22 Jan Improving Your Quiet Brain in 2019: Silence your inner chatter, have courage and trust your instincts
“This bad inner Chatter. We all know it has the power to overthrow gut instinct, shout us down when we are faced with fear and talk us out of new adventures – yet few of us have a grip on it.” – Fearne Cotton, Quiet: Silencing the brain chatter and believing that you’re good enough
If you recognise this trait in yourself, you are not alone. We know the benefits of positive Self Talk, and repeating affirmations will enable us to visualise our goals and work towards them. However, many of us do still experience this negative Chatter in our thoughts which can demean, demoralise and demotivate us.
In her new book, Quiet: Silencing the brain chatter and believing that you’re good enough,Fearne Cotton explores the reality of us all experiencing our Self Talk or Internal Chatter, and teaches us to focus on the triggers, the type of negativity, its patterns, and then how we can practically change it to be positive and quiet.
The Quiet of the book title refers to “that space and clarity that allows us to acknowledge those thoughts and that inner dialogue yet not take every word seriously.”
“The ‘quiet’ is a slice of time in between thought and action where we can make a decision that isn’t based purely on what the negative Chatter is telling us. It is an inner knowledge that we understand our own thought patterns but know we don’t have to be ruled by them. Within the quiet we can act more intuitively and go with our guts and hearts to make decisions that feel more authentic and positive.”
Fearne discusses some themes which will be very familiar to you following your Advance courses. She may use different vocabulary, but she explains her experiences of Gestalt and her Taxi Driver (or her CEO) which has led her through that comfort zone of repeated thought processes to negative behaviour and feelings of failure. Cotton categorises the Inner Chatter such as The Catastrophising One and The Naysayer One to focus on ourselves and recognise the triggers and means that our Inner Chatter can hold us back and overwhelm us sometimes.
One main theme of this book is the sense of we are all in this together even though our thoughts are ours alone. Fearne is a successful broadcaster and writer, and yet has struggled through bouts of depression, very low self esteem, and feelings of failure. She includes a number of short but excellent interviews with a variety of acquaintances who are deemed to be highly successful, but have all struggled with Negative Self Talk. Her interviews include Dustin Lance Black (the Academy Award winning screenplay writer ofMilk and husband of Tom Daley), Bryony Gordon who has shared her experiences of battling OCD and depression and achieved two London marathons in the past two years, and Sarah Oaten who achieved a solo voyage of the Indian Ocean at aged 23.
By acknowledging the Quiet, and listening to our thoughts, Fearne moves the reader on to recognising our gut instinct which we often ignore when overwhelmed by Negative Chatter. She encourages us to follow this instinct, and then to have courage in our decisions and risk taking. Her exercises throughout the book are very practical, and enable you to acknowledge and take control of your thought patterns and behaviour.
She works through the idea of failure particularly sensitively and positively:
“It takes vast amounts of courage to fail and even more to pick ourselves back up in the aftermath and sift through the debris to notice the valuable lessons learned.”
This quote stands out in this exquisitely written and illustrated book, and would be useful, to maintain by our desk, in our diaries, or phones to remind us of our courage, our own control over our thought processes and behaviour. Even if we believe we have failed at a goal, we should be proud that we had the courage to silence the Inner Chatter and take the decision and action to try so we can learn and move forward. We only essentially “fail” if we have not learned from the process.
Cotton takes the reader on a journey to gain our Quiet Courage and regain Quiet Trust in our thought processes and decisions so that we form a positive and authentic mindset to move forward. As Fearne says:
“Learning to trust our own beliefs and decisions helps to calm all that negative Chatter down.”
Check out Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place podcasts for exclusive personal interviews with a variety of successful individuals on maintaining mental health. Her latest podcast is with the Daily Telegraph marathon running journalist Bryony Gordon.
Fearne’s other books on well being are well worth reading if you enjoy her concepts – including Happy, Happy: The Journal, Calm, and Calm: The Journal