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Suppose you have a question in your mind, who would you ask to get an answer?
You would probably ask your best friend or your partner. Am I right?
We mostly seek the answers to our problems from others. But how often do we listen to our inner voice? Today we will discuss simple ways, which might help us listen to our inner self.
Try to integrate some of the following steps each day as you cultivate a relationship with yourself.
Here are 10 ways to do it:
1. Learn about your values.
Your life values are what matter to you. If you don’t know your true values then you might constantly feel restless and discontent.
To identify our true values, we need to look at ourselves, choices, and preferences that bring to us happiness. If you think your value is money, then why do you hate your job? If you think your value is power, imagine yourself the most powerful person giving other people commands. Would this make you happy or lonely?
If you aren’t sure about your true values, imagine yourself living that value then think where it came from. Is it yours, your family’s, or friend’s?
2. Dig out your core beliefs.
Our core beliefs are viewpoints we have about ourselves and others. These beliefs stem from our childhood and are passed on to us by our families. They sound like, “The world is a dangerous place,” “You can’t trust anyone,” or “Money is the root of all evil.”
The problem with core beliefs is that until we recognize them, they settle down in our subconscious mind, and we make our decisions based on them. They are rooted so deeply that they stop us from listening to ourselves.
We have to be honest about our core beliefs and dig them out; we can seek help from a coach or counselor.
Removing the ones that mislead us and replacing them with what brings us more ease is a truly powerful process.
3. Recognize your inner critic.
Watch out for the voice in your head that sounds like a parent telling you what to do. It might sound like a mother, father, guardian, or mentor who was hard on us when we were kids.
That voice often uses terms like “should, must, and you better.” It likes to compare us to others.
4. Bust through the clutter.
One of the reasons we might struggle to hear our inner self is that we have so many thoughts all at once.
Aside from the inner critic, we might be listening to our inner child, “Poor me! Nobody loves me! Nothing I do matters.” And then we might suffer from anxiety and worry about the past and future.
So how to hear yourself through the chatter? Get a pen and a paper and try journaling your thoughts. Just write down as fast as you can all the worries in your head, the judgments, the anger, the sadness, and the self-criticism.
You will end up listening to your true voice. At first, it might take time, but if you practice this technique, you will often find your real voice coming up not long after the pen hits the page.
5. Practice mindfulness daily.
Another effective way to burst through the mind’s clutter and listen to ourselves is mindfulness—a practice of living in the present moment helps best.
Over time, you will find yourself becoming more and more efficient and recognizing how you are really feeling right now—beyond your worries and thoughts.
6. Indulge your imagination.
If you are only listening to your rational mind, you are only listening to a part of yourself.
If you are trying to listen to what you truly want, instead of stopping the chain of thought, try saying, “Imagine if…” and see what comes up for you. To take it to the next level, ask good questions to yourself, which also increases your creativity.
7. Constantly ask yourself good questions.
A good question often begins with “what” or “how” over “why.” Simply put, “why” questions always lead down rabbit holes and self-criticism, whereas “what” and “how” questions help you come up with solutions.
Try asking yourself wild and big questions about the future; you will learn surprising things about yourself.
For example, if you were financially stable, what would your perfect day look like? If you were spending a week with your partner, what would you do? If you had one week left to live, how would you spend it?
8. Try new things weekly.
Our parents and friends have taught us so many things. But do we actually like those things?
If you are not sure, try to combat something new every week. For example, try a different class at the gym, eat foreign food you’ve never tried, talk to someone you think you wouldn’t have anything in common with.
Doing something new on a regular basis not only increases our creativity but also helps us to reduce unnecessary stress.
9. Learn to let go.
Holding thoughts in our mind is like building a dam that holds back our access to our true self.
The same rule applies to our relationships. If we are constantly hanging around with people who we no longer have anything in common with and aren’t sure we even like anymore, just because we have known them since childhood, we are stopping ourselves from fulfilling our own potential.
10. Practice self-care often.
Just like we take care of our relationships, we should be kind to ourselves. You might find that the nicer you are to yourself, the more you open up to yourself.
How can you treat yourself nicely this week? Is it taking a hot bath instead of spending time on your phone? Not attending a social gathering you don’t really want to go to?
If you are experiencing anxiety and find it really hard to listen to yourself or know who you are, self-care might help you a lot.