Your Inner Voice is Your Secret Weapon: Self Esteem Series Part 1
Our self-esteem can be boosted or continually damaged by our inner voices.
Sometimes an inner voice can mimic the critics of our past, so we have taught ourselves to ignore our inner voice. We don’t trust ourselves to tell the difference between voices of the past and current reality.
This is especially true for people (like myself) who have been in an abusive relationship where our very being is constantly reminded of how flawed we are.
Your inner voice should be trusted, though!
By listening to your inner voice, you can gain insight into what makes you happy and unhappy. You can also hold the power to transform your life into one that is more vibrant and fulfilling.
When we’ve taught ourselves to ignore the inner voice, we use the badge of “busy” and the responsibilities and demands of our daily lives as the noise to filter out the inner voice that could help us when we need it most!
The good news is that regardless of how busy or hectic your life may be, there are ways to filter out the distractions so you can hear your inner voice, and learn to trust that voice.
As you reconnect 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.
Use these strategies 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. Ignore the critical voices from the past and avoid letting society tell you how to live your life. This is a no-judgment zone. Each time a negative thought creeps up, rephrase it to a thought that uplifts you and makes you feel like you are good enough, instead. Say, “I am good enough.” Remember that you’re unique, with your own special combination of talents and characteristics, and worthy of love and happiness. Remind yourself that you’re enough. You’re smart enough, strong enough, and good enough to do anything. You’re capable of great things and can accomplish what you desire. Once you realize that your past may be controlling your present, it becomes easier to re-frame this self-critical thought.
Reflect on how you truly feel about the direction your life is taking. 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. It's helpful to record the insight that you gain. Making lists, keeping a journal, or even sharing your impressions with a close friend can help you to focus on the areas that you want to change in order to bring more happiness and joy into your life.
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, learn to trust that voice. It's okay to begin small, but make time each day to do something that you truly enjoy. 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. 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. It is a process and a practice. Be kind to yourself along the way, always.