Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

Who is Your Imaginary Audience?

by Victoria Brewster, MSW

We all have our own imaginary audience who judges us, offers us support, inspires us and criticizes us. This imaginary audience is our own internal dialogue and where would we be without it?

We are our own committee. All of us at some point ask ourselves questions or make internal statements that make us pause, that are critical, that places us under scrutiny. “Everyone thinks I am………” or “Everyone  wants me to……..”

These vague, unconscious statements or questions affects us without our realizing it.  It makes sense when you think about it. Why do people have a fear of public speaking if they have never done it?  or  “I will not be caught wearing hot pink as it looks trashy.” Says who? Pink looks great on some people and why is the color hot pink, trashy’ looking?

So, what are you going to do about your own imaginary audience? Will you continue to listen? Will you all of a sudden notice this internal dialogue? Will you change the dialogue to something that fits your true thoughts? Your true values? Your true interests?

In reality our thoughts control us and our brain believes whatever we tell it-in a sense we are our own critic.

With New Year’s approaching maybe use this time to think about what you want to change in yourself for the 2013 year. A new job? Go back to school? Move to a new city or town? Start exercising? Try a new hobby?  How about be gentler to yourself and start telling yourself and your imaginary audience that you are a good person who can do anything if only you try…….

*First published at: