I was laughing out loud as I read Martha Beck’s column in the August edition of O Magazine. In her article, Our Buddies, Our Selves, she hilariously describes the inner voices we all experience (whether we admit it or not). She’s named them. There’s Fang, who shows up impeccably dressed, organized and responds with alacrity. As she puts it:

In a clear authoritative voice, Fang delivers strong opinions about how you should manage your time.

And then there’s Buddy who’s dressed in shorts and a tank top and hugs you when you ask his advice.

There are almost no words on Buddy’s resume (the few that do appear are jokes and song lyrics), and in the margins, Buddy has doodled pictures of chipmunks.

It feels like that, doesn’t it? Our rational, buttoned-down mind tells us we’d have to be crazy to pass up an opportunity, while our still, small, chipmunky voice whispers, ‘please don’t do that again.’

Typically on a coaching call with one of my clients, I’ll ask her to get quiet for a moment, take a breath, close her eyes and go inside. Invariably, the truth and real desire bubble up to the surface in that moment, and there is no going back.

We betray ourselves all the time in the guise of a well-dressed gremlin carrying that smart attache case with organized folders. In my experience, time will do what time does–give you migraines, arthritis or back pain to send its message. You can’t do this anymore.

Listen to that inner voice now. What is it saying today? What change do you need to make? What do you need to say ‘no’ to today? Have courage! Ask Fang to step aside and open your arms for a hug from the truth.

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