How to listen to yourself
Everyone is saying you should listen to yourself, sure, but how do you actually do that? Well here is my step-by-step guide I use on myself and it keeps delivering good enough results
Like any other skill, this is something you develop and eventually get good at.
How I learned
My mom had me late. She was 38 by the time she started trying. We are about forty years apart. She had a terrible childhood because their parents, even if they were good people, didn’t know how to parent (as most do) and they had enough trauma on their own to take care of someone else's.
My mum was an anxious kid, oversensitive. Her childhood was flooded with emotional pain. and as she grew up she had two choices: live an emotionally exhausting life or try to figure out how to calm herself down.
And she learned.
When she became my mum she had a lot of tools, she was afraid I would be an anxious kid as she was and she did all she could to make sure I had as many tools as I needed. She still screwed me up but in other parts of my life.
Predict what you feel
When I was two I told my mum I was jealous of my newly born cousin. I doubt I knew what jealous meant. And I probably said that because my mum had spent a week prior telling me that I might feel jealous because I had my grandma’s attention all my life and now it was going to be split with a kid cuter than me that I didn’t even say I was okay with introducing her in my life.
It’s harder to do this on yourself than it is to do on a kid. But you can still try. Picture a friend of yours in a similar situation you are in. How do you think they might feel? Extrapolating situations might be a good tool to figure out what’s going on with you.
Predict what will you feel. You have just had a job interview. They can want you and they can not want you. If they say they don’t want you (or just ghost you) you got to prepare for that. Before it happens, predict what will you feel: rejected, unwanted, like you aren’t enough. Sure. And what would you tell your future you that is feeling all of that? Practice it.
Use your self that isn’t tangled with emotions to build a set of tools that will help you out when you feel like the world is crumbling.
If preparing doesn’t work, if you can’t identify what is bothering try this;
What bothers you? Answer. Yep, what else? Sure, but what makes you really uncomfortable? What are you avoiding to tell me? That’s what I want to know.
And remember something, you know what’s going on with you, you are the only one that does. Others can merely try to understand and empathize with their own life’s vision. But you, you know. Maybe you aren’t aware just yet, but if you dig enough, the answer is there. Maybe you aren’t ready to listen to it so when it comes you avoid it. But it’s there.
If asking questions to yourself seems too crazy I suggest you
Write it down
Why talking about it with friends is not an option? I mean it can work, but some people don’t have friends they can rely on to open up, this is a whole another topic, so the focus here is to give out tools that can be useful for as many people as possible.
So if you can’t seem to do it on your mind, perhaps writing it down is a good way to conduct the conversation, again, dig. Be uncomfortable and use pain as a guide to finding your way out of the labyrinth feelings are.
When will you have learned how to listen to yourself?
It takes time and courage. But the more you do it the more you will like it because, despite the pain, it feels extremely comforting to understand what you are going through.
Sometimes you will still get stuck, and over months have the same issue that bothers you and you don’t know how to fix. Perhaps professional help can come in handy. Approach it with one particular situation to solve and expect to get even more tools for dealing with future struggles.
Don’t aim to have a calm life experience, aim for getting better at solving the problems you will most likely have to deal through out your life.