Whenever you are set to get things done, voices begin to seek relevance. They can come from things or people. They can come from within you or without. They can originate from anywhere.
What matters is that at any time they seek out the person who will promote them from obscurity to prominence.
As far as your life is concerned, you’re only subject to what you listen and adhere to. It doesn’t matter whether you do this consciously or unconsciously. What is germane at this level is that we ought to be responsible for the course of our lives hence the need to do all that is necessary to take charge.
Every voice you hear is motivated by its own agenda. What makes the difference is either you acquiesce or decline.
There are basically two main types of voices:
1. The restrictive Voices
2. The promotive Voices
Some of the restrictive voices are as follows:
a) Dissenting voices: A dissenting voice is a voice of disapproval. It’s the voice that is concerned with protecting you from the risk you want to take or from the part that could lead to your damnation. There’s usually that voice that is programed to say ‘No’. Interestingly, the basis of the ‘No’ is usually baseless when the voice of ‘Yes’ gets vindicated. You can overcome a dissenting voice via logic and reasoning.
b) Distracting voices: Distractions don’t really need to be bad or wrong. In fact, they tend to be regular things around us. Many times they appeal to our innermost desires. They come as things we would ordinarily want to have but due to certain commitments are willing to defer for another day.
For example, a book on personal transformation can serve as distraction to someone preparing for a biology examination the next day. Also, that same examination can be a distraction to someone who has a deadline to meet with his editor.
You can see that context matters and not the activity or function fairly related to the common saying: “A man’s food is another man’s poison.”
Distractions can equally present themselves in the form of baggage. For someone who has travelled a lot across the world, I can tell one or two things about bags and luggage. Different airlines have their own luggage limits. For some airlines too, the weight of luggage varies according to the class of flight with the higher classes having more than the lower classes.
When you are faced with an excess luggage situation, you are advised to either pay for the excess or dispose it. The average individual, like a priest facing an altar decides what to sacrifice. In this case, as you look at your luggage sitting atop the weighing scale, you are granted the right to make your choice. That period you are making your mental permutations and combinations can be distracting especially when the airline is set to close check-ins. If care isn’t taken, you will lose far more than time.
c) Discouraging voices: Come to think of this, discouragement is common. However, it can only affect those who heed to its pleadings. Discouragement does not have to be intentionally malicious. They are usually subtle nudges that want you to see reasons why it’s not possible to do certain things. Among the different voices, discouragements are directed towards not just attacking your will and resolve but to subdue it to timidity. Why is it that some people are easily discouraged than others? Why is it that to discourage some people all you have to do is to ‘tap one or two buttons’ and they back down? In my opinion, the voice of discouragement is the most powerful of all the restrictive voices. The medium through which they come vary from bullies, friends, associates, siblings, parents, past experiences to your own thoughts and beliefs.
How can you deal with discouraging voices?
Firstly, you have to rebuke them. You don’t just ignore these kinds of voices because they can be obdurate. To rebuke them, you have to speak directly at them with confidence. What you allow will lead to where you wallow. Rebuke entails speaking against the negativity suggested to you. You have to equally counter the seemingly patronizing concern with doses of personal affirmations.
Also, you have to reject them. To reject something means to deny a thing the convenience of accommodation around you. In essence, any reference to association with you is denied and denounced. It’s simple to apply.
When you hear: ‘You can’t do this thing.’
Your response: ‘I disagree with you. I can.’
Another thing that can be done to a discouraging voice is to ignore it. Just like opportunities that present in different shades, colours and forms, discouraging voices assume amorphous patterns. When you ignore one, it finds expression in another form. If you are not resolute, you could buckle under the pressure.
The Promotive Voices
These are essentially voices that inspire and motivate you to improve, achieve and become.
Some of them are as follows:
a) Voice of encouragement: This kind of voice spurs you on and uplifts your soul. You need it during those times you feel like giving up.
b) Voice of Illumination: I can also call this the voice of insight. Many times, it requires a light bulb moment for one to push forward to make something happen. It can come during those times you engage yourself in an internal conversation. I have had experiences whereby a word just flashes in mind and that’s it. It’s like my eyes open because I heard that word.
c) Voice of Motivation: We all need appropriate doses of this voice daily. It’s wonderful to feel motivated. However, motivation without knowledge, preparation or even opportunities can lead to heartbreaks and frustration.
Nonetheless, we need this to keep moving, break through ceilings, break up seals, and to remind ourselves of who we are and what we could achieve. That’s why we need not focus on only motivation.
d) Voice of Direction: Everyone needs direction. Direction doesn’t even depend on how we feel. It depends on what is needed or had to be done. When we are confused and caught in between options, direction is what is needed. The voice of direction looks at the facts and circumstances of that situation to predict the future. This is why it cannot be mistaken for any other kind of voice.
e) Voice of Information: Information is key in life. Without information, one undergoes deformation. At any point in time, information is needed at a time of ignorance. You will hear things from within you and without. Many times, the required information makes it easy to make a decision and leads you to a sure direction.
In conclusion, which voice are you listening to now?
Which one have you listened to more today?
Are you still subject to restrictive voices or promotive voices?