The #1 person you need to ignore.

If someone talked to you the way you talk to you, you’d never get coffee with him.

You’d tell him they were really discouraging and hurtful.

You’d wonder why he doubts on your dreams so much.

You’d never call him for advice or ask for their help.

If the inner voice in your head was an actual person you would have stopped listening to that person a long time ago.

So why then, are you still listening to him?

Today, evict that person.

When doubt gets loud, and it will, imagine that doubt was sitting across from you at a restaurant. Would you sit there for hours and hear about all the ways you suck? Would you let someone constantly rattle off all the ways you’re failing and inadequate over and over again?

Or would you get up and walk out, perhaps even turning over the table for good measure?

It’s time to move on.

It’s time to flip some tables.

It’s time to stop listening to that internal doubt.

38 Comments
  • LarryTheDeuce
    Posted at 04:56h, 12 November Reply

    I would like to punch that sucker in the nose.

  • Jason Vana
    Posted at 05:57h, 12 November Reply

    You’re way too nice. I would not only flip the table over, I’d probably punch him in the face for added measure. Great truth man!

  • patricklmitchell
    Posted at 06:04h, 12 November Reply

    Yep, punch doubt right in the baby maker

  • Pablo
    Posted at 06:09h, 12 November Reply

    If I turned tables and threw a punch, I would add emphasis by shaking out my fist, dusting off my clothes, and tossing a wad of cash at the waiter and say something smooth like, “Here you go, don’t forget to take out that trash.” while gesturing with a nod toward the jerk smitten on the floor…..

    I say smitten because it means “To inflict a heavy blow.” http://www.thefreedictionary.com/smite

    • Matt Scott
      Posted at 09:47h, 12 November Reply

      That’s practically poetry. Brought a tear to my eye.

      • Jennifer
        Posted at 19:13h, 12 November Reply

        Poetry indeed.

        • Pablo
          Posted at 20:53h, 12 November Reply

          I’m a poet and I don’t even know it. 🙂

      • Pablo
        Posted at 20:55h, 12 November Reply

        I just like the word smitten. If Gandalf uses it….everyone should.

  • Paul Pennington
    Posted at 06:34h, 12 November Reply

    Man I needed that this week. Why do we talk to ourselves so critically, but when others offer us constructive criticism we blow up at them? We should remember that we are made in the image of God. Thank you Jon for the great word.

  • Dustin Stokes
    Posted at 06:42h, 12 November Reply

    Wow, thanks for posting this. The internal dialogue is killer, isn’t it. How many dreams have I snuffed out because I listened to my internal “reason.”

  • Wes Molebash
    Posted at 06:54h, 12 November Reply

    This post contains TRUTH FOR DAYS.

    99% of the time, we are our own biggest obstacles. This is great way to put our “inner voice” in perspective.

  • JD Dargai
    Posted at 07:48h, 12 November Reply

    Thanks for writing this down! I’ve had quite the struggle with that voice lately and I can’t even punch him in the face because than I’d have to ice my own face. This is a tricky animal. This is not an attempt at a juke…but I’m truly thankful for God entering the conversation. In my struggle I arrived at Ps. 55 yesterday and thought “wow I’m really feeling like David’s words are my own prayer against this enemy that I can’t just run from because it’s my ‘companion and familiar friend.'” And this morning your post happens to walk along David’s words. Makes it a good start for a new day.

    • Robyn
      Posted at 12:16h, 12 November Reply

      Wow, JD, what an insightful comment. I had never considered what you said about “this enemy that I can’t just run from because it’s my ‘companion and familiar friend.’ –
      My goodness. So true. My “companion” beats me up pretty severely every holiday season, so I am going to consider carefully how to apply what Jon (and you) have said. Thanks.

  • Tonya
    Posted at 08:29h, 12 November Reply

    This is something that I definitely struggle with but hadn’t really thought about it in the way that you describe, yet it’s so true!

  • Alice Summers
    Posted at 09:00h, 12 November Reply

    Have you been listening to the voice in my head again? You’re right, she’s a jerk most of the time, and a big fat liar.

    Thanks for your voice, Jon!

  • John Windsor
    Posted at 09:06h, 12 November Reply

    Great post! Reminds me of this:

    “Why is it that if someone walked up to me on a subway platform and said these things, I’d think he was a mentally ill asshole, but if the vampire inside my head said it, it’s the voice of reason?”

    (From “Die, Vampire, Die” in the musical “Title of Show “)

  • Sara
    Posted at 09:40h, 12 November Reply

    Someone once said to me, “Would you talk to another child of God the way you talk to yourself?” Because you are a child of God.

  • Dan from Georgia
    Posted at 09:57h, 12 November Reply

    Punch the daylights out of doubt….in Christian love of course!

  • Brian Mays
    Posted at 10:03h, 12 November Reply

    Great word for a week that has really needed it!

