Kathryn Sandford Online

My First Step on my Reinvention Journey – Dealing to Dirty Harry & Listening more to Angel


There are people out there that are good at identifying their First Step to start their personal journey and off they go! Then there are people like me who can spend YEARS figuring it out. These years were not wasted however as I have gathered lots of information, had many life experiences that have all contributed to me getting to know who I am BUT there has to come a time when I have to ask; "Is what I am actually doing serving me and taking me closer to living my dream??? The answer is NO it is not and  then I have to ask WHY NOT?

I think I may have a major part of the answer as to WHY NOT? There are of course a number of other factors I need to consider as they too are  limiting my progress to achieving my dream but this is my First Step so let me just deal with this - the other stuff can wait.

In my previous blog I wrote about the many years I have been  chasing my dream to be a speaker and writer and that I was starting to feel like I was participating in a running race  - getting to the start but never reaching the finishing line!

I have decided that I don't want this "Ground Hog Day Feeling" anymore - taking the same steps to the start line over and over again. As I have had a lot of success at starting but not finishing I figure that to get this journey underway and REAL PROGRESS made -  i.e getting close to and even over the finish line  - I need to get to know those "behaviours, thoughts and actions" which are RISKS for me and  will impact my progress, focus, direction and commitment.

My biggest RISK by far is Dirty Harry  and my biggest ASSET is Angel

Dirty Harry                  Angel                    

Background: Dirty Harry & Angel

I have 2 voices in my head as everyone does and for a long time (years and years) probably since I was 5 years old I have been listening to the voice that "doesn't serve me well"...... my Bad Thoughts who I have recently named DIRTY HARRY!.   My Positive Thoughts  I have called Angel. She has always been with me though she is much quieter than Harry and to hear what she is saying you really have to listen hard.  Dirty Harry is loud domineering, rationale and very persuasive - he knows that what he says is what you want to hear!! Angel often will say things that I know I should do or act on but it seems too hard and it is always easy to follow Dirty Harry's advice!

If  don't figure out how to manage Dirty Harry then he will have a significant impact on  the progress I make on this journey. Angel on the other hand is more supportive and intuitive and she wants to see me succeed . I need to get to know her and listen to her because if I do then my progress will soar!

Managing Dirty Harry is a big job and it wont happen over night however I have taken some action and tried to identify some of  the current Dirty Harry thoughts I have been listening to lately ( I have listed some of them below). I know that there are many more negative thoughts, however I remember reading somewhere that if you name  the "Voice and "Thoughts" that are not serving you well then they become real to you. They are no longer just thoughts in your head, buried deep and hidden away only to come out when you are at your most vulnerable - which is when I am most likely to listen and act on! When I hear the voice of self doubt and fear I know exactly who is talking and I have a choice now to listen and act on the "negative thoughts or beliefs" or I can listen more closely to the voice of my truth and my self belief - Angel who supports me and wants only the best for me.

Why the hell do I listen to Dirty Harry????

My Current Top Seven Thoughts from Dirty Harry - not ranked in importance!

  1. My financial reality is bad  and chasing my dream is not really going to secure my future -  I wont make much money from living my dream - more like a part time thing. Getting any job would be more logical and far more likely to get me closer to easing the present financial burden!!
  2.  Just take any job because it is much harder to get a job I really want or deserve because I am old and there lots of people looking for jobs . Be grateful I have a job - even if it is not what you want.  I am  too experienced to get a well paid job?? Nobody values my experience skills and knowledge so be grateful for what I can get.
  3. Put my dream of building Dream Plan Act on hold because it is too risky and far too hard to be in business for myself...JUST GET ANY JOB - it will be some much easier for everyone including you Kathryn! Working in my own business is really hard work and I have to sacrifice everything and even then I have no guarantee that I will be successful - I haven't yet so why should I be now?
  4. There are times in my life where I have to do things that I don't want to do and even though my GUT is telling me this is dream chasing is the right thing to do - don't listen to it because I don't deserve to be successful. I don't have the credentials for success. So just be happy with being comfortable,  adapt and do what everyone else does - live a secure and comfortable existence. Everyone else does it - so why cant I?? Why do I want more for me??
  5. Number 5  is really made up of an unlimited number of questions and many of these questions still sit with me as I write this - Can I really do it - go out on my own and build my business - do I have what it takes - focus, commitment, discipline? I have no financial backing and I have huge financial commitments - I really don't believe I deserve success because everything else I have tried I have FAILED!! Its really really tough having your own business - financial success is limited and really only happens to other people in USA because it has a bigger population!!!! New Zealand is too small!!
  6. Dirty Harry consistently pushes this one too....Kathryn you are 54 ,I should have figured out what I  want to do by now? Everyone around you has their lives sorted and they are very successful because they did the right thing and made the right choices. Why haven't I? Maybe it is safer that I get a any job and prepare for my retirement....which by the way I are NOT prepared for!! Now thats another thing to worry about.
  7. I have been made redundant 3 times in 18 months - with 1 job I only lasted 3 months - now that is a failure right there Kathryn. No one I  know has had that happen to them so there must be something wrong with me? I need to play the "game" head down butt up get on with it. Don't question or challenge I need to change things about me as its not working because I keep loosing my job. Maybe I didn't work hard enough?

