On Beating the Negative Inner Voice

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You’ve finally done it. You’ve conquered that tiny negative voice in your head, and done the task you had on your calendar. You feel determined to tackle the next task, but as soon as you begin to move… The negative voice returns.

It’s like a sludge that doesn’t let you go. It doesn’t matter what you do. It just won’t leave. I know the feeling.

“Resistance is like the Alien or the Terminator or the shark in Jaws. It cannot be reasoned with. It understands nothing but power. It is an engine of destruction, programmed from the factory with one object only: to prevent us from doing our work. Resistance is implacable, intractable, indefatigable. Reduce it to a single cell and that cell will continue to attack. This is Resistance’s nature. It’s all it knows.”

Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Mr. Pressfield is right. The voice doesn’t go away. It continues to sit with us till the day we die. This idea is enough to demoralize any man or woman.

Luckily, Mr. Pressfield further wrote:

“Resistance has no strength of its own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it. Master that fear and we conquer Resistance.”

In my own experience, the voice can’t exactly be conquered, but it can be accepted and ignored. Whenever I try to rockclimb, the voice appears. It tells me all sorts of excuses. Sometimes, it fatigue me, but I just try to finish my sets.

Effort is needed for anything that is to be done in the world. If you want to do something in the world, anything, effort is needed. But if you want to do something in the inner, no effort is needed. Just relaxation is needed. Non-doing is the art there just as doing is the art in the outward, the outside world. This passive alertness is the key. But don’t become disturbed by language. Start with effort. Just keep in mind that you have to leave it, and go on leaving it. Even leaving will be an effort – but a moment comes when everything has gone. Then you are there, simply there not doing anything – just there, being. That “beingness” is samadhi, and all that is worth knowing, worth having, worth being, happens to you in that state.

Osho, The Book of Secrets: 112 Meditations to Discover the Mystery Within

Further Edit Made on 1/13/2020

Previously, I had written that the inner voice could not be conquered. However upon further reading and understanding, I now believe that the negative inner voice can be conquered.

Ironically, the solution is a passive alertness. However, I may have missed it when Osho explained it.

You can’t “fix” the mind from the perspective of the mind. Mental fitness training has to be done from a perspective that is removed from the mind itself. You need a different access point. Earlier I described how that access point is the awareness field that lies behind thinking. If you operate from your thinking mind, you’ll get sucked into its comfort-seeking motivation. To improve you mental fitness, you need to understand this motivation and step away from it. You need separation from your mind so you can see it objectively. Operating from awareness will help you develop a appropriate relationship with your mind.


You think much of the time, but there are gaps between thoughts. It’s in those gaps that awareness resides. You can witness – that is, observe and notice – when your mind generates thoughts. This witnessing comes from the field of your awareness. Witnessing your mind create thoughts helps you realize that they are just that – thoughts.

Perhaps the most critical shift you will make in developing mental fitness is learning to operate from the perspective of the Witness instead of thinking. Your mental fitness will improve to the same degree that you can make this shift. Once you begin to operate from the Witness, you separate your true self from the limiting effects of thinking.

Arno Ilgner, Espresso Lessons From The Rock Warrior’s Way

[Image by Hrayr Movsisyan from Pixabay]

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