Good Cop/ Bad Cop – what’s your inner dialogue?


two small birds perched on dish filled with water represent good and bad cop

I’ve recently embarked on a healthy eating challenge. It’s been interesting to say the least. At the start the program, they ask you to focus a lot on the psychology of what you eat and why you are eating it. The delegates have been asked to consciously think about the conversation that goes on in our heads around food. Do we have a food angel or food devil? Who wins and why do they win? When do the conversations happen?


Now I’ll freely admit to talking to myself. However, I didn’t realise how often I talked to myself about food. It’s been an eye opener. I knew I did it a lot, but I was shocked by how much I did it without even thinking. I was also shocked at the kinds of things I was telling myself.


I started to ponder, if this is what I am like with food…how often does this internal dialogue affect my business decisions at work without me even knowing it?


What about your internal dialogue? Come on you can admit it, we are friends. How often do you talk to yourself? When does that little voice inside your head start jabbering? What's it saying about work, about the jobs you have to do, about your role in the organisation, about your colleagues?


Self-talk (Inner dialogue) is part of what makes us human, and particularly gives us the ability to reason and think about situations. But this little voice, can affect our mood, self-confidence, and self-esteem, even our success. It has the power to either stop us from doing what we need or want to do, or pushing us to achieve what we didn’t think was possible.


When was the last time you thought about that inner voice? When was the last time you became aware of what the internal dialogue was saying?


Is the voice positive, confident, open to opportunities (Good Cop) or is the little voice more negative? Focusing on what can go wrong or why you shouldn’t do something or how badly someone has made you feel. (Bad Cop).


This week why not focus your awareness on what your inner dialogue is saying. Start today. Audit whether it is a positive or negative voice. Once you focus on what the voice is saying you can then start to manage the negative views and increase the positive discussions. The more positive our inner dialogue the more positive our actions.


Everyone has that inner voice, the one that’s a Negative Nancy. I’d say to ignore that voice and to be confident and follow your heart. - Katharine McPhee


Tackling the negative voice will take time, but with practice you will get better.

Here is a quick guide to some on the ways I tackle it.

  1. Ask yourself if the negative statement is true and what evidence you have to back it up. Most of the time we find the statement isn’t a fact and there is little true evidence to back it up. If you have evidence, you can then focus on solving the core issue at play.

  2. Remind yourself to stay in the present with your thoughts. Often these negative voices spiral into lots of “if this happens, then this will happen, then this etc” And we end up so far removed from what started off the thought in the first place. Stay in the present and again tackle the main point the inner voice brought up.

  3. Thank the “Bad Cop voice” for bring the problem to the table. Acknowledging the voice and what its role is. EG To highlight something that you might need to be cautious of. Once you have realized the voice is just trying to make sure you are OK, work on making the issue OK. Turn it into nothing to worry about. Stop going down the spiral. (DAD TIP – 95% of what you worry about will never happen.)

  4. Back the “Good Cop”. If Good Cop/Bad Cop voices start arguing. Back the Good Cop. Tell the bad cop, not this time, I’m going with the Good Cop. Each time you do this the Bad Cop voice will get a little smaller.

It’s all about making every aspect of our life as positive as possible.

Let me know how you get on this week. I’d love to hear some of the Good Cop/Bad Cop stories. Feel free to share on social media or email me directly.

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