How well do you know yourself?
How much do you trust yourself?
If the answer to these questions is something along the lines of ‘not much’, it sounds like you’re someone who struggles to listen to your inner wisdom.
These are the people who will desperately ask everyone they know (and their mums) for advice when making a decision. They’ll never be sure of themselves. They always need to ‘just check’ if they’re on the right track.
Sound familiar? Don’t panic – you’re certainly not alone. It’s tricky to get to a point where you can trust your gut wholeheartedly, and listen to your inner voice rather than outside noise… or that other inner voice; the one that’s endlessly critical and just plain mean.
But learning to do this can be oh so rewarding.
‘We all have an inner dialogue (the conversation we have with ourselves in our own heads) which includes the voice of your inner critic and your inner wisdom,’ says Katy Murray, a diversity, naproxen 500mg 3 times a day equity and inclusion consultant.
‘This part of you is infinitely kind, compassionate, wise, knows you intimately and sees your potential. This voice encourages and supports you, and is your inner cheerleader!
‘When you connect with your inner wisdom, you’re likely to feel clear, aligned, at peace, connected.
‘You’re tuning into your intuition. This voice may be a very small quiet voice, even a whisper at times.
‘Sometimes your inner wisdom speaks in words, sometimes in senses, images, perceptions, even colours or sounds.
‘Creating space to listen more deeply to her wisdom is one of the greatest skills you can learn, and greatest gifts you can give to yourself.’
Sounds good to us. So how do we do it?
Katy recommends a daily practice.
How to learn to listen to your inner wisdom
‘Sit in a relaxed position, close your eyes,’ Katy advises. ‘Allow your breath to deepen, and enjoy the feelings as your body starts to relax.
‘Now invite your inner wisdom to speak. What do you want to say to me? Ask your inner wisdom to show you what’s most important to you in this moment.
‘Choose to be open and curious. What would the wisest, most compassionate part of yourself say to you right now? Ask her to speak up! How would you advise your best friend who you care about deeply?
‘Take time to listen. Breathe. Stay open, stay receptive. Keep listening. When you open your eyes, take a note of anything that came up for you. Try not to censor or judge it at this point, just write it down.’
‘You may not “hear” anything clearly from your inner wisdom straight away, remember you’re developing new muscles, it will get easier.
‘I recommend that you practice tuning in and listening to your inner wisdom daily.’
Once you’re doing that each day, you’ll start to feel a lot more connected to your true self.
Then, it’s about putting this habit into practise. Here’s how.
Make some decisions solo
Do you really need to do a full panel discussion before you decide to do something? Is it neccessary to ask your partner or your pals what you ‘should’ do?
Test out making some decisions based on what you really think or feel, without checking to see if other people agree.
Your gut tells you something. You think it through and your brain agrees. Don’t constantly question that, or seek outside approval. Do what feels right.
Check the way you express yourself
‘This might be wrong, but…’
‘Maybe we should…’
‘Do you think we can…’
Do those phrases sound familiar? You don’t have to completely remove them from your vocabulary, but be conscious of how you’re speaking uncertainty into existence.
Now and again, get rid of those qualifiers and just say what you think and feel.
Get comfortable with alone time
Scary, we know. But let’s be real: you’re probably great to hang out with. Give yourself a chance. Spend some time just getting to know who you are, what your inner wisdom sounds like, what you think and feel.
Give yourself space to think
When’s the last time you just sat and had a ponder? It’s probably been a while.
Thinking things through is an essential part of feeling more connected with your inner voice. Carve out some time and space to do that – even if that means adding a fake meeting to your calendar so everyone will leave you alone for a bit.
Katy Murray is a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant specialising in women’s leadership development and author of Change Makers: A Woman’s Guide to Stepping Up Without Burning Out At Work
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