Recognizing Your Inner Voice

As we get older, we realize that nothing worth having in life is easy. If we want to get our graduate degree, we have to work for it. If we want to get six-pack abs, we have to work for it. We face several disappointments along the way, and it starts to make us question, “Am I good enough? What am I doing wrong? Is this goal even attainable?” That’s our inner voice trying to keep us in our comfort zones — safe and sound.

Stairs leading up to a mountain.

Just one step at a time.

Our parents probably told us when we were kids, “You can be anything you want when you grow up,” but they didn’t tell us it wasn’t going to be easy.

The first step in attaining anything you want in life is to realize how much you really want it. I’ve wanted A’s so badly in classes, I’ve wanted certain jobs badly, I wanted to have a long-term relationship, etc. I would tell myself, “You know what? I want to prove it to myself that I want this and I’m going to work for it.”

The next step is to write down the goal, what obstacles you would face, what your motivations are, and try to think of ways how you’re going to get there. My inner voice would be full of “yeahbut…” or “well, what if…” When you have bad nerves like I do, and worrying is in your genes, it’s really hard to want to listen to that voice. But don’t let giving up or giving in be an option. Just thank your inner voice for its concerns, and tell yourself the opposite, “I am good enough. I will find a way. I will make this happen.”

Meditation and yoga are excellent ways to start recognizing that voice. You just nod your head, let the thought go, and refocus to being in the present moment. They’re powerful practices for building new neuron pathways in our way to become more resilient and optimistic. Unfortunately, most things in life are not going to be instant like social media, and it’s really hard to practice mediation to become patient and live in the here and now.

But if you value your life, your relationships, and your goals, then you’ll work hard to achieve what you want. Listen, you only get one shot at this life, and trying to get it is better than nothing. Every small step is a victory and a building block for preparing you for what’s next.

The thing is, yeah, some things are totally not going to happen. If you’re too tall, maybe you can’t be astronaut, but you could probably work for NASA if you really wanted. Sometimes physical limitations, citizenship, and age might mean that it’s just not in the cards for you. Maybe the universe has other plans for you. However, if you keep asking the universe, have faith in yourself, believe in yourself, and you start opening your mind to opportunities that come along the way, you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish with dedication, effort, and perseverance.

“There’s no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.”

What have you achieved from never giving up?

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