One tool I love to use when I’m needing more positive thoughts about the future is to remember to tap back into my core values and beliefs. To listen to my ‘what’s’ and my ‘why’s’.
Being conscious and mindful of; ‘what’ am I saying to myself? And ‘why’ I feel the way I feel? Has always helped me to calm my mind and process my thoughts and feelings more calmly and more productively.
The art of active listening begins with self-listening. You need to ensure that you are listening to yourself.!
To do this you must first understand how to stop and listen to not only yourself and your needs, but also the needs of those around you.
Many of us make the mistake of listening through a filter; a learnt behaviour of mostly what you want to hear rather than what is being said. When you listen this way, you can miss the full message, you can become more emotional and possibly negative in your thought processes. When you stop listening to yourself, nothing gets resolved and you can find yourself struggling to combat your inner critic.
However, if you are more deliberate in your self-listening your attention stays in the moment, you focus more on your values and needs. Deliberate listening is patient and generous. If you find your mind racing ahead planning what to say next, you are no longer actively listening. When you stay present with the dialogue you can suspend judgement and minimise the overwhelming need to respond based around your emotions. In that moment you have given yourself permission to be more curious and open to possibilities for yourself.
If you learn to tap into yourself and listen with intent, then you will most likely enjoy a better relationship with your partner. Good listeners understand what is being said and connect with their partners emotions, becoming more curious to their needs. Good listeners create a safe space for their partner to discuss any problems and openly talk through solutions, instead of going into combat with persistent arguing.
What’s the secret to listening to yourself I hear you ask?
Well, there is a good chance that you have never learnt how to listen to yourself and have mistaken the chatter in your head as being the only option to think, feel and respond…
- How do you tell what thoughts are really how you feel? And what thoughts are just what you’ve been taught to think?
- How do you recognise if what you are saying to yourself is just your inner critic and not the real you?
- What are the best techniques for hearing yourself?
Try and blend some of the following steps each day into your daily routine.
- Identify your core beliefs and where they have come from – if you do not understand these with clarity, they can run your subconscious, take over your thought processes and govern all of your decisions, which can often be emotional reactors.
- Practice self-care – Kindness is the keyword here not only for yourself but for those around you. Create time to stop and listen to yourself. Ask yourself how can I treat myself with kindness today? Rather than filling your head with unhelpful negative thoughts.
- Bust through the clutter – One of the reasons you might be struggling is that you have so many thoughts racing through your mind. Aside from your inner critic, you may be listening to your inner child, and the negative thoughts associated with your upbringing; (no one loves me, or no one respects me, or nothing I do matters) From this, you may be experiencing or suffering from a lack of self-confidence, anxiety or depression.
- Tap in daily with yourself by asking good questions to yourself – such as; what can I do for myself that will support me in shifting my current way of thinking. This is an incredibly effective way to burst through mind clutter and listen to yourself.
It takes commitment and effort to learn how to stop and truly listen not only to your partner but to yourself. But it is worth the effort because when you learn how to listen to yourself you make positive choices towards the life you actually want to live.