Eliminate the Noise: Clearing the Way for What You Want

Lone backpacker stretches arms up to the night sky, in which the Milky Way is visibleI truly believe less is more. Themes of minimalism, getting rid of things that don’t provide “joy,” and living more simply are buzzing all around. I’m totally on board. Beyond all the external stuff we don’t need, there often is internal “noise” that holds us back from being our best. Taking the time to evaluate certain habits and ways of thinking can help eliminate blocks and clear the way so we can reach our full potential.

So much of how we operate each day is out of habit, which means it’s unconscious. With an intentional look at what we automatically do, it’s common to discover behaviors that are working against us. It can be helpful to take a step back and take an honest look at our actions from a conscious place. This can help us uncover and clearly see habits that create stagnation or even harm. Looking at ourselves from a bird’s-eye view can reveal choices that are not in the flow of what we want for ourselves.

Here are three areas to investigate in order to identify and clear the noise:

1. Mind

What is your inner voice communicating? Is the tone of your inner voice caring and nurturing or prison guard-like? Is the voice encouraging or critical?

I’m aware of the harsh tone of my inner voice in some moments. It has the potential to be pretty critical, hard, and inflexible. Self-talk—our head space, our ability to be compassionate and warm to ourselves—can strongly impact our lives. Changing the way we talk to ourselves can improve our self-concept, level of self-love, and relationship with the world and the people in it.

Pay attention to your inner voice. Notice what it’s saying. Be aware of the consistent things it murmurs. If you find your inner voice tends to have a more negative tone, put energy toward cultivating a more uplifting, encouraging, and supportive relationship with yourself. Be sweet to yourself; you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness, no matter what.

2. Body

How do you feel in your body? Do you have any areas of chronic pain? Often, the body holds onto pain in order to get our attention. Chronic pain could be a red flag that something needs tending to. Becoming more in tune with the body is an important part of promoting well-being.

Looking at our level of self-care can be a great practice toward becoming aware of areas that need adjustments.

Looking at our level of self-care can be a great practice toward becoming aware of areas that need adjustments. How’s your sleep? How’s your eating? Do you drink enough water? Do you exercise regularly? Do you talk about your body in a positive way? How’s your relationship with alcohol? Are you quick to pop pills when you feel uncomfortable? Do you spend a lot of the day drinking caffeine in order to function? Practice awareness regarding these and similar questions.

3. Soul

Measuring the level of fulfillment within your life can help you discover if there are areas that need to be nurtured or eliminated. How is the quality of your relationships? Do you generally feel heard, understood, and respected? When you walk away from gatherings with friends or an intimate encounter with a romantic partner, do you fill filled up, neutral, or drained? Do you engage in regular activities that feel genuine to who you are, what you’re about, and how you want to live your life?

Living a life that awakens your spirit and makes you feel alive is the whole point of being. Perhaps some introspection in this area can help to highlight parts of your life that need attention.

When we make choices and take actions that mirror what we want and who we are, it allows us to feel more at peace. When these choices and actions match who we authentically are, that crossroad is where we can find contentment, success, and joy. Evaluation is always a helpful tool to utilize in order to make we’re in balance with who we are and what we want.

Notice and eliminate the noise in your life. You may feel lighter and more at ease. If you’re not sure how, contact a licensed therapist.

© Copyright 2016 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Kim Egel, MA, MFT, therapist in Cardiff, California

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Ellis

    Ellis

    October 4th, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    These are awesome tips but I have to wonder how to stop all the self doubt and negative self talk that I hear and feel all the time.
    I know that it is only holding me back from all that I can accomplish but I have a hard tie quieting it at times.

  • kim

    kim

    October 5th, 2016 at 7:13 AM

    I totally understand that it can feel really overwhelming when your negative self talk is so loud. I would encourage you to just chip away at it little by little. With commitment toward noticing how you are talking to yourself and putting energy toward changing your tone and words with yourself, you will notice a shift. Even though it feels “impossible,” it really is possible. You just have to put effort toward it. Good luck!

  • Farrah

    Farrah

    October 4th, 2016 at 1:34 PM

    Too many times we ignore the things that our bodies are trying to tell us. IT might be saying that we need to slow down and take care of ourselves but all we hear is that we have to keep on moving and going forward, paying little attention to what that kind of stress is doing to us overall.

  • kim

    kim

    October 5th, 2016 at 7:15 AM

    Yes, Farrah. I totally agree with you. Are bodies are such a compass for us. We just have to tune in and listen. Thanks for your comment!

  • Elijah

    Elijah

    October 5th, 2016 at 10:05 AM

    I will be the first to admit that I try to ignore what I know to be true at all times usually.’
    Why?
    I guess that in some ways the truth feels pretty uncomfortable to me, and I don’t know how to deal with it even when it is literally smacking me right in the face. I think that my hope is that it will go away if I don’t give it any weight.
    Unfortunately we all know how that ultimately goes.

  • kim

    kim

    October 5th, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    Hey Elijah. It’s actually sounds like you’re pretty aware of what is going on with you. What awesome awareness on your part. I think a lot of people tend to push away stuff or feelings that don’t feel good. It’s very human to do that. I suppose awareness is the first step, so perhaps it’s challenging yourself toward doing something different the next time that feeling pops up for you.

  • Petey

    Petey

    October 6th, 2016 at 6:44 AM

    I like the picture that goes along with this. It really shows how too many times all the lights going on around us keep us from seeing the beauty of nature. But once those distractions are gone, you can see the sky and the stars much more clearly.
    Kind of like when you start tuning out the things that are holding you back and begin instead paying attention to the things that matter. That is when you know that you are making the right choices in life, doing the things that you have to do to get ahead.

  • Phyllis

    Phyllis

    October 7th, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    I have come to believe that being true to yourself can be an excellent way to clear out all that noise! There are just not as many distractions there when you are being honest and true to your real beliefs.

  • kim

    kim

    October 10th, 2016 at 8:37 AM

    Hi Phyllis. I totally agree with you. Thanks for your comment.

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