Want to Change Your Life: Learn to Rise Above the Noise
We often hear that what we want is on the other side of fear. So how can we get past the fear to access what we want?
Everyday, I speak with people who want more from their lives. They no longer want to feel stuck in their job, relationship, or life and want to craft something that aligns with who they are deep inside.
One of the first questions that I ask the people who I coach is: What are the messages that you are receiving from the noise around you?
We are a product of the noise around us. Depending on what we are ingesting, we will act from a place of power or a place of fear.
If you surround yourself with people who believe that a 401K is worth staying in a toxic work environment, that you have to stay in a relationship out of loyalty even if it is not healthy, or that you should prioritize what others think over what brings you joy...then your internal voice and external behavior will mirror that noise.
We have been conditioned to make decisions rooted in fear; fear that going against the noise will result in us being rejected from our community. Judged, shamed, and invalidated.
Want to change your life? Learn to rise above the noise.
Identify the Messages
Pay attention to the messages that you are hearing from those around you. From your family, friends, co-workers, and social media feed. Are the messages that you are hearing supporting your inner voice or are they making you feel bad about what you really want? When you hear the feedback from those around you, do you feel supported or judged?
Do these messages make you doubt yourself and limit your possibilities?
Keep track of the reoccurring messages that you are hearing directly or indirectly from your surroundings. Note where you are hearing the messages and how they make you feel.
Recognize the Internal Impact
Create some quiet time when you can sit with yourself and reflect on the impact of that external noise.
Name all of the things that you want for your life; detail your wildest dreams to yourself, and listen to what happens. What do you hear?
“I want to start my own business.” . . . “It is too risky. Who would hire you with such little experience. You need the stability of a 9-5.”
“I want to explore having more freedom in my relationship.” . . . “Don’t rock the boat. Stay quiet or risk being alone. What you want is immature and is not sustainable.”
“I believe that I am meant to have bigger impact.” . . . “You are not that special. Some people are meant to change the world, but most of us are just meant to live in it.”
Listen for the hate-talk that your inner critic is spouting, and try to identify how that internal noise is connected to the external noise around you.
Curate Your Tribe
Want to push back on the internal narrative telling you that you don't deserve or can't have what you want? Begin to change the noise around you by curating your tribe.
When our inner desires are drowned out by external expectations, it is like having the car music on so loud that you can’t hear the GPS.
In order to tune into your inner compass, you need to tune down the noise.
Figure out who are your cheerleaders, your advocates, and who pushes you to be your best vs. who shames you, triggers you, and forces you to pretend instead of standing in who you are.
Click unfollow on social media. Stop hanging out with the friends who do not support your vision for yourself. And create distance, whenever and however possible, between yourself and your family members, coworkers, or others who are mainstays in your life so that you limit the amount of criticism, judgement, and shame you take in.
Replace the the negative noise with positive reinforcement. Find people who understand your vision for yourself or on a similar path. Attend events or find online communities that align with your vision. Follow people and organizations online that will fill your social media feed with inspiration and permission to see the world and your life differently. Read books and watch talks about things that stimulate curiosity and motivation to explore new ways of working, loving, and living.
Change the Noise
In addition to tuning out the negativity around you, be disciplined about changing the noise inside of you.
Start by writing down your deepest desires for you life. Write down the things you think you don’t deserve, the things you think are crazy, the things that scare you. Write down your dreams for your life, without judgement or shame. Give yourself permission to name what you want from your job, relationships, and life.
Each time you hear your inner critic echo the negative noise that surrounds you, embrace it with curiosity.
Often the messages we hear and repeat to ourselves are rooted in a need for safety and a desire to be successful. We believe that if we follow the path laid out for us that we will be happy. So when you hear an internal narrative that is rooted in fear, ask questions empathetically and challenge the internal noise. “What if I don’t fail? What if I use the lessons to grow? What if this path will bring me joy?”
Just as in meditation we redirect to the breath once we find ourselves thinking, simply redirect to empathetic questions and positive self-talk when you find yourself in a self-judgement cycle.
Curate your tribe. Change the noise. Change your life.
There is something deep inside of you trying to tell you something. Hearing that voice is the key to finding the path that is right for you.
The noise around and inside of you creates fear and distraction that drowns out your inner voice. Change the noise around you, redirect the noise inside of you, and explore what you are truly capable of.
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