Tips for learning how to turn down the volume on external sources and listen to yourself
So we’re in the middle of January 2018, how are your resolutions going? Have you been increasing your fruit and veggie intake? Made it to the gym? Revisited that business plan you made back in December? Either way, consider this a friendly reminder to stick to whatever changes you wanted to make this year and be consistent, you will surprise yourself with how much you grow because of it.
Something that has been life changing for me is tuning into and learning to listen to my own instinct. Along your journey, situations will arise where you will be given advice and insight from family, friends, colleagues, etc. While most advice is well intentioned, it is not always what’s right for you. I am of the school of thought that you know what’s best for your life and you should follow what feels good.
With all that being said, I’m going to share what helped me get stronger in listening to my own voice.
- Minimize distractions
Whether its social media, an unhealthy relationship, a cluttered home, whatever, having too many things to pay attention to will make it harder to be in tune with self. If your attention is always focused externally, the intrinsic parts of you will be weakened. Some activities you can do to help with this: limit social media notifications on your phone, get rid of clothes/accessories you no longer wear, create a daily routine for yourself, think less is more with your schedule– don’t be busy for the sake of being busy. Think of other areas of your life where you spend a lot of time or energy without being refueled in any way. If there are any non essentials, figure out a way to cut out or limit these things in your life.
At least once a day, every day have quiet time, where its just you and your thoughts. This is so important, because your inner voice directly impacts the way you feel whether you’re aware of it or not. In this modern age, taking quiet time is probably low on most people’s lists, but its imperative, because it gives you insight on yourself. Making a conscious effort to pay more attention to my inner voice, showed me where I had flawed or negative thoughts about certain things. It also prompted me to understand where maladaptive thought patterns originated and work to heal parts of myself that had been hurting for years. A daily meditation practice is an awesome way to do this. I am in the process of creating content all about meditation, so be on the lookout for that!
3. Remember, nobody knows what they are doing
Personally, the most challenging aspect of trusting my instinct is wanting to listen to or follow those around me. Sometimes when looking at other people’s lives, it can seem like they know more than you or have things figured out, but no one really knows what they are doing. We are all figuring it out as we go, putting one foot in front of the other. Age, popularity, wealth, etc. does not mean someone knows more or better than you. There is no person that can tell you what is best for you, and no one that knows more about your life than you do. While I think it is great to consult others for advice, sometimes in doing so we neglect the power of our own instinct.
You already have all you need inside you, just pay attention.