In times of uncertainty, it becomes even more important to listen to your inner voice. It can guide you through the fear and panic that can prevail, and provide hope and a new perspective. But which voice do you hear? And, which one will you heed?
To illustrate the point, I love this Native American story.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
We get to choose which one we feed.
Identifying Your Inner Voice
It may sound like someone talking inside your head. Or, you may imagine a mini-you standing on each shoulder, whispering in your ear. One may have a halo, the other horns, each speaking differently. What you hear may be called insights or knowing or your inner-wisdom coming through. It’s your intuition speaking.
On the other hand, it might not be a voice at all, but a feeling. Have you ever had a pit in your stomach? Or, your throat tightens? There may be a heaviness in your chest. These are sure signs that something isn’t right about the situation. And, they are ways that your body is speaking to you. You may refer to these feelings as gut instinct.
Here’s the key: it’s critical to discover how to listen to your inner voice, no matter how it might speak to you because it will keep you safe and on the right track.
The Importance of Paying Attention to Your Inner Wisdom
How many times have you had a feeling that something isn’t right? And, what about the times you decide to take a different road to work, only to hear there was a terrible accident on your usual route?
So, what if you chose not to pay attention to the warning inside your head or body, and you took your typical road anyway? You might have been part of the accident or at least caught in the snarled traffic as a result.
The truth is, we are all built with an internal system that can guide us if we allow it. That means, we need to tune in and hear it first, then we need to pay attention to its message.
What good is GPS in your car if you don’t use it? Better yet, what if you turn it on, plug in the destination, and then ignore its guidance? You’re likely to end up taking a circuitous route or not getting to your destination at all.
It’s the same thing when you pay no heed to your inner voice. It can’t lead you if you don’t pay attention.
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What If All You Hear is Negative?
Ah, yes—the evil wolf in the Native American parable. We all have both voices within us. And, you have a choice of which one you feed, as the wise Cherokee told his grandson.
You can allow the negative thoughts and emotions to take over, or you can focus on more positive feelings and change your perspective. The more you concentrate on thinking about things from a hopeful angle, the more you can turn up the volume on the voice coming from the good wolf, thus drowning out the harmful noise.
Whenever you feed your inner voice with proper nutrition, such as enough rest, positive affirmations, uplifting people who support you, and excellent self-care and self-love, the result will be a strong inner voice that guides you in the very best ways.
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Why You Don’t Heed What You Hear
For one thing, it could be that the voices in your head are battling with your heart, and you’re confused about which is in your best interest to follow. Or, that the evil wolf is yelling louder than the good one. It might even be that those around you are weighing-in on what you should do, and you are second-guessing your intuition.
What about the possibility of you not liking what your inner wisdom is telling you—could that cause you to ignore the guidance?
Plus, there may be times that you are not able to subdue all the noise so you can distinguish what your heart is guiding you to do. The following are seven steps that can help.
7 Steps to Help You Listen To Your Inner Voice
- Create Quiet—whenever you want to pay attention and hear anyone who is speaking, you need to create an environment for it. Given this, it is no different when you are listening to your inner voice. The best way to create that environment is to find a quiet space and calm your mind. The result is, you will hear better, and the messages can come through.
- Take a Pause—turn down the volume on whatever is around you at the moment so that you can hear clearly. Because, when you are too busy or rushed, you’re not in the right frame of mind to listen. Stop what you’re doing. And, give your inner voice a chance to be heard.
- Open the Door—invite your intuition to walk through that door, as if you are asking a friend to join you for coffee. Ask yourself questions, such as, what do I need right now? What do I feel about this situation? Where do I feel it in my body? What actions can I take to feel better? Probing questions like these can give your intuition permission to show up and speak clearly.
- Let Her Speak—become aware when your inner voice is communicating in some way with you. Whether you feel it in your body or you hear it in your head, or you wake up with an idea to explore, listen. When she speaks to you, don’t judge her message, or dismiss it out of hand.
- Noodle On It—give it time to percolate so you can assess the guidance and weigh the options that come. When you sit with ideas and insights, mulling over each one, often more will come through. Let them.
- Pick One—from all those possibilities. With an array of choices, you can find the best one to try. See how it fits and feels. Does the idea energize you or weigh you down? When the one you choose fills you with motivation, that’s the one.
- Step Into It—because nothing happens until you take action. Great ideas running in your head are just that—great ideas. Take small steps to test out the guidance you received. The more you practice these steps, the more your trust in your inner voice will grow.
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Your Choice—Your Voice
The next time you hear a battle going on between the good wolf and the bad one, choose which one you want to feed. Assuming you pick the positive inner voice, pay attention to what she is saying. Next, follow the steps outlined above so you can gain clarity and direction from your intuition and put your guidance into action.
Listening to your inner voice will guide you to do what is in your best interest. Plus, problem-solving will become more natural, and your inner wisdom will help you to make great decisions. Consequently, life gets better, you are happier, and your perspective of your world is more positive. Feed the good wolf.
Take the First Step
If you hear the battle between the good and evil wolves and can’t hear your inner voice, you may wonder if it’s even possible to tap into your intuition. As a result, making choices that move you forward can be hard, especially when there are big changes in your life. And, getting some guidance may be just what you need. First, you could start by exploring how change can impact you. Then, you can learn how to move through change with more dignity and grace. My free ebook can help. Click here to take the first step: From Darkness to Light: Learning to Adapt to Change and Move Through Transition.