I am going to stop at 7 - there are many more negative thoughts stored up but I am getting exhausted just thinking about it all. I think if you are reading this you will get the common themes of self doubt, fear, self persecution, failure, rejection. Getting a job and  putting my dream on hold for awhile is another line of thought Dirty Harry is currently plugging to me. Because of the internal pressure and external pressures I am feeling whether they are real or not - this current thought is appealing right now! Just thought I would let you know:)

Ending one a more positive note -  I do feel better as I now have a name to my beliefs and thoughts that don't serve me well and as soon as they pop into my head I know its Dirty Harry. For the next 24 hours I am going to note every time Dirty Harry and Angel speak and what they say. I have a feeling that Dirty Harry will win the first few rounds however Angel is strong and I know she will be winning at the end!

I will be updating you as to  how Angel is going and where Dirty Harry is. Maybe you could start figuring out what your Dirty Harry has been saying to you lately and start getting closer to your Angel.

Until next time.......




6 comments on “My First Step on my Reinvention Journey – Dealing to Dirty Harry & Listening more to Angel

  1. Kathryn,
    I’m a 47 yr old retired dentist. I was forced into retirement, because I have a critical inner voice that not only wants to degrade me, but wants me to kill myself. I call my critical voice ” the bitch’ and my hopeful voices Ann. I’m never diagnosed as being schizophrenic because I have an awareness that they are only voices in my head and not voices from outside my head. I think naming them does cause them to be perceived as something apart from you. Before I named them, they seemed more like thoughts of replaying bad things that have happened to me. Now it is impossible to ignore the evil voice… If I try to ignore the voice, it just answers both side of our conversation, like I’m answering the non-stop every five second slew of questions and comments. I just think that inner voice became to strong and found an awareness that it is just a part of me. It doesn’t like that fact and constantly breaks me down.. I’ve tried every medication and psychotherapy without success. I have to live one horrible day at a time… Be careful not to over-analyze what is going on inside your own mind. “momma always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun” thanks for your article.. Thomas

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and also for sharing your thoughts. You are so right I do think we spend too much time over analysing the voices in our head! I wonder if that over analysing comes as a result of getting older and being more cautious? regards Kathryn

  2. Thank you for this, I fight the same battle: every minute, every day. I have named my critical inner voice too. I am sooooo tired of it. My only wish is that I can find a way to combat it in my children so they don’t have to deal with this nonsense (they are 2 and 4 yrs old). I hope your battle goes well and you defeat “Dirty Harry.”

    1. Thank you for your comments. Its funny, this morning while I was out running I had a big battle with Dirty Harry as he was doing a good job convincing me that “I didn’t deserve to be a successful writer and coach = you have to work too hard and its too difficult to make a successful living” I should stick to teaching job -much easier” He went on for ages and then I got sick of it and told him to “shut up and go away” (used other words actually!). Then I asked for Angel and it was amazing how better I felt listening to her. I am still anxious about my journey but I am not fearful and defeated!! Then I saw you comment and it made me smile as I had won my battle with Harry this morning!!

      I agree it is hard to stop our kids from listening to Dirty Harry. I think as parents role modelling the behaviours, actions and language we would like your children to demonstrate and follow has a huge impact on how their live their future lives.

      We are their teachers especially when they are young and once they get older like my children, we then have to trust that we have taught them well.They know and believe in their personal values and the self beliefs which will guide them toward a bright and successful future. Hope this helps with your dilemma with your children:)

  3. Great article… My folks are named… Lowla and Highdy… Representing the lower self and the higher self. Seems as though Highdy has been in retirement cuz Lowla is running the show. At least awareness is the first step to change. I wish I could Donald Trump her and just say… You’re FIRED!!!!!!!!

    1. Love the name you have given your “folks”. I think you should have a go at firing Lowla using Donald Trumps technique! Every time Lowla pops up fire her and keep a record of how many times you had to fire her. Gradually over time she will stop making so much noise. Let me know how you do.

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