What am I thinking? I can’t do that. Sure I can, it’s easy, I’ll give it a try. No I will fail so why try. No one is an expert at first but if I keep trying I will get better at it. No I’m scared. It might not be easy at first but it might even be fun! No it’s too hard!!!
We all have these two voices in our heads, don’t we? I had the good fortune to listen to an inspiring speech at my toastmasters club this week on just that, the two voices in our head. The loud voice that tells us we can’t do something and the quiet voice that encourages us and tells us anything is possible. All too often we only listen to the loud voice telling us no and just treat the quiet voice as a nuisance and dismiss it. The problem is that when we do this we miss out on amazing opportunities. Perhaps your quiet voice is telling you that you would like to learn to play an instrument or join a club. Does your quiet voice tell you that you should take better care of yourself? Is your quiet voice is telling you that it is a beautiful day and you should go for a walk? Maybe it is something big like changing a job or a career. Whatever it is we think we would like to do, that loud voice pipes up and says, no that will be too difficult, it makes up excuses, “I don’t have time”, “what’s the use, I’ll never be any good at it”, or “I’m too tired”. The thing is, if you never start, never try, you will never find out what you are capable of. Whenever I would tell my mother I couldn’t do something as a child her response was always, “how do you know you haven’t even tried yet?”
I know this loud voice all too well, it yells at me every morning when I wake up and go over what I have to do that day. That is when I stop, clear my mind, be silent and listen to the quiet voice. You have to be silent to listen. Did you ever notice that silent and listen are spelled with the same letters. This is also the practice of mindfulness, being present, observing your thoughts and truly experiencing the moment. When you can stop and listen to the quiet voice and know inside that you are capable of anything, you can begin. Take the next logical step to achieving what you want. Write your idea down. Just the simple action of writing your idea down will make it more likely you will do something about it. I’m not saying it will be easy, nothing worthwhile is at the beginning. It can be just plain scary the first time, maybe even the second time but then it starts to get easier. Then the quiet voice says, OK, I’ve got this now, and the loud voice isn’t so loud. We all have learned this way in the past. How does a child learn to walk? They get up and try, fall down, get up and try again and continue till they are running and squealing with delight! Do you want to make a change in your life? Start listening to your quiet voice that is your champion. The more you listen the louder it will get and the loud voice telling you no will start to get quieter.
I have been reflecting on the speech I heard this week and have been nurturing my quiet voice, it was a great reminder. If you need help listening to your quiet voice, I’d love to help.