It’s like a voice in my head, telling me that I am not enough.

Maggie Frank, LPC
Ardent Counseling

Where it may seem that this phrase is harmless, it is one that is coming up more and more in conversations with teens. Thoughts of fear, worry, and anger, are only some of the many thoughts that teens are facing. They are transforming from thoughts, into actual voices that are bring heard by so many. And, that is what is making it so difficult to fight them.
When a thought is recognized simply as a thought, we feel so much more capable of dealing with it. But, when it becomes something we think we hear – rather than just as a thought, it suddenly is more of a challenge to even dispute as false.
Lana loves basketball. For years she dreams of playing for a great college team. Traveling with the team. And, eventually coaching a team. She truly loves practicing and doesn’t mind the idea of hard work to get to where she wants to go. However, in the past two months, she is noticing changes. Aside from her game being off, she confides to a friend that she has thoughts – which later she shares as a voice that tells her thoughts like, “You’ll never be good, why even practice.” She admits to being fearful of it, and doesn’t know what to do, so, she stops practicing as much, and eventually questions if she wants to keep playing at all.
Having worries and fears are things that happen to us all. However, it is what you do and how to combat those thoughts that will help you deal with them and hopefully win out over them.
When you have a doubt or worry, when it speaks to you like a voice, first, recognize if it is something you want as part of you. Is it a truth that you would want to be defining of you? Do you want it to be who you are? If not, boldly recognize that it is not true! Tell yourself something quickly that is true, and try to remind yourself of the affirmations, compliments, and positive traits that are you. When we are faced with something that challenges who we are, almost a voice that makes us doubt ourselves, follow it with your voice. Stating something you know is true. Say boldly, “I am capable! I know I can work hard! I love fried chicken!” No matter the truth, coming from yourself, and bring bold in saying it will make the worry – the voice – less prominent because you are stating a truth –
something foundational to who you are, and not something that is only possible.
Be bold with who you are, and get to know the truths that define you.