What is Your Inner Voice
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Learn about intrapersonal communication and how to hear your inner voice. Learn the art of stillness and introspection. By improving our intrapersonal skills, we will be more equipped to know what makes us happy and what dreams/goals/aspirations we have in life.

How many times have you found yourself in a situation that you thought you needed to be in, but where you just felt miserable? This could a relationship, a job, or a city that just wasn’t doing it for you.

Enter intrapersonal communications. You know. That little voice inside your head. The one that tells you to do this or that. Or tells you what to say and what not to say.

You’re nodding right now. Ok good.

Believe it or not, that voice is trying desperately to be heard. And in today’s world, we hear it less and less.

That’s a problem. Because it’s our north star, our beacon of light pointing us in the direction of our happiness, health, and wellbeing. It’s so worth training yourself to listen to that voice.

Today I’m sharing a helpful approach to help you dial up the volume of that little voice and flex your intrapersonal communication skills.

“You may be sure that you are at peace with yourself when no noise reaches you, when no word shakes you out of yourself.” — Seneca

So back to that little voice. So many of us have it shut out. Sometimes we do this intentionally. Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re doing it.

Want to check if you can hear that voice?

Here are 2 questions to ask yourself:

  1. What makes you happy?
  2. What do you dream of?

Let’s unpack these. 

With the first one, if you had to think about what makes you happy, how would you answer? Would you say “I dunno?” Would you come up with a response expected of you? Meaning, what society contends should make you happy? You know