Listen to Your Gut
Posted on March 4, 2012 in Happiness, Self Improvement by Sandra Bienkowski
I think the worst kind of silence you can have is with yourself. You disconnect a little from what you are feeling. You live on the surface mentally. Days fly by with your regular routine and you never stop to ask yourself if you are content. It can even seem like a safe and comfortable way to live.
It’s actually the riskiest. Precious time is lost plodding along. You may start selling yourself on the notion that life is supposed to be endured. Or you start believing life can’t be any different. Worse, you can end up with a whole pile of regret.
Back in high school, I used to tell six friends the same story (separately) to get their feedback on what I should do or think. Granted, my decisions weren’t life-altering back then, but sadly, I didn’t trust my own opinion. I didn’t listen to my gut. It took me years to learn I had all the answers if I just listened and trusted those whispers of my intuition.
Your inner voice talks to you all the time, you just have to practice hearing it. You may have to slow down to hear it if you are drowning it out by keeping yourself insanely busy. Or you have to put yourself first and stop using the needs of others as a tactic to avoid taking a hard look at your own life. Maybe you have to stop selling yourself on a lot of untruths.
I write in a journal to connect to what I am truly thinking and feeling. The writing process is a powerful tool of self-reflection, revealing emotions and providing clarity. You don’t have to be a writer to do it. Ditch any preconceived notions of diaries being childish, grab a notebook and let your thoughts flow. The process evokes your inner voice to sort through problems and find solutions with clarity. It’s a calming process that allows you to exhale into who you really are.
While I’ve never lost my gift for gab or analysis, now I direct my life from my own instincts. I am more grounded, focused and constantly in tune with how I can make my life better.
Your inner voice is on your side. It’s the truest you. It’s not the part of you that broods or critiques, it’s the part of you that’s wise. It also doesn’t lie to you. Just give your inner wisdom a voice by playing journalist. Ask yourself questions.
What do I really think?
How do I really feel about __________?
What in my life isn’t congruent with who I am?
What needs to change so I love my life?
What decision do I need to make even if it’s difficult?
Is there something I avoid thinking about that I need to solve?
What do I really want?
If I had a magic wand, how would I change my life?
The reason why many people go on automatic pilot and disconnect from their inner voice is because it’s easier to stick with the status quo than it is to change. But the cost is higher. If you ignore those whispers of discontent, life never gets better, and it often gets worse.
If you bravely answer tough questions, you may have to make difficult decisions and endure the discomfort of change. Yet once you do, life is so much sweeter on the other side. Life always improves as you make decisions to align it with your most authentic self.
When you commit to the brutal truth and listen to your inner voice, you become empowered. You realize you are strong enough to hear it. You see the value in seeking your own counsel and it builds confidence. You quickly realize there’s a direct line from the decisions you make to your life improving. You feel more alive than ever before.
If you let yourself talk—really talk—what would you say?
Sometimes getting the answers on how to direct your life can be as easy as telling yourself that you already have the answers. The hard part is listening.