  • Meko
    Posted at 10:05h, 12 November Reply

    Needed that. When going though a darker time in her life, my sister once told me that staying home alone was like being left with someone who didn’t like her at all. I have been feeling that way a lot lately…. But I don’t know how to turn flip tables. Because the voice ISN’T a person- I can only get so far before it springs out of the shadows, wraps itself tightly around my ankles and drags me down again. Some people dot take hints when you cut off connections. They keep finding ways back into your life and even though they may not say anything, the look in their eyes spells out their disapproving thoughts.

    So what if your voice person is sitting pretty comfortable in the middle of your path to Awesome? What if in the end their technique isn’t to stop you, but to stall you just enough that everything else does? Maybe I missed the point somewhere? Maybe my punches aren’t hard enough?

    • sam williams
      Posted at 12:59h, 12 November Reply

      We may not be able to control who shows up in our lives, but we can determine how long we will put up with them/it. You may need to seek a close friend or mentor to talk through what is going on in your life.

  • zechariah
    Posted at 10:06h, 12 November Reply

    Love this Jon. One second my head says shoot for the stars the next your not worthy to try. Man my inner voice is bipolar. I think it is time to judo chop that sucker.

  • Tim Holt
    Posted at 10:11h, 12 November Reply

    Thank you, Jon! You have no idea how timely this is.

  • Christina
    Posted at 10:46h, 12 November Reply

    Enemy #1, me. Hard to get away from it sometimes as doubt and second guessing digs its claws in. Great post and good timing. Thanks!

  • Tricia
    Posted at 11:18h, 12 November Reply

    Brilliant Jon, simply brilliant. We need to take control of the voice inside our heads – a powerful enemy no doubt! Truth me and jerk me battle it out regularly – probably the reason for some of those strange looks I get while driving…lol

  • Brent
    Posted at 11:51h, 12 November Reply

    I love the way you turn this issue back around to ourselves in order to see it from an outside perspective. This is uniquely timely. Not only would I get up and leave ‘doubt’ at that restaurant, but I’d immediately walk across the street to a different restaurant looking for a more positive voice. Thanks, Jon.

  • Bruce
    Posted at 13:35h, 12 November Reply

    Jon, this exact topic has been the discussion around my church staff’s Family Time for the last couple of weeks. We tend to be unbelievably hard on ourselves to the point that if we were speaking this way to others we’d not be welcome anywhere. Thanks for speaking in to it. Actually, just about everything in Start is paralleled in some way by some of the best our Pastoral staff has to offer.

  • patrick
    Posted at 14:11h, 12 November Reply

    love this!

  • Scott
    Posted at 15:05h, 12 November Reply

    Thanks…I needed that. It’s been a hard month between a new baby and a sudden drop in graphic design work. Today I started asking myself questions that only lead me to want to quit. This helps. A lot.

  • David
    Posted at 16:57h, 12 November Reply

    I turned over tables…yelled… and punched myself… the cops just left… now HR is requiring I return my keys until I go to some special meetings… Not sure what that’s all about… …. No seriously, good blog 🙂

  • Connie
    Posted at 18:22h, 12 November Reply

    Thank you, well said. I’m at a “need to move on” point. You are so right about how I wouldn’t stick around to listen to anyone who cut me down as much as I do myself!

  • Tami Fenton
    Posted at 21:07h, 12 November Reply

    Jon, awesome post. This is my life’s work. I just call it “Stab the monkey”. We all need to address those terrible voices, like a monkey on our back screeching lies into our ears! Thanks

  • Michelle
    Posted at 21:26h, 12 November Reply

    Jon,
    Thank you so much for this and especially for your chapter about fear in START. I am in the process of changing careers and I felt like I was ready for the fear and the doubts. I had to chuckle to myself because I felt like saying, “I was expecting you.” to all of the outlandish things that have gone through my mind.

    Much appreciated! Keep up the good work and the humor. That is truly a gift from God (no matter what your wife says!) ha ha

  • Heather
    Posted at 11:29h, 13 November Reply

    Wow, I am such a jerk… Dang it, there I go again!

  • Chavos
    Posted at 13:20h, 13 November Reply

    Great post Jon. Thank you for shining light on this issue… I pray I will become more aware of my self-talk.

  • Dale
    Posted at 09:51h, 14 November Reply

    Love this. Need to punch the bully in the face!

  • katina vaselopulos
    Posted at 08:26h, 15 November Reply

    Great content, poetically put! Love it! Thanks for the reminder, Jon!
    Blessings!

  • Jenn
    Posted at 16:49h, 17 November Reply

    So true. Like many of us here, I suffer from intense perfectionism, and I can be quite cruel to myself. When my mom used to hear me say something particularly mean regarding myself, or hate on myself in some other way, she would say, sadly and 100% seriously:

    “Don’t treat my daughter like that.”

    What she said, combined with the way she said it, made me look at myself differently. I would never say most of those things to someone else, and if someone else said them to me, I would start crying on the spot and never forget it. Why, then, do I do it to myself?

    Thanks for the reminder.

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