A step in getting in touch with your inner knowing.
This article is cross-posted from my weekly newsletter, The Sunday Soother, a newsletter about clarity, intention, and useful tips for creating more meaning in your life that goes out every Sunday morning. Subscribe here. I am also a personal development strategist and coach working to help people with self-acceptance, self-trust, and self-compassion. You can learn more about working with me here.
Happy Sunday, friends. A few months into this full-time coaching and writing business and I have some interesting observations. I thought clients who came to coaching would want help with better relationships, more mindfulness, confidence, intentional living. And yes — of course they want all that. Who wouldn’t?
But there’s something they want even more. And that is to regain the ability to tune back into their inner voice and intuition.
It makes sense. When you can hear and trust your inner voice, all of the above — relationships, your happiness, your ability to make decisions confidently and choices intentionally — it flows from knowing that voice.
But in a society that values mental clutter and external influences and logic over our intuition, it’s no surprise we can’t quite hear what that tiny interior voice is trying to shout at us.
One quick way to start to hear it again?
Try an advice detox.
It’s simple. For one week, you don’t ask anybody else’s advice or opinions or thoughts. On anything. Not on if you look good in that outfit. Not on if you should apply to that job. Not on what you should make for dinner. Not on if you should go on a second date with that Tinder match. Not on what book to read next, what show to watch next, not what your weekend plans should be.
Instead of asking somebody else outside of you for their thoughts on your situation, you turn inwards: you ask yourself.
You may think at first that you have no opinions or insights on how to proceed in a situation or what you’d like to do.
Oh, but you DO.
You just haven’t listened to them in a really long time. Or been given the space to learn how.
Deciding for ourselves and not asking others’ opinions is one of the first true steps we can take in starting to re-access our intuition and inner voice.
Having trouble knowing where to start? This is a beginning step I give my clients when they are trying to make a decision but think they do not know the answer:
Take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes. Put your hand over your heart and try to “drop in” to your heart space — that is, focus your attention on that area and try to feel from it. Ask that space the question you’re facing. And see what comes up.
So what do you think? Try an advice detox out this week, and let me know how it goes.
My story is a bit different, though. I don’t often ask for or feel I need others’ advice. Me? I have to be honest: I had to do something completely opposite: go on an advice-giving detox.
I only recently realized in the past couple of years how I use giving solutions and fixing problems as a way of both connecting with people but also protecting myself from vulnerability. I thought that my true worth lay in fixing a person’s situation, not merely being myself or showing up without something to offer.
So if going on an advice-taking detox doesn’t resonate for you, consider if you need to stop offering solutions or commentary on other people’s lives. I certainly did. Right now, if my sister or a friend calls, I make sure to ask, “Are you looking for actual advice or just to vent?” And that, plus the advice-giving detox — just merely being present for a person instead of immediately sending them one billion articles to read or exercise to try — has been EXTREMELY UNCOMFORTABLE for me. I can viscerally feel my instinct to help make their problems go away trying to claw itself out of my chest.
But I’m forcing myself to sit with it. I too am trying to sit with that inner voice and listen to it. And right now I think it’s whispering, “You don’t have to fix anything for anybody. You’re enough just as you are.”