How an Angel Voice Develops

As children, we assume the voices of the adults and older siblings around us. Watch and listen to children at play and it is easy to ascertain what the adults around them are saying to them.

“Okay Stefan, just keep working at it. You'll eventually succeed.”

“What a stupid thing to do Megan. Now pay attention, you idiot, and maybe, just maybe, you'll be able to do it.”

“Boy are you ever a loser. You might as well give up. You're never gonna do it.”

These are some of the ways we talk to ourselves. As children, it is often out loud. As adults, we verbalize it sometimes but often, it is only in our heads. It affects us none the less.

Children who grew up in an emotionally abusive household in which they were called names or labeled with adjectives such as lazy, stupid, selfish, or mean, could still develop an angel voice. Sometimes, a teacher, a relative, a family friend, or older sibling gives the child encouragement that takes hold inside the child so he/she can combat the negative, self-critical voices. Or an angel voice can develop from deep inside an individual where a knowing or sense of your own beauty and goodness emerges. A book, a movie, the lyrics of a song, all can touch you and remind you that you are good, worthy, and deserving of love.

After working with me on developing his angel, Pat Monahan from Train wrote "Calling All Angels." It's worth downloading and listening to the lyrics, as they speak to the development of a strong angel voice.

There is no need to blame your parents. Regardless of your upbringing, you can have and cultivate a strong angel voice. You may have had parents who were extremely loving and supportive, yet you still have an atrophied angel voice. This can happen because children make up stories about their parents and the world around them based on incomplete information. For instance, a parent might say to a child, “You got an A in English last semester. How come you got a B this semester?” The child could read criticism, disappointment, even judgment into this, depending on the tone of voice. Even if the parent were simply curious or concerned, the child could take the statement and question and turn it into a harsh self-judgment. Children do this all the time. We, as adults now, did this when we were children. Some of us still do it to this day.

All of us can develop a healthy and strong angel voice if we put our effort into it. Feeling good about yourself is good for your physical health, your emotional well-being, your social self, and more.

When you consider the alternative, why wouldn't you want to feel good?

Judith Bell, M.S., Master LHEP™

Judith Bell, M.S., Master LHEP™

Judith is the founder and president of Rewire Leadership Institute®. A master facilitator, consultant, teacher, and coach, she has created and facilitated personal growth, team development and organizational change seminars, coached executives and teams, facilitated strategic planning and high visibility meetings, and supported culture change for over four decades. Judith works with a diverse range of companies from government agencies, non-profit, Fortune Global 500, to small and mid-sized family owned businesses including such organizations as NASA, Seaflow, Total Oil, Restoration Hardware, San Antonio Water System, and Culver Company.

Superb at supporting individuals, pairs, and teams in developing the skills necessary to realize their full potential, Judith helps executives, managers, and staff gain the ability to respond flexibly and rapidly to their changing environment. Through extensive experience and research, she utilizes a number of different approaches including the FIRO theory, systems theory, cybernetics, neuroscience, cognitive, positive, and success psychology.

As one of the world’s leading experts on the FIRO theory, she trains consultants internationally. A consultant’s consultant, Judith mentors facilitators, coaches, therapists and other professionals in the integration of the FIRO theory in their work. From 1981 until 2004, she worked closely with Dr. Will Schutz, the creator of FIRO theory. Independently, Judith developed FIRO Theory Profiling, which has been lauded as the first innovation in the FIRO theory instruments aside from Dr. Schutz’ own developments. She continues to develop courses that synthesize her studies and experience and are based in FIRO theory.

Starting in her teenage years, Judith has been a pioneer in her passion for authenticity, clear communication, and positive change. She is lauded for her ability to see others’ potential and help them realize it—be they individuals, pairs, teams, or organizations. Judith’s zest for life, appreciation for others, and generosity of spirit inspires those with whom she works.

An honor’s student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Judith’s desire and passion to learn about authenticity motivated her to move her studies to The Institute for Creative and Artistic Development (ICAD) in Oakland, California. As the youngest student in their teacher training program, she created and graduated with an undergraduate degree that focused on authenticity through California State University, Sonoma. Continuing on her quest to study authenticity and creativity, Judith began taking courses at California State University, Hayward where she also created and graduated with a unique Master’s degree that focused on communication, transformation, and the creative arts.

Interested in systems and change, Judith began experimenting with her innovative action-oriented approach to assess and intervene with families, groups, and organizations. Through this work, she became a much sought-after instructor, training masters and doctoral students in her seminal work. As chair of a psychology program focused on Creative Arts Therapies at Antioch University, San Francisco, she developed curriculum and continued to serve as guest faculty and lecturer at universities nationwide.

In addition to leading Rewire Leadership, Judith and her husband, Daniel Ellenberg, co-founded Relationships That Work®, where she serves as Vice President. She and Daniel co-authored Lovers for Life: Creating Lasting Passion, Trust, and True Partnership, which applies the principles of Rewire Leadership Institute® to romantic relationships. Recently, they co-authored a chapter in Mastering the Art of Success: Volume 8. With Matt White, Judith recently co-authored Leading with Courage.

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