Are you aware of your inner voice? Do you pay attention to it? (By the way, I'm not talking about the one who puts you down!) I'm talking about the one that softly whispers ideas and suggestions to you, the kind that the other voice might try to shut down, crying “Are you mad”!? This requires stepping out of our comfort zone, and that is to be avoided at all costs (even if the cost is living a life of mediocrity instead of the one of your dreams).
Sadly, the latter voice is the one most of us are aware of and pay attention to. The more gentle one, the one that is our intuition, is often ignored (if we can even hear it at all). The great pity here is that it's our intuition that really has our best interests at heart. Our shadow voice (the louder, more aggressive one) does have our welfare at heart too, but in a protective way.
What's wrong with protecting us? I know you’re thinking that! Well, it limits us and ultimately erodes our well being at a soul level. And believe it or not, that's not good for our physical or emotional well being! If you're unfulfilled at a soul level, slowly and imperceptibly you will develop a nagging feeling of general discontent which can have a rippling effect on your mood, self esteem and ultimately your physical and mental health. But that's for another article...
The gentle voice of your intuition will, if listened to, stretch you beyond your comfort zone, but never more than you are capable of. It will challenge you, but also support you. It always has your best interests at heart, at every level: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. It will not only gently nudge you in scary directions which will yield huge and unimaginable rewards, but it will also gently nudge you when it’s time to stop or turn around.
When you tune into your intuition and allow yourself to be guided by it you will be surprised at how much easier formerly assumed challenges will become. And how much good fortune lands in your lap (we call it synchronicity). And how good it feels to be at ease with yourself and all your life experiences, even the ones you wouldn't choose!
If you're not used to listening to your intuition, learning to tune into it will require time and patience. At first, you may be unsure which voice is which (especially as your shadow voice often sounds very reasonable), and using your intuition is very much like using your physical muscles. You need to use it regularly in order for it to be in the shape you want.
So how do you get to know your intuition better? First of all, start to watch out for hunches, feelings, ideas that crop up. Pay attention to the voice that accompanies it. Is it gentle, positive, supportive If it's aggressive, domineering, or using scare-mongering tactics it's more likely to be your shadow voice. If you're getting a feeling of warning, is it a loud and threatening one? (shadow). Or an insistent knowing one? (intuition).
The scary thing about trusting your intuition when it's new to you, is that it's not based on logic and often what it suggests to you cannot be justified logically. But with practice and trust, you'll learn that knowing that something is the right thing to do, is in your best interests. It'll be easier to shrug off your own shadow voice and that of others (who will fear for your best interests on your behalf).
The key to developing this essential trust in one’s intuition is to start small. Don't make life-changing decisions based on your intuition if you're not familiar with it(you might still be confusing your two inner voices). Do ask your intuition to guide you with smaller decisions, and wait for the gentle knowing feeling to arrive. Don't expect an instant answer, but watch out, for it will come and you'll know it when it does.
Over time, as you tune in more and more, you'll find you suffer less and less with worry or anxiety. You'll trust all will work out well, and often you'll find it works out better than you could ever have imagined!