“We hear only our own voices, still echoes returning to our emptiness.”― Dejan Stojanovi
An exercise in intuitive self-listening
We’ve all got voices in our head
We’ve all got those voices within our head. For many of us, we might not even notice just how often they are filling our mind with ‘thought chatter‘. The usual recommendation is to use a tool like meditation to help quiet that storyteller in your mind.
Today though, I’m going to invite us to try something a little different – let’s use the voice(s) that we’ve got in our heads to help us get some clarity and help us listen to our intuition.
The 3 voices explained
First off – I want you to, for the sake of this exercise, imagine that there are three competing voices within you. The first, which is the loudest and the one we are most used to, is the voice of fear. While many people (including me) tend to react to that voice by immediately finding ways to quiet it, distract ourselves away from it, or to simply ignore it – today we are going to do something different. This voice is great – it’s incredibly useful for helping us understand how things can go wrong, keeping us safe, and making sure that things end up being stable (though it might not always feel that way).
The second voice we are going to use in our exercise today is that of our logic. For many, this is the next loudest voice. It tells us how to do stuff, what the fastest and most likely path to success is, and what obstacles we can expect along the way. This voice is great – it allows us, once we make a decision, to figure out on our own how to make things happen. Sometimes it gets wrapped up with fear and tells you how to avoid scary things, but often it gets works on its own as well – helping you come up with plans.
The third voice is usually the quietest one – the voice of intuition. It may be called different things (your gut, ‘a feeling’, intuition, a hunch, an inkling, the voice of the divine, etc) and it feels far more rare to hear it. Oftentimes it gets completely drowned out by the other two voices. This voice is great – it is a direct connection to our subconscious, is immensely knowledgable, and has the ability to completely change your life.
Now for the exercise
Let’s walk through an exercise to help you listen to that intuition by separating these voices from one another. First – grab something to write with and write on. We’ll go through the process and then I’ll give an example at the end.
Write down what you most deeply want in your life. Don’t worry – nobody else is going to see this piece of paper, so it can be as ‘silly’ or ‘weird’ or ‘wonderful’ as necessary. If you get stuck here, check out this article for help.
Next I want you to go inside your mind and ask the voice of fear what it thinks about that thing you want. We start with fear because it is the noisiest and is the one that, by default, will naturally come up for most of us anyway.
What does it say is at risk? What would happen if you were to try to get that thing you want? What might you lose if you were to try to get that thing?
Whatever comes up – and a lot of stuff probably will – write it all down. You really want to let the voice of fear tire itself out, so don’t cut it short. Again – answers don’t need to be logical or make any whit of sense.
Circle all of this stuff and write ‘Fear’ on it.
Now that you’ve let your fear tire itself out, what does the voice of logic say? How could you do it? What would you have to do? What obstacles would logically come up as you tried to do it? Let all of the plans and checklists flow out. Without the voice of fear in the way – HOW would you logically approach that thing you most desire?
Again, you are hoping to let the voice of logic tire itself out, so write until the voice of logic has it all down on paper. If you notice any niggling voice of fear stuff trying to creep back in, go ahead and write that down up in the ‘fear’ section again.
At this point you should be feeling a little tire, a little accomplished, and maybe even recognizing an odd sense of quiet inside yourself. This is all natural and leads you to the next step. Now that you’ve gotten two out of the way, it’s time for the final step.
Now, write down what your intuition says about that thing you want. Don’t try to interpret it just yet (that will come naturally after this is done), just write down whatever your intuition says about your deepest desire. It might be ‘good’ or it might be ‘bad’. It could even come up with another question, a different desire. What’s important is to listen to it, and know that it is telling you the truth.
Many people feel bodily sensations at this point. Maybe like butterflies in the stomach, or like they swallowed an egg. Maybe a buzzing of the head or a tingly feeling on their face. That’s totally normal, so don’t worry about it.
An Example from my life
This is an exercise that I use a lot with clients as a coach. But before that, I used this very process as I was deciding whether or not to become a coach. For me, this is what came up (your experience will be different, but it can be so helpful to see other people’s answers in order to validate the process).
Step 1 – ‘I want to become a life coach so that I can help people as they create their best lives’
Step 2 – You won’t be good at it. You’ll have to go to school forever to do it. Nobody would hire you for it. You don’t have a right to tell other people how to live their lives. You are too messed up to be a life coach. You’ll never be able to retire, and all the money plans that you’ve made will turn to crap. (And a whole lot more besides this)
Step 3 – You will have to do a lot of learning including books, classes, and real-world sessions. It’s not going to happen overnight, it will take at least 2 years to get the learnings and experience necessary. You’ll have to decide whether or not to pay for a certification. You’ll need to find people that want coaching. You’ll need to create discipline in your life to make this happen, and that will be difficult.
Step 4 – This is what you are meant to doing right now in your life. You can help people to help themselves. Because it is hard you will pay attention and that will make you better at it. You’ll have to ask for help, which you need to do in order to grow regardless. You already have a lot of the skills that you need. Because you care about people you are the right person to be a coach. You will constantly get to face the voice of fear as you do this.
Feel more clear as you go through your life
At the end of this experiment, you might have a range of emotions happening. I’m hoping one of those is the certainty and clarity for what you need to do next. There is no way anybody else can tell you what you should do. Only you and your voice of intuition can determine that.
As you practice this exercise, you might just start to find that it becomes a little easier, a little faster, and maybe – just maybe – you’ll start to hear the voice of intuition get louder and louder in your life.