Listen to your inner voice; it will tell you the truth. -Ernest Holmes
This article covers an exercise that will reveal your inner truth, or what you really want in life. The exercise brings you a couple steps closer to getting those things that you want, helps you identify the B.S. things you think you have to do but really don’t, and empowers you to do what you truly want, and stop doing the things you don’t.
The exercise? It’s simple. Answer these questions. Write your answers down if you can, or just think about it. No one’s watching but you 🙂
- What do you think you should do?
- Why don’t you do it?
- Instead of saying I should, say I could.
The truth is, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want. It sure seems like it a lot, and you may want to do stuff for seemingly forced reasons, but when it really comes down to it, you could do anything. And that’s powerful.
For more details, here’s an extended version that leads you through the exercise:
Do you know your truth? What you really want in life? What makes you happy?
Some people spend their entire lives looking beyond themselves for the answers to these questions. The truth, your truth, is already inside of you though. Lots of people try and seek it out in other people, and that’s where they go wrong.
Still looking for your truth? Ya, we are too, this simple technique will help you learn how to listen to your heart, to your inner voice, and to what we call “your truth.”
This process is more of an exercise than a “read and be happier instantly” type of article like we intend a lot of our other content to be. If you’re just here to read now, that’s cool too. Participate for FULL effects:
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STEP ONE: Ask yourself, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think “I should…” ? Write it down if you can. It helps to solidify things, but you can just think it or say it aloud, too. Sometimes this can be hard, the answers can feel unclear at times. Don’t overthink it. Write it down, even if it doesn’t make sense or seem realistic now.
Maybe your list looks a little something like this:
I should lose some weight. >>
I should get out of debt. >>
I should call ________. >>
Be mindful that when you have your list of “shoulds,” in front of you – it might bring some weird feelings. It could make you feel embarrassed, shameful, guilty, behind, or maybe even less than some standard…just to name a few. Even if you feel like this, continue on with us — we’ll get rid of the discomfort in the next few steps. This is a positive step. You are getting clear on hidden emotions that you’ve been carrying around. As we work through them in the next steps, you’ll be able to release any negative attachment…
Now, read your list over if you wrote something down.
STEP TWO: Next think, what are my motivations? Write down or say why you “should” be doing the things you identified on your list. Is it a fear, maybe someone had an opinion about it, or would it just “be kinda weird” or out of your comfort zone? The reasons why you think you should do those things reveals what is actually in your way of doing them…ironic, right?!
Maybe your answers look a little something like this:
I should lose some weight. >> Because I’ll be happier with myself and in my body.
What was in the way of doing it was: not feeling happy with myself or my body, and so I was turned off to doing anything that required attention on what I was trying to avoid.
I should get out of debt. >> So I can have more financial freedom.
What was in the way of doing it was: not feeling free, and trying to fast track a way towards feeling free to do what I what I wanted by using credit.
I should call ________. >> It would make him/her feel happy and reinforce our friendship.
What was in the way of doing it was: I didn’t feel the need to bond-because I’ve been a little self-involved, but it’s probably time to check back in.
The why’s that come up are things that you might be more familiar with – we usually know why we are not doing something when we put some reflection into it.
STEP THREE: Next, replace the word “should” with “could.” Saying we “could” do something gives us choice. “Should” can make us feel obligated when we aren’t actually. But we are never wrong when we use the word “could” because most everything CAN happen – even when it seems to require a miracle.
Now turn your list into this:
I could lose some weight. >>
I could get out of debt. >>
I could call ________. >>
Side Note: The word should creates expectations, so let go of those expectations of yourself. You might discover you’ve been holding yourself to a standard you don’t even agree with after analyzing it more closely. But if you really do want it yet keep finding reasons why not or find yourself in a habit of constantly telling yourself why you can’t, then those are excuses. It might be time to reevaluate those excuses that come disguised as reasons. The next step will help you remember you really do have the power to make things happen.
STEP FOUR: Now that you have your written list, reread it starting each statement with, “if I really wanted to I could…” This step rewires our brain to make a shift into possibility. Ahhh, how nice to give ourselves permission. What’s even nicer? When you make what you wrote down HAPPEN in real life!
If I really wanted to I could lose some weight. >>
If I really wanted to I could get out of debt. >>
If I really wanted to I could call ________. >>
…and you CAN — it’s just a matter of when!
STEP FIVE: The last step is to ask yourself, so why haven’t you? You’ll hear different answers this time. These answers are your truth. They are not always obvious but when you hear them, you’ll know their truth in your heart and mind.
RELATED ARTICLE: Which Thoughts Are Creating Your Problems
Each time you do this process, you strengthen your connection to your inner self. When you have questions about life, you will be able to quietly settle in to your mind and body to get the answers you need. We were not all designed to follow the same path – that’s why there are so many different ways to do things! As well as many differing personal truths that lead to similar end goals 🙂
Share with us, what is on your “should” list that could be dropped to make you happier today?