Your first instinct might be a big, fat “I can’t!” in your mind, followed by a litany of excuses as to why not. However, these kinds of internal conversations are only your personal protective mechanism speaking to you. Once you push past it, you can find the next steps to take.
So what can you do if that internal voice is stopping you from taking action to create your best life? First, you need to learn to distinguish between your inner voice, which points you in the right direction, and your ego, which uses fear to keep you stuck.
It isn’t always easy, especially at first, but I’ve helped numerous clients access their inner voice so they can make positive life changes. I’ll share the same strategies with you that I teach them, so that you can learn to recognize your inner voice and find different ways to connect with it.
Once you learn how to do it, you’ll find that it gets easier with practice. And, before too long, you’ll be able to hear, trust, and follow through on what your inner voice is telling you, which will give you clear direction and confidence in your decisions, including how to make important changes.
What is Your Inner Voice?
Inner voice, or intuition, is defined as the ability to understand something immediately. Also known as our sixth sense, it uses our personality and values, along with a split-second analysis of emotions, experiences, and perceptions to warn us of danger or urge us toward things that are good for us.
Your inner voice is the key to your personal truth, and it will guide you to your true answers. It may be a calm and clear voice in your head, or even appear in your mind as words being projected on a screen.
It’s been described as a gut feeling that is uplifting and positive, or heavy and negative in response to something you’re considering or have already done. It can feel like tingling energy in your hands or at the back of your neck, or as a spreading warmth or heaviness across your solar plexus, chest, or in your heart, depending on whether you are being guided to or away from something.
I stumbled upon my inner voice when I was in my early teens. I would zone out and get lost in my mind, working through things that felt unsettled or needed a decision, and answers would come to me. I could hear them in my head, and I’d type them out with my fingers on an imaginary typewriter. How you perceive your inner voice might be wildly different; it’s an individual experience, and it may change as you get better acquainted with it.
How to Find Your Inner Voice
All of us have the ability to tune in to our inner voice, and it gets easier with practice. Start by meditating or actively practicing mindfulness. Even a quick session for three minutes will do. Focus on a specific situation you are considering. Ask a yes or no question about it in your mind.
Take a deep breath and mentally respond to your question with a yes. Take note of how you immediately feel and what comes up in your body when you do. Then take a deep breath and respond with a no and take note of your immediate response again.
Consider the sensations you received for both. A lifting, light, and energizing feeling goes along with the correct answer for you. Incorrect answers can bring weighty, negative, or tight feelings. Write down the details and focus on your body’s responses. Repeat and review these exercises to see the patterns that emerge around how you perceive your inner voice.
Work to become aware of things that suddenly flash in your mind, or inciteful feelings that come up during your day. Do not dismiss fleeting thoughts. Give them attention, notice what they’re telling you, and jot them down.
How to Use Your Inner Voice
Once you “hear” your inner voice, there are several ways you can connect with it. Focus on a situation you want to change and then think about the possible solutions or outcomes, one at a time. Your inner voice will respond affirmatively to the right answer for you.
For some, the response is a spoken or visual yes, and for others it is a feeling of increased energy, lightness, or warmth, wherever you experience it. Ideas not aligned with your highest purpose and authentic self will be dismissed by your inner voice with a no, or can feel ominous or heavy, and just won’t sit well with you.
Another approach is to put the question or situation in the back of your mind. I call this “simmering on the backburner.” Go about your business and try not to consciously find an answer to your question at hand; with time and space, imaginative solutions can emerge.
I connect with my inner voice during a workout and, curiously enough, when I take a shower—when I’m not actively and forcefully trying to figure something out. I tell people I need to “shower on it” when a decision or solution is not easily coming to me. When I do, my slow and calm inner voice speaks to me and interesting ideas tend to appear.
Learn to Trust Your Inner Voice
With practice, your inner voice can become a clear advisor. The more you learn to call upon it, the stronger it will be. The more you trust in its ability to guide you, the more empowered you will become.
In turn, you’ll learn to trust yourself and have the utmost confidence in the decisions you make. You will just know they’re right for you. Be invigorated by the new road that is emerging, and with your inner voice as your guide, know that you will find yourself where you belong.
For more advice on how to muffle your ego and tune in to your inner voice, you can find Ever Wish You Got Hit by a Truck? on Amazon.