Picture Day - The Internal Communications Battle

March 21, 2012

Round 1

Picture day ... two words that conjure up memories of freshly ironed blouses, clean and shiny hair, black combs on a cardboard table, and a slightly plump, balding gentleman calling out “Next!” and “Say Cheese!” Thankfully, it was nothing like that for our team recently. And, since the photographer was none other than my husband Joe, I had nothing to be nervous about. But, when it was my turn, unbeknownst to me, poor internal communication slowly made its way into my head. And, the battle began. As Joe was setting up for my shot, I was getting ready by talking to myself.

I had no mirror in front of me and Joe didn’t say a word, but this was my internal dialogue in 30 seconds:

  • You’re slouching – Sit up straight. 
  • You look sluggish – Shoulders back. 
  • You’re too sullen – Tilt chin up. 
  • What did you eat for breakfast? – Check your teeth. 
  • You don’t look approachable – Smile and say, “Cheese!”

Round 2

For those of you with any experience in counseling, this is what would be labeled as "shame" - or, in other words, poor internal communication. I’m clearly not enjoying myself and am just ready for this to be over. If I don’t like my shots, I can always have Joe do another set. Then, Joe suggests we switch the background ... this set up just isn't working out. So off we go.

And, the internal dialogue starts up again, but this time I don’t hide it so well. Joe stops the photo shoot.

"Lindsay, what’s wrong. What are you thinking about?” he asks.

“Ugh!” I say as I slouch down and put my head in my hands. I think for a few seconds and answer, “Here’s what I’m thinking about ...” and I proceed to rattle off the list.

“Where did those thoughts come from?” Joe asks.

“Lots of people over the years ... and ... myself.”

“Well,” he said (as only a loving husband could say), “Then get them out of your head, 'cause those aren’t true. Just relax and be yourself.”

Round 3

Wow! There’s the truth. Right between the eyes. And so I pause, breathe deep, r-e-l-a-x and replace the poor internal communication (shame) with effective internal communication (truth).

  • God has given you unique talents - Use them!
  • Fishhook is a great place to work - Have fun!
  • You've got amazing clients - Enjoy them!
  • Your co-workers are hilarious - Laugh with them!
  • You love what you do - Be thankful!

And, there I am! That’s me - in this picture - sans shame and poor internal communication.

I wonder ... how often do we have negative internal communication? And, how often does that come out in our body language, our speech and our actions?

Replacing shame with truth isn't easy. For me, it takes a lot of prayer (the author of truth is our Heavenly Father!) and practice.

Any chance you struggle with your internal communication as well? What tips might you share for leaning into God's truth and overcoming shame or other negativity?

Lindsay Dudeck

Lead Communications Strategist