5 Ways to Pay Better Attention to Your Own Life

5 Ways to Pay Better Attention to Your Own Life

How well do you listen to your life?

This is often the question I use when I’m working with new clients or mentoring new coaches.

When clients and new coaches come to work with me, something is bothering them, they are navigating a transition, some area of their work is suffering, things seem out of sync, and they are challenged by figuring how what to do next or how to remedy what’s  going on.

The conditioned response to think back to other problems and obstacles they’ve overcome in the past and apply the same strategies or techniques. This seems logical, right?

Full determination and the desire to stay the course is applied – full throttle – but is often met with lackluster results and disappointment.

This is when self-doubt shows up ready to take up residence.

Feelings of failure and inadequacy show up which can leave the most tenacious, dedicated, hardworking, and smart person trapped in mental quicksand. This mental quicksand is deep and dark – which can quickly consume and drown out a person’s resilience, motivation, and passion.

When I listen to people describe these learning curves, uphill battles, and constant roadblocks, I’m silent, present, focused, and taking in what they’re sharing with me. Much of what they describe comes from external sources. Their word choice clearly outlines their needs to want control, to obtain approval, press the easy button, and secure a roadmap that is 100% certain to get them to what they want.

This is how I know they have not been listening to their lives.

I’ve been there.

For a long time I used my listening skills for everyone else and did not put that full attention on myself. To be an active listener for myself would mean being selfish, cut-off, and indulgent. Because of various messages and models of why focusing on myself was a bad thing, I internalized I wasn’t worthy of hearing my life’s nudges. I did not pause and listen intently because I feared it would not be productive or beneficial to do this. I thought I would become overly consumed with myself and miss out on external this and that.

That’s when I wasn’t listening to my life.

Now, I have a better understanding of what it means to be present and ready to hear life’s whispers and nudges. I appreciate having this clarity because it keeps graspy feelings and behaviors from taking charge.

As you go through your minutes, hours, days, months, and years – keep your ears and mind open to receive these important messages – these life nudges.

Use these 6 tips to help you listen to your life:

1.  Never doubt that inner voice that is gentle and nurturing. It wants the best for you in all things.

2.  Untangle yourself from questioning your worth. Your life is a gift that is full of opportunities to shine, even when you are not on your A game.

3.  Decide to live in the present. It is normal and appropriate to plan and think about future, but the good juicy living is happening right now.

4.  Give yourself a break. Most times we are doing too much and life nudge’s get caught in the noise of overdoing.

5.  Excuse anything from your life that is not working for you. Life’s nudges always sound the alarm when we are not taking good care of ourselves.

6.  What life nudges have you been ignoring or putting off? What can you do to change that today?

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Kanesha Baynard
Kanesha Baynard is a certified life coach, educator, facilitator, blogger, and crafter. Kanesha trained directly with the masterful Martha Beck, monthly columnist for O, Oprah’s Magazine.