When we feel uncomfortable or afraid to speak up, we can lose the ability to connect with our inner voice. If you have been putting yourself to the side, quieting yourself and not using your voice, it’s likely you aren’t even sure what you want to say. And that is totally okay! Before we dive into speaking up it’s vital to feel confident in yourself and with your inner voice. Tuning into your truest desires, dreams, responses and more is vital to take the step of speaking up.
Our inner voice is a sort of guidance, it can often be referred to as our highest self, conscience or intuition. However you want to refer to it, our inner voice is different from our inner monologue and it’s important to be able to tell the two apart. Oftentimes our inner monologue is negative, self deprecating and harsh – this inner monologue is impacted by the actions and words of others and pressure from society to act, think and behave a certain way. When we explored flourish last month, we learnt and understood the importance of having control over our inner monologue and noticing when it goes into a negative space so we can redirect it to be positive, love and affirming. As for our inner voice, that is our truest self - it knows right from wrong, what’s best for us and what our deepest desires are. Our inner voice is the voice of truth, our unique voice of truth that comes from within and simply put is our innate intelligence - wise words from Jennifer Racioppi. If this sounds amazing to you but you’re asking yourself why you haven’t realized you have an inner voice then it’s likely because you haven’t given yourself space or time to get in tune with it.
In order to use our voice in situations and relationships, we want to ensure we are connected to our inner voice. In the world we live in today, we are often rushing and going too fast to notice much of what is happening inside of us. With this busyness we aren’t allowing ourselves to slow down and listen for our inner voice. It’s important to slow down, especially mentally and give yourself space to let your inner voice speak up. This allows us to practice deep listening – first with others before ourselves. If you find yourself thinking how to respond while the person is still talking, or even thinking about something else completely, you aren’t truly listening. Slow down and listen to what others are saying, don’t respond right away but rather listen intently to every word so you can digest it in order to then respond in a more thoughtful way. This practice of listening to others will allow you to find and listen to your inner voice.
I’ve mentioned this before, and I know I will again, but journal people, journal! If you are struggling with where to even begin a great approach to finding your inner voice is morning pages. First thing in the morning before you do anything else aka fill your mind with thoughts of to-do’s, plans, etc, sit down and write three full pages of your stream of consciousness. Whatever comes to your mind just start writing. Don’t worry about making a point, or connecting thoughts but rather letting go of expectations and ‘rules’ – just write. This practice will feel very sticky and uncomfortable the first few days but after a while you will start to hear your inner voice come out onto the page in your stream of consciousness and therefore will be able to connect with it more internally as well. Another practice that can heighten your inner voice is sitting in silence. Okay, maybe not just sitting in silence, but going for a walk, driving your car, washing dishes, etc all in silence. It shouldn’t be a surprise to know that we are all dealing with some level of auditory exhaustion with the constant sounds of a city or a tv in the background or maybe your kids talking away. It’s rare to have any time of silence and therefore connect with our inner voice. Choose an activity in your day that you often add sound to – maybe you like going for a walk while listening to a podcast or making phone calls while in the care – take this time to be intentionally in silence. Again, this will feel weird, annoying and sticky but it will allow you to truly connect with your thoughts and inner voice.
In order to confidently speak up for ourselves we have to be confident in ourselves – and our inner voice is connected to that confidence. Find it and watch yourself ask for what you want, say no clearly and directly and communicate to better yourself and your relationships.
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