Being honest with yourself. That takes courage. But it runs deeper than simply acknowledging that I need help or rest, or, I’m good at that; that makes me happy; that needs to change, because there is another layer to listening to yourself.
Even though we often demonstrate good insights into our own situations – with more than just an inkling of what to do – we fail, sometimes, to apply our own good counsel to our own lives. There is the well-known example of a bride walking down the aisle, while in her mind she knows it is not going to work. Thus, the marriage begins with a foundation of unspoken truths and when the marriage breaks up some time later, she recalls that truth: “I knew when I walked down the aisle it was doomed to fail.” Why don’t we listen to ourselves?
You can’t listen to and reject yourself at the same time. Listening to yourself requires self acceptance. Knowing or suspecting, for example, that you no longer belong in a certain company or job is not about the company at all. It’s about you. Who you are. What you believe, want, need and why. All of your complexity and potential is bundled up together. So avoid blaming “the company” or “them”, the workload or your perceived failings. Instead, listen to your heart to discover who you are and what it is you really want. Then stand up for it.
Sometimes the warning signs for change have been there for years but you ignore them because you are striving at all cost to fit the mould of “success”, or meet expectations of others and gain approval. Put together the multitude of clues in your life, about who you really are, that you have left dangling about. Your inner whispering, the choices you have made (or have avoided) or even the physical state you are in are great personal clues.
Think about the people you listen to. You respect them and that’s why they have influence over your choices and actions. By the same token you have to respect and accept yourself to be able to listen to yourself. You are an incredible being, human, and inherently filled with hope. You possess an unending, unique capacity to create, re-invent and transform. Yes, you make mistakes and even destroy; your past has possibly much to be desired, but acknowledge that you have great capacity for good and fruitful action. Accepting that you are only human as opposed to faultless, enables you to listen to yourself and enjoy the benefit.
By Madeleine van der Steege
Coming up next…The Cost of Not Listening to Yourself
It takes a lot of courage to ferret out the reasons you so often ignore your inner voice, but, to tune into your inner judgement and face the truth about your hand in your own situation frees up a lot of personal energy and allows you to refocus on the path your life is taking. But when you don’t listen to yourself all your actions and inaction will be moving you in the wrong direction. And your heart knows it. Your energy…..
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