Sometimes Listening to Other People is Better Than Listening to YourselfJan 20, 2022
Let’s talk about intuition.
In the self-development space, there’s a big focus on trusting yourself — specifically, your intuition.
I’ll be the first to say that if you have a strong gut feeling about something, you should absolutely listen to what your brain and heart are telling you.
But I also want to share what might be an unpopular opinion… that sometimes, listening to other people can be just as important as listening to yourself.
The reason why is simple: it isn't always easy to know what our intuition is saying.
Let's face it, we have so many things going on internally and sometimes true intuition can be crowded out by harmful patterns of thought, cognitive distortions, and internal beliefs based in shame, fear, or distrust. In these moments, someone else's outlook can guide us back to greater truth, reason, and (as cheesy as it may sound) happiness.
So let's dive in.
Here are 3 reasons why listening to other people can be just as important as listening to yourself.
1. Other people can help us sift through negative self-beliefs
You may be experiencing a negative feeling about yourself that isn’t true (ie, "Why can't I do anything right?!", "I always mess things up") — and because it’s about you, it’s difficult to truly separate those feelings from the objective truth. Listening to other people offers us an outside perspective that is usually more emotionally detached from the situation at hand. Others who care about us can remind us of the strengths and previous successes we've had that may be momentarily clouded by stress or fear.
2. Other people have lived experiences different from our own
Don't underestimate the power of learning from the mistakes and experiences of others. While the lessons others have learned don't always apply to our own situation, listening to the advice of others (while taking everything with a grain of salt) can prevent us from making the same mistakes. Learning to leverage the hard-earned wisdom of those around us can save us a lot of time and heartache in the long run.
3. Other people help us decipher and fine tune our own intuition
This one is my favorite! As I mentioned above, intuition is an incredible instrument... when we understand its messages. But the reality is that it's not always easy to make sense of what our intuition is telling us! If you’ve ever had a “bad feeling” about something or somebody but been unable to pinpoint the cause of it (or what action to take as a result), that would be an example of not being fully able to decipher the unique language of your intuition.
So, how do we figure out what our intuition is really telling us? By getting that outside perspective from other people (in the form of advice and open dialogue) and figuring out what resonates with you based on what they are saying. In my experience, it's often easier to identify whether or not something aligns with my intuition than it is to interpret any intuitive signals with no other context or input.
Remember, your intuition is a pivotal piece of the puzzle when it comes to trusting yourself. YOU are the person who has to live with your choices, so you need to make the decisions that are right for you regardless of what others may believe. But when you know the right strategies, you can use other people's support and advice to better understand the language of your OWN intuition, and make choices that lead you in the direction of greater fulfillment and well-being.