internal critic is coming down on us.  It is also very helpful with critical, negative thoughts about others, as well.  

    How Does This Work?  Like any critical parent, when our mind thinks it is being heard, that its message for survival has been received, it does not need to put out the message as often or as loudly.  So, when you use "Thank You, Good-Bye", after a relatively short time, the mind no longer needs to put out the negative thoughts as it did before.  It is almost as if the critical, ego mind is saying, “Whew, s/he if finally listening to me.   Now I don’t have to work so hard.” 

    What we are doing is reframing the meaning behind our actions into more positive ones, so that our mind can accept and support them more easily. 

    This can also result in shifts in long-standing beliefs about ourselves and others.   One of the things that I noticed when I first started using "Thank You, Good-Bye" was that sometimes it seemed as though that was all I was doing.  The critical thoughts were coming fast and furiously.  I kept at it, often just repeating "TYGB" for what seemed like many minutes, even though it was only for 15 or 20 seconds.   Before long, I began to notice a nice change - less negative, critical thoughts about myself or about others.

     Continuing to repeat the phrase as many times as it takes until it stops is primary key to its success.   True, the same thought may pop in again in 10 seconds.   So, you do it again.   Before long you will likely begin to notice a decrease in the number of the negative thoughts and their loudness.   If you only say TYGB a couple of times and then stop before the thought stops, it probably won’t be of much help.

     Experience for yourself how easily you can change your thoughts and thereby change your feelings about yourself and others.  Once the negative is reduced, there is so much room available for the positives that abound around and within us.  After all, when you no longer hear all those negative, critical thoughts about yourself and others, you soon start to forget them and can then more easily remember all the positive things that are true about you!

    Remember,  Mikey will try anything!  I did.   Try it!  You’ll like it! 

Published in Open Exchange magazine, January-March, 2007

  --Dr.Pollack can be reached at http://www.wel.net/michaelpollack or through his e-mail nlpman1@aol.com

Michael C. Pollack, Ph.D, CCHT
Currently practicing hypnosis professionally in San Francisco, CA with the specialties of Alchemical hypnotherapy, past life regression and other regression therapy, clinical hypnotherapy, Inner Child healing, Somatic Healing, energy healing, chakra clearing and Reiki.





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