I often talk about “trusting the fire within.” Call it your inner voice, or intuition – it infallibly expresses your true self and is the source of inspiration, creativity, and motivation. By listening to your inner voice, you can gain insight into what makes you happy – and unhappy, as well. You can also gain the power to transform your life into one that is more vibrant and fulfilling when you let your inner voice guide you instead of trying to “figure it out” all the time.
Why We Don’t Trust Our Inner Voice
Unfortunately, most of us don’t listen our inner voices with any regularity. This is true because we’re too busy juggling all of the responsibilities and demands of our daily lives, or we have little or no practice listening to it. Therefore we aren’t convinced we can trust it.
Once we learn to hear our inner voice consistently, and then are courageous enough to take action on its guidance, our successful track record grows. One small transformation leads to another and another, and before you know it, you are on your way to noteworthy personal transformation – just because you took the time to stop and listen to “the fire within.”
The good news is that regardless of how little practice you have, or how hectic your life may be, there are ways to filter out the distractions so you can hear your inner voice. As you build the connection with your true self, you can use that voice to guide you to the things that will bring more joy, progress, and peace into your life.
Methods for Connecting with Your Inner Voice
I teach many methodologies for making the connection between our inner voice and our conscious mind. Here are two of the most accessible:
Use these methods to filter out the noise of daily life and harness the power of your inner voice:
Make time for reflection. One way to get in touch with your inner voice is to set aside a regular time for self-reflection. Think about the things in your life that are going well and that make you happy, as well as the things that you’re dissatisfied with.
It’s important to be honest and open with yourself as you reflect on your life, so that you can hear your true inner voice. This is not an opportunity to beat yourself up. Ignore the critical voices from the past and avoid letting society tell you how to live your life.
Reflect on what you truly want in your life. Simply ask your inner voice what it wants, then listen for any feelings, thoughts, images or memories that come up. Remain open. Sometimes something will come up right away, and other times it will come up after your time of reflection, when you least expect it. This practice engages fresh guidance into stale thought patterns.
Seek out a place and time for your moments of self-reflection where you can be alone and uninterrupted for at least 30 minutes.
Choose a place where you can relax, such as a sofa or bed. If you find it easier to practice self-reflection by taking a relaxing nature walk, performing some gentle stretching exercises, practicing controlled breathing, or doing yoga poses, this is fine as well.
Write down the thoughts, impressions, and dreams that emerge during your self-reflection time. Once you begin to practice self-reflection on a regular basis, you’ll start to hear your true inner voice more regularly. It’s helpful to record the insight that you gain.
Be aware that the inner voice is generally emotionless. It isn’t ecstatic or anxious. It is simply present and aware. This is why we refer to it sometimes as our “inner knowing.”
Learn to trust your inner voice and take action on your discoveries. As you gain experience listening to your inner voice and seeking clues in your dreams, you will learn to trust that voice.
You inner voice is quite open to being tested. Try simple games of “truth or dare” with your inner voice. Do this by asking it which route to take, or what to eat, or who you should call. Listen for a “hit” from your voice, and then follow through. Once you do, reflect on what you felt, learned or experienced. This will build a natural collaboration between your conscious mind and your inner voice on less critical choices, so you feel more confident when bigger decisions arise.
It’s okay to begin small, but make time each day to do something that you truly enjoy. If your inner voice has shown you that it longs for more creative expression, then make time for that. Even if you only allow yourself a few minutes here and there, you will begin to see changes in yourself. Each step that you take will put you one step closer to living the life that you see in your dreams.
Just as you are working to incorporate more things into your daily life that bring you true joy, reduce or eliminate those tasks and habits that bring you down. As time passes, you may find that you need to move on to a new career or abandon certain relationships. As you connect with your true self through the inner voice you will inevitably shed any distractions and excuses that have obstructed its guidance.
Let go of things and people that drain your energy and prevent you from being truly happy.
While it will take some time, practicing self-reflection on a regular basis can teach you how to hear your true inner voice and use it to guide you to greater happiness and joy in your life.