I believe that each one of us has an inner voice that can help guide us. Intuition, inner voice, inner knowing, inner mentor, true self…I have heard it called many things over the years, but the sentiment is usually the same: We KNOW what is meant for us, even if we’re not always cognizant of it on a conscious level. The beauty of this, which I use in my coaching work with women, is that we have everything we need to create a vision for ourselves and our lives inside of us. The downside is that we don’t always have an awareness of it or a strong enough connection to the inner voice to be able to hear it!
Years ago I discovered a coach who does a visualization exercise where you connect to your “Inner Mentor.” As someone who has always felt a deep connection to my intuition and inner knowing, I was excited to hear what this person had to tell me. Then I did the exercise…and it was a tremendous failure! Sadly, the visualization wasn’t really working for me, and I didn’t actually get to meet what I was hoping would be a wiser, more evolved version of myself. To say I was disappointed was an understatement.
Years later, I tried the exercise again. This time, it was much more effective, and I found myself almost in awe of this older, wiser version of myself. Although the experience was different from what I expected, I felt a connection to my inner mentor and could easily see the truth in what she shared with me. By stepping out of the reality of my present moment, I was able to see the “big picture” that wouldn’t otherwise have been visible. More importantly, I was able to see beyond the here and now and understand the bigger picture of my life. With that new information, I was able to start making decisions that were more aligned with who I am and how I envision my future.
So why am I telling you all of this? First, because I want to share the benefits of being able to hear what our inner voice or intuition is telling us. Second, because I want to make it clear that hearing that voice amid all the clutter of daily life can be difficult. So if you are someone who struggles with that, please don’t be discouraged. You’re not alone in the struggle, and with a bit of persistence, you CAN connect to that deeper, wiser part of you.
So if you ARE someone who struggles to connect to your inner wisdom, how can you start to change this?
First, we need to get quiet and listen.
Too often, we feel the need to fill the space of our lives. We spent the majority of our time working, pursuing goals, tending to the needs of others, engaging in social interactions, etc. With the little time spent alone, we are often so exhausted that we spend it either sleeping or “numbing out” with things like TV or social media scrolling. Taking a step away from the constant need to be DOING helps to create the space to get quiet and listen.
Next, we need to ask the questions.
Sometimes the reason we don’t get the answers we seek is because we fail to ask the questions! Don’t be afraid to ask yourself for insight and inspiration across different areas of your life.
Finally, be open to what comes up.
Sometimes our inner wisdom may bring up something that surprises us. Instead of immediately rejecting it, try shifting into a place of curiosity. Is this response an invitation to consider new possibilities? What is this answer telling me about some aspect of myself and my values?
By listening to your inner sense of knowing, you can learn a lot about yourself, including things you may not have expected.