You Are Not the ‘Only One’: Getting Past the Mean Voice

You Are Not the ‘Only One’: Getting Past the Mean Voice


Some people call it the ‘Critical Internal Dialogue’. I just call it the Mean Voice.

Beware of the Mean Voice. It robs you of enjoying your life.

What is the Mean Voice? The Mean Voice is an internal dialogue. Often we are not aware of it because it is like a ‘fish in water’. The voice is yakking at us constantly no matter if we are seeing a client, brushing our teeth or driving in the car.

The Mean Voice

1. The ‘Mean Voice’ tells you absolute statements that are absolutely not true. Some examples of the Mean Voice are —

  • I am a terrible mother.
  • I am a terrible wife.
  • I don’t matter.
  • I can’t get anything right.
  • I am a failure.
  • I don’t belong.
  • I am flawed.


2. They are repetitive. There are usually one or two absolute statements that follow you around all your life. The situation may be new but the message is old.


3. The Mean Voice appears when you are exhausted and discouraged. The Mean Voice can disappear for long periods of time when you are rested and taking care of yourself. The Mean Voice is silenced when you are in alignment with your purpose and your deepest spiritual self. The Mean Voice will rear its ugly head when you are stressed, afraid, busy and exhausted.

4. The lie is ‘You’re the only one…” You are the only one who has gotten angry at your daughter. You are the only one who was passed over for a promotion. You are the only one who can’t lose weight. You are the only one with that kind of husband. The lie of the ‘only one’ makes you feel unworthy of belonging and that you are alone.

5. It is shaming. The Mean Voice makes you feel like your whole identity is reduced to that one mean statement and there is nothing you can do about it.

6. Nothing good comes from the Mean Voice. It doesn’t make you a better person. You will be more irritable or you will shut down. It sets you on a downward spiral

7. The Mean Voice stops you from moving forward. The Mean Voice will not motivate you. In fact it leaves you hopeless. You obsess but don’t take action. You can’t better yourself when you feel you have already failed.

8. The Mean Voice keeps you isolated. When you are shamed by the Mean Voice, you back up from people. You feel discouraged or irritated by everyone so you are left alone with your obsessive thoughts.

How to get past the Mean Voice

1. Know your mean voice. It’s important to know what the mean voice is saying to you. Sometimes the mean voice is not in your full conscious awareness. You may not be aware of the thought but you are aware of feeling hopeless. Ask yourself why am I feeling hopeless? Your mean voice is hidden in the feeling of hopeless.

2. The mean voice is absolutely not true.  If the mean voice says you are a terrible mother, ask yourself, “Are you a terrible mother 24/7?” “Is there one time in your life you did something right as a mother?” Proving these statements are not true will start to shut the mean voice up.

3. It’s not who you are. It’s just a thought. It really is just a repetitive neural pathway. It is not your identity.

4. Choose a new thought to replace it with. You can choose a better thought to replace the mean thought. Pick a true and kinder thought. For example you can replace “I am a terrible mother” to “I am an imperfect mother who deeply loves her daughter and wants to do her best.”

5. Take care of yourself. Get a good night sleep. It is amazing what a good night sleep will do. Go back to the basics of self care. Take a walk. Play hooky from work. Spend time in prayer and meditation. Read inspirational books.

6. Surround yourself with people who love you. Call your best friend and go to lunch. Return phone calls and emails. Start reconnecting with your support system. Don’t isolate.

7. Distract yourself with doing something fun or learning something new. If you feel you are a terrible mother take a break from ‘mothering.’ Take a zumba class. Go on a retreat or take a workshop. Take a piano lesson.

8. Know your light. The best way to get past the mean voice is to know your light. Know that you are a child of God and you are meant to shine your brilliance into the world. Believe the truth about you and your value. We can be imperfect and shine our light into the world.

You are not the only one. You can join my Facebook Page and be a part of a community of authentic mothers who want the best for themselves and their daughters.

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