“Everyone who wills can hear their inner voice. It is within everyone.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
Do you struggle with listening to your inner voice? Do you doubt yourself and every inner signal you get? You’re not alone.
A decade ago, I didn’t know that I could follow my heart. I’d never heard of the concept inner wisdom, or inner voice.
I started following my interests and doing what made me feel good, and this is the essence of doing what you love and listening to that subtle voice inside of you.
The problems start when we listen too much to outside sources.
We start to think that we’re doing it wrong. I went through one of these periods myself. Looking back, I see that while it was a period of struggle, it also helped me go deeper into what worked for me.
What is Inner Wisdom, Anyway?
You may get nudges from your soul by getting inspirational thoughts. It may be an unexplainable feeling that gets you into action. Or you may see an image in your mind.
My inner wisdom is a blend of all of the above. But more often than not, it communicates through feeling.
I like to say that it’s like I have cat whiskers all over my body. I feel my way through life.
I still misinterpret the messages I get. Sometimes I follow fear. Sometimes I give into resistance. I’ve learned to be okay with that.
This doesn’t have to be serious. You can play and experiment; see what messages you get.
How to Listen to Your Inner Wisdom
With that said, let’s look at how to connect to your inner wisdom.
1. Calm down.
When my mind is calm, the connection to my inner wisdom is the strongest.
When my mind is in turmoil, I try not to make any decisions because I don’t have access to my cat whiskers.
If I’m in a negative state, I might go for a walk, wash the dishes, or meditate. I don’t necessarily try to get rid of the negativity, but I simply stop what I’m doing and take a break.
When you take a time out, gradually your calm will return along with the connection to your wisdom.
2. Stop trying so hard.
I’m good at bullying life into place. I want to figure it all out. I want to force results, and I want to have achieved my goals last year.
But I’ve noticed that the more I try to push, the more slowly things go. It’s like getting stuck in quicksand. If I try to dig my way out, I only sink in deeper. Instead, I have to let myself be pulled out.
This doesn’t mean I become complacent. It means I notice what I have control over and what I don’t.
And it goes back to calming down. When you’re worried about what might go wrong in life and you’re trying to fix an imaginary problem, the connection to your heart is severed.
But once you let go and become aware that you don’t know where life is going, you can relax and peace can return.
3. Be patient.
My inner wisdom shines through when I’m patient. When my partner and I were looking for a house, we knew approximately what we wanted, but we didn’t try to push it.
We were patient. We looked at different options and listened to our hearts. I let days pass because I noticed that the more distance I got, the clearer the signal from my inner wisdom.
The realtor would try to pressure us, but we took our time. We weren’t going to rush into a big decision like buying a house.
One day, we saw a house come on the market. It didn’t look impressive online. We almost dismissed it. Then we went to have a look, and the moment I stepped in the door my inner voice said yes.
We still didn’t jump on it. We waited a few days to see if the feeling would change. It didn’t. We ended up buying the house, and I’m sitting in a room right now writing this article.
So when you want to get feedback from your inner wisdom, get the feedback over a couple of days or more. Don’t put pressure on yourself to get an answer right now, right here.
Mistake to Avoid
The biggest pitfall I fall into over and over is stressing about whether or not I’m on the right path.
I still worry but less than before. I’ve come to accept that life will take me where I need to go. I can only do my best with what I have.
I don’t have to force myself to do anything. All I can do is listen to the quiet voice within me and see where it takes me.
I don’t know if the struggles I’m going through today are what will help me get to where I need to be.
When you’re honest with yourself, truly honest, you realize that you don’t know what’s going on in life. You don’t have control over it. All you can do is live life to the best of your ability.
What You Need to Remember
When I started reading about living a heart-based life, I thought that if I could just tap into my inner wisdom, my life would be filled with euphoria.
But I’ve since realized that life is filled with life, which means both ups and downs. We see individual events as bad because we isolate them.
However, we don’t know where we’re going or what our path looks like.
I’ve discovered that the more fun I have in life, the smoother the ride goes. I don’t take life too seriously. Meaning, I don’t have to panic when something happens.
In the end, your inner wisdom is always there, just like the sun is behind the clouds on a rainy day, waiting for you to relax.
All you have to do is calm down and pay attention.
Don’t be in a rush. Don’t try too hard.
But have fun, and notice how your inner voice works.
About Henri Junttila
Henri writes at Wake Up Cloud, where you can get his free course: 7 Steps to Building a Lifestyle Business Around Your Passion. He's also the author of Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself and Follow Your Heart: 21 Days to a Happier, More Fulfilling Life.