How many times have you ignored that little voice inside of you that says things like:
~I know he’s not good for me, but my friends really like him.
~I probably shouldn’t have a third drink, but everyone else is having such a good time at this party.
~I don’t think I should stay in this job, but if I leave, I’ll be a failure.
Notice that each time your little voice tries to wake you up to a truth, it’s followed by a “but”. What is that “but”, and what’s it trying to do?
Our intuitive inner voice is not something that we are taught to honor or trust at an early age. Instead, it is often stopped dead in its tracks by…..you guessed it – BUT’S! And at an early age, those “but’s” don’t come from inside of us, but from the outside. They come from parents, other family members, and other adults. And those “but’s” are coming from others’ experiences, their fears, and their judgments. They aren’t even our own “but’s”. It eventually can become very difficult to trust or even hear our inner voice because we have been taught by experience that is not valuable.
Sometimes, we are fortunate that those external influences are helpful. Others’ experiences and opinions can play an important role in helping us to identify goals and take steps to reach those goals. However, the danger lies in not being able to objectively evaluate those opinions, but instead internalizing the fears and judgments that are the foundation for those opinions as our own.
How can we get rid of the “but’s” and start to trust our inner voice? One excellent path to this awareness is meditation. Meditation provides us with that still time to just be with ourselves, let go of the internal dialogue, and connect with our inner, true selves. For more information on mediation, check out these blog posts: Meditation – Calming Your Mind to Focus on NOW, and Mindfulness, Meditation and Coaching. You can also listen to my conversation with best-selling author of “The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline In Your Life”, Tom Sterner, by clicking HERE.
Be Your Own Coach
Another way that we can start to listen to and trust our inner voice is by peeling away the layers of what everyone thinks we are or should be, and find ways to recognize and connect with who we really are. We can be our own coaches.
Each of the examples above includes clues about what you truly do or don’t want, and an obstacle that may be getting in the way: the first half of the sentence provides you with a clue to your goal, and the second half of the sentence provides you with a clue about an obstacle that is keeping you from reaching that goal. In the first example, you already know that the man in question is not “good” for you, but one obstacle in the way is the value you place on your friends’ opinions. In a coaching session, we would explore what your vision or idea of a “good” match is for you, and we would also dig deeper into why your friends’ opinions get in the way of you finding a satisfying relationship. We would explore what steps you need and want to take to overcome that and any other obstacles to achieve your vision of a great relationship. You can use this strategy for other areas of your life where you recognize that you are not connected with what you really want and need.
As you go through this process, you will become more aware of who you are and what you need and want to feel fulfilled in life. And as your awareness of yourself grows, so will your ability and desire to pay attention to and trust that inner voice. That inner voice is the real you.
- Self-Doubt – silencing the inner critic (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Developing Your Intuition and Live Your Authentic Life (createyourrealityradio.wordpress.com)