Listen to Your Inner Wisdom

In the past week, I have read six social media posts from people on a similar theme: the admission that they’ve been knocked about by not listening to their inner wisdom.

These are popular people with big followings crumpling in the face of criticism, breaking down under the pressure of other people’s expectations, and making decisions and taking actions that led to business nightmares. There were dire consequences when they lost track of their values and the commitments they had made to themselves and ignored the warning signs.

In short, losing contact with their inner wisdom has not served them well. Each asked the question: “Why did I let it happen? Why was I swayed by other people’s version of what was right for me?”

It is far too easy to get lost in the masses of information bombarding us every day, and the relentless opinions of others, whether they know us or not.

So how do we discern what feedback to listen to, what lessons to take on board, and what is just a distraction? It is essential we relearn to listen to our inner voice and give it credit. It might be a sinking feeling in your belly or a racing heartbeat. It might be lethargy or hopelessness. Or, on the other hand, it might be elation and excitement, lighting you up and putting you firmly in ‘the zone’.

While it might be easy to spot those signs in someone else, it is often hard to spot them (and listen to them) in yourself and work out what they mean.

Here’s how to stay in touch with your inner wisdom:

1. Make friends with your ‘Mentor Within’.

We all have a powerful inner wisdom that is available if we just pause and listen to it. Sometimes it is masked by what I call the ‘Monster Within’ (the voices in your head, listening to the naysayers, the imposter syndrome) and until we quieten the ‘Monster Within’ it’s hard to really hear your inner wisdom. Learn to acknowledge your ‘Mentor Within’, that benevolent leader that knows what to do. Remove the obstacles to hearing what you really need to hear, and give yourself the same respect that you would give to someone you would call a great mentor.

2. Spend time with yourself.

Make time every week to have a Management Meeting with Self. A time to assess how you are tracking since the last week, and to notice where you are losing focus. This is a time to assess and plan in a non-judgmental but decisive way and to redirect your decisions and actions so that they are wins for you, those around you and the world. Something I call ‘Triple Win Thinking’.

3. Ask yourself powerful questions.

Can you remember someone asking you a powerful question? What did it cut through? How did you use the answer you came up with? Now find a few key questions to ask yourself, and write down the answers. Three of my favourites are:

  • What will I let go of?
  • What will I hold onto?
  • Not taking time and money into consideration, what would I do?

4. Challenge yourself to tell the story as if it was a future time.

Choose a time in the future – say three years – and tell the story as if you were telling it from that vantage point. Write it down or record it. Then read or listen carefully to what you’ve said. What do you notice? How could the story be improved? Now tell it again, this time changing it to be the way you really want it to be. Write it down, frame it, and put it somewhere you can see it.

5. Draw up your key messages.

Have you ever worked out your key messages for yourself? These are the lessons and values you want to live by. You can ask others what you always say. In my last article, Five one-liners from my mentors that will change the way you do business, I shared useful one-liners that I have heard from my mentors, and I challenged you to consider what are your most potent one-liners. They might be useful to others, but more importantly, to yourself. Write them down. Own them. And consider them a gift from your ‘Mentor Within’.

Ultimately it is you who will need to take responsibility for the decisions and actions you take. No one else can do this for you.

Tap into your inner wisdom and stay connected to what is important to you so that you can run your business in a way that benefits you, those around you and the world. Your ‘Mentor Within’ can help you create Triple Wins based on your inner wisdom.

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