By Diane Lang
We all have an inner voice. Our inner voice is all the chatter that plays in your head on a constant basis. The hard part about your inner voice is deciding which part of the chatter is the autopilot of thoughts that are part of your habitual thought process and which thoughts are your true self talking to you. We all have that chatter in our heads, that is just a replay of all our old beliefs/patterns and habits. Most of our beliefs and habits are not our own or they are so old, they no longer serve us.
You want to start being aware of your chatter.
1. When a negative event or situation comes up (which we know it will eventually) – Listen to your chatter in your head. Are you going back to your usual autopilot of “Why Me” or “This stuff always happens to me” ?
Ask yourself- what is the belief about the situation – is this belief my own? or it a belief that no longer serves me?
A lot of our beliefs are subconscious thoughts from childhood, that weren’t our thoughts/beliefs to begin with and its time to purge those thoughts and create a new story.
2. When a negative event or situation occurs – ask yourself: What can I learn from this situation/event? what changes can I make? Everything is a teachable, learnable moment. See everything as a big picture- what seems bad now usually has a brighter ending.
For example: I have a client who lost their job of 17 years and was feeling defeated. She went thru the typical: Why me? What did I do wrong? etc. But when we looked at the big picture we could start seeing new opportunities and possibilities. When we stopped focusing on what we “Can’t” control like the loss of her job and looked at what she could do – we found out lots of new choices. The outcome: A few years later she was running her own business which was a dream of hers.
Let’s start listening to our inner voice and taking some of our own advice.
1. Listen to your inner voice and always pay attention to your physical signs. When we listen to our inner voice and it has turned into an inner critic, we tend to cause stress to our bodies and can feel the signs immediately. So, pay attention to where you hold stress on the body and if your feeling those physical signs of stress while listening to your inner voice, it might just be your negative autopilot thoughts.
2. At night is when we hear that all that chatter – your trying to fall asleep and all the negative seeps through. This is the time to re-train your brain to see the positive by doing a gratitude check. Every night before you go to bed, do a gratitude check by asking yourself – what am I grateful for in life? This will allow you to de- clutter that negative chatter and start seeing the good. Gratitude is also a form of meditation so it will help you de-stress.
3. Your inner voice shows you what your truly feeling. Pay attention to the fear that your hearing. The fear can come out as anger, resentment, victim mentality, etc. But its usually fear underneath it all. Its good to hear it and deal with it so it doesn’t stop you.
4. Your inner voice is a gentle reminder of all the pain and suffering you have gone through so you don’t repeat the same mistake twice. It will bring up the ugly truth in order to protect you from being a repeat offender. Listen to your inner voice for the lesson.
5.. Your inner voice also works hand in hand with your intuition especially of others. It will let you know when someone you care about is feeling sad, lonely, angry, etc even when that person isn’t sharing their feelings out loud. Follow that inner guidance.
6. Lastly, your inner voice will keep poking at you when your not being true to yourself but its up to you to listen!
– Diane Lang, MA, Counseling educator