`’Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”      Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs hit it on the nose but I have to say though, that I would add in another part to this quote or expand upon it. Where he says to not let the noise of others’ opinion drown out your inner voice, I would add in that we need to quiet the incessant, sometimes paralyzing noise of our own inner voice. I believe that negative self-talk and chatter is way more powerful than the opinion of others. One must come to that peaceful place in one self where you can quiet the noise and clear the cluttered mind to truly hear the soft voice of your soul giving you direction. Only then can confidence and preparation meet to build that courage to follow your heart.

I wish I only had to worry about the opinions of others. I can stay away from them! I can’t get away from my thoughts! Well, that is not entirely true. I could choose to numb myself to a point, with drugs and alcohol, to no longer be able to think and hear the chatter. Or I can follow a more holistic approach and choose to learn to quiet my mind through guided meditation, doing mindful yoga with an inspiring teacher, and surrounding myself with positive people who like me strive to quiet their negative chatter. I can be guided by a skilled coach to determine, highlight and celebrate my strengths and reframe my thinking with strategic interventions and tools.

We all have negative thoughts, feelings and emotions that are like a shadow around us. Some days or times of the day the shadow is quite evident and other days we barely see or perceive it. One way I have learnt to take control of that shadow side is to practice the following:

• Be conscious of the emotion inside you — e.g. fear, worry, self-defeating thoughts, doubt…
• Observe it within your mind
• Notice that if you are observing it, it can’t be a part of you
• Watch the emotion disappear
• As soon as you observe an emotion, you are separating yourself from it and thus you release its power on you.

You can use this strategy during regular meditation or when the emotions and feelings make a surprise/unwanted visit. Accepting yourself for who you are does not mean to accept your negative view of yourself. Learn to be kind to yourself , believe in yourself and never hesitate to ask someone to help you get a clearer perspective on how amazing you really are and can be.

The Theme of observing our inner thoughts was the theme of the challenge that I put out to my Wellness in Motion Facebook group this week. I offer you the same challenge; take the next week to really observe your thoughts and take a conscious breath and moment to practice the strategies that I just described above.

For this and many other upcoming mindful and movement challenges please join my Wellness in Motion facebook group today and benefit from the inspiration and support that you will have access to.