I’ve learnt to listen to myself much more closely these last couple of years, thanks to being an Acorn tutor, where I teach others to listen. The amazing thing is, when I listen to myself, I’m always right!
We’re often afraid to listen to ourselves, because we don’t believe in our ourself. Oh, there’s so many reasons we don’t listen. “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t know enough”, “They’re an expert, so they know what’s best”. What’s your main reason for not listening to yourself? I think mine has been, not believing in my own ability, and knowing what’s right for me.
I’ve wanted other people to tell me what to do, so I can ‘blame’ them if it doesn’t work out. Rather than take that responsibility on myself, I’ve chosen, in the past, to listen to other people’s advice, rather than my own. Guess what? Things didn’t work out, and I blamed myself and those others who’d advised me.
Listen to yourself, you’re right
Listening is powerful, and it really brought it home to me this weekend when I was running a course with a massively experienced listener and trainer. Part of the delivery is that as trainers we show a ‘formal listening’ session, using a live issue for one of us. I was the listener on this day. My colleague had given me an inkling about the topic – it’s one she’s talked about before, and I thought it was going to be a continuation of the story.
As she began to talk and explore her own thoughts out loud, it became obvious that what she thought was troubling her, and the area she’d been focusing her energy thinking about, (and not sleeping), wasn’t the actual deep issue. The deep issue, which my listening helped her explore, was something very basic, and also something she helps others with all the time in her work and volunteering. It was, “look after myself first”.
It struck me that this lady with all her knowledge and experience was still blinded to her own answers as she hadn’t spent time listening to herself. She was caught up in her busy life, and despite offering listening to others, hadn’t taken the time to listen to herself. It made listening come to life again for me, and how important it is to all of us. Do you listen to yourself and others?
We’re often blinded by others people’s knowledge, or enthusiasm, or we love their take on life and the bigger picture. However, no-one knows you like you do, and no-one can know what you’re really feeling or thinking right now. Only you know. Only you can know and do what’s right for you in your situation. It may well be hard, but deep down you know it’s right. For you.
I know my passion for helping others to listen better, and inspiring confidence to listen to yourself, will help many people live happier lives. Whether you want to be a better parent, or grow your business, or become healthier, it all comes back to listening to yourself. You’re right, and no-one can tell you otherwise.
If you’d like to learn more about listening, and the plans I’ve got for helping young people to listen to themselves, get in touch.
If you’d like to book a listening session with me, I’m opening my diary up from next week to listen to you, so that you can listen to yourself, as you’re right, and I want you to believe it.
[If you’re in Lancashire, then I recommend using the One2one Listening service run by volunteers]