No catchy title, and no play on words. In this week’s newsletter we are getting right down to it. Why? Because it’s the foundation to all our steps: the negative reel.
There is a voice that we hear all day and it’s our own. It can take on many different tones, attitudes and moods. It has a wide range of opinions on any topic you can think of. But the part we focus on is the voice in your head that is your own worst enemy. It’s your shit-talking voice and it’s directed right at you. Here at ming+ming we call this your negative reel.
This voice can come as a shy soft whisper or as a loud drill sergeant, or possibly a sarcastic critic. But make no mistake, this is your negative reel. It preaches about how you’ve wasted your time. It reminds you of how you’re not qualified enough. It hushes you. It shames you for your mistakes. It teases you about your insecurities. It lectures you on your addictions. It amplifies your fears. It critiques your actions. It traps you in your “should-be’s.” It is what keeps you stuck and afraid of change.
Most of us can relate to the negative reel. For some, this voice is stronger and louder than others. Or maybe it’s there all the time instead of popping up for only a quick second or two. However you hear it, know that it’s really hard to pinpoint our negative reels.
As we’ve shared, our individual healing journeys look very different, but the first step for both of us was identifying our negative reels. That’s right. Just recognizing that we had one was a very hard first step.
It’s not because our negative reel was turned down and only came through in small batches. No, quite the opposite actually! It was because we had gotten so used to our negative reel, we just thought it was our own voice inside our heads.
Ming-Wai identified with having her negative reel for as long as she could remember, even as a young child. And Ming-Cee experienced it as a gradual shift so that she didn’t even realize when the full takeover happened. But both of us found ourselves in a place where we did not know the next right step to take because we could no longer hear our true voice. The one that knows exactly what she needs and isn’t afraid to say it.
As we continue to encourage ourselves to growth and heal from within, we are recognizing that identifying our negative reels, quieting it down, and hearing our true voice is a skill. One that can be taught and used as a fundamental resource throughout our lives.
And the fact is that we can still hear our negative reels. We have spent many years embedding this voice into our lives. But with practice and support, we are able to hear our true voice louder than ever before. She is clear. She is concise. She makes us feel good. We are still learning different ways to turn down our negative reel and turn up our true voice so that we can better guide ourselves. It’s a process and we are putting in the hard work to continue in this direction.
Change can be subtle and hard to detect. But we notice that our true voice can be our coach and cheerleader. We notice ourselves letting go of conflict quicker and releasing resentment more often. We are more patient with ourselves and with others. And most notably, we don’t feel as stuck. We are finally moving in a direction despite our fears, no matter how small our steps may be.
We highlight each one of our personal negative reels in our blogs found on on our tools page. We share exactly what we once said to ourselves that wouldn’t allow us to take the first few steps toward changing our lives. We hope that sharing our own negative reels will help you to discover your own and start quieting it down.
With love, Ming-Wai + Ming-Cee