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Taming Your Inner Voice: Transforming the Critic Into Your Strongest Guide

Do you talk to yourself? The voice in our heads can add richness to our lives, create meaning out of our experiences, and help us to solve problems. Few could imagine a life without it. Yet this voice can turn from companion to critic when it bombards us with incessant negative self-talk or “chatter”. Giving in to chatter can be debilitating for our moods, health, work, and relationships. But what if there was a way to control it?

In his book, Chatter, psychologist Ethan Kross argues that we can. Our own voice can be a powerful inner coach that can lift us out of our negative echo chamber. Kross is a leading expert on controlling the conscious mind and the founder and director of the Emotion & Self-Control Laboratory at the University of Michigan. He’s spent years studying the science of self-talk. And his efforts have yielded various ways we can start managing our inner voice and change the conversation we have with ourselves.

Chatter can keep us from being our best selves. In this PurposeCast, Vic Strecher and Ethan Kross will share compelling stories of chatter’s disruptive nature, from baseball’s Rick Ankiel to TV’s Mr. Rogers. More importantly, they will share an array of simple to adopt tools to help you make your inner voice work in your favor.

Key takeaways from this PurposeCast:

  • The mental, emotional, physical, and health costs of chatter
  • Tools and strategies like “distanced self-talk” to disrupt chatter, manage your inner voice, and turn it into your strongest guide
  • Ways to leverage your purpose to calm your anxious mind

About PurposeCast

PurposeCast is a series of conversations highlighting purpose-driven thought leaders, experts, and innovators. Through their stories, get a glimpse into their journeys and gain insights and actionable tips for yourself. Learn how they harnessed their purpose to live bigger lives and how you can too.


professional headshot of vic strecher

Vic Strecher, PhD, MPH

CEO and Chief Purpose Officer, Kumanu

Vic Strecher (PhD, MPH) is a leader and visionary in the fields of purpose and wellbeing, creating new solutions that operate at the intersection of the science of behavior change and advanced technology. In 1998, Vic created Health Media pioneering Web-based “digital health coaching.” Since January 2014, Vic has given keynote presentations about the role of purpose in life, energy, and willpower to over 1,500 organizations, providing him the opportunity to not only respond to the growing interests of the market, but to also continue to help shape it. In late 2015, Kumanu (formerly JOOL Health) was launched as a major paradigm shift in how individuals engage in the pursuit of purpose, meaning and wellbeing while offering organizations a more insightful means to support positive culture and behavior change.

ethan kross

Ethan Kross, PhD

Author, Scientist, Speaker
Ethan Kross is one of the world’s leading experts on controlling the conscious mind. Ethan is an award-winning professor, bestselling author, and the director of the Emotion and Self-Control Lab in the University of Michigan’s top-ranked Psychology Department and its Ross School of Business. He studies how the conversations people have with themselves impact their health, performance, decisions, and relationships. He uses a variety of tools (e.g., behavioral, diary, physiological, neuroscience, social media) to address these issues and focuses on adult, child and clinical populations. Ethan is the author the National Bestseller Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why it Matters and How to Harness It, which was chosen as one of the best new books of the year by the Washington Post, CNN and USA Today and the Winning Winter 2021 selection for Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, Susan Cain and Dan Pink’s Next Big Idea Book Club

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