Photo courtesy of Jose Pestana




I’ve talked before about the tapes we play in our head. OR, in Brene Brown language,


The story I’m telling myself…


These stories…these narratives, are strong. We are often controlled by them. I far too regularly let them control me. Do you?


On a drive recently I listened to a podcast. For those of you who are interested, it was Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast. He was visiting with Jon Acuff.


Acuff used the word SOUNDTRACKS. You know, either the theme song in a movie or some other song that is part of the film.


Long afterward,

the soundtrack plays in our head.


Many times, we are not consciously aware of the soundtrack playing…


The soundtracks we allow to play in our heads can wield heavy influence in our lives.


Earlier, I’d listened to Jim Carrey talk to Homeboy Industries and share how “the show” starts playing in our heads when we wake up in the morning. And it’s often a horror show…And yet, said Carrey, our experience of life while we are awake is more real than “the show.” We don’t have to be prisoners of the show. Similarly, once we are aware of the soundtrack playing in our head,


we can change the playlist.


Acuff shared how, over time, he became aware that, when a trailer for a scary movie comes on in the theater, he lifts his feet. AWARENESS – he realized that went back to when he was 10 or 12 and saw Jaws. The theater floor is the water, and there are sharks in there…The scary movie, the soundtrack, the tape, the mantra playing in our head can control us…even after years. So, says Acuff, we should ask three questions about the “soundtracks”:

  • Is it true?
  • Is it helpful?
  • Is it kind? (Here, mainly to myself…Can I say to and believe about myself what I say to and believe about other people?)


These three are similar to the questions Rotary Clubs often ask. They call it The Four-Way Test:


  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?


Not bad questions to ask regarding the tapes playing in my head.  


Another helpful reminder I’ve discovered…


Don’t just listen to yourself. Talk to yourself.


We can reprogram the tapes. Some of you are familiar with the Enneagram Assessment. I’m a ONE. The Reformer. Part of the make-up of the ONE is this: The inner critic is never silent. Sometimes, the inner critic ROARS. I can’t control the initial roar. However, I can do two things: turn the volume down, and change the playlist. How about you?


Is there a new soundtrack you might discover?


One that might help you become a better version (maybe even the BEST version) of yourself. Why not give it a try? I bet you’ll be glad you did!






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