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Pay Attention to Your Inner Wisdom to Live Better


Many clients feel as if they walk around with a dark cloud over their heads, are a magnet to unhealthy people, and are doomed to be unhappy. Nonsense. My take is that they don’t listen to their inner wisdom when it would benefit them. Instead, they listen to the voice that overrides it or to friends who have little wisdom of their own to share.

Here’s what I mean. When talking about whether or not to leave her husband, I asked a client how much time she wished she’d given him to see if he would change. She said six months and I agreed that this would have been long enough. Now, 12 years and two kids down the road, she faces a much harder decision. She said she kept hoping and wishing he’d change, just as she had with three previous abuse boyfriends, and that she listened to her friends who only saw his good points. This is what I mean about overriding your own wisdom.

Another client was pressured during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to go to a party with friends. He’d done no socializing due to fear of catching the virus, and agreed, with misgivings, to go. No surprise that between drinking, dancing and a little canoodling he contracted COVID and was eventually laid off from his job that required manual labor due to fatigue. Had he listened to his inner wisdom, he’d still likely be well and working.

A third example involves yours truly. I hadn’t been on a bicycle in decades but had ridden a great deal as a child and young adult. When a friend suggested I buy a bike so we could ride together, I thought it a grand idea. But when I got out on a busy road during our first foray, the bike didn’t respond to my movements which made me anxious. So, I kept intentionally falling off onto grass to slow myself down. I thought about telling my friend I wanted to stop but soldiered on—and broke my elbow which needed three surgeries to fix. I wish I’d listened to my inner wisdom. Sigh.

Think of a time in the past when you knew something wasn’t right or working and yet you proceeded as if you hadn’t heard that whispered wisdom. You shook it off by telling yourself you were silly or that things would change. How did that situation turn out? 

Now reflect on a current situation that isn’t working well—work, friends, children, parents, romance. Is your inner wisdom trying to tell you something about it? Is there a countering voice in your head trying to override what you intuit is best for you? If you listen to your inner wisdom, you’ll make wiser choices and the cloud over your head will simply float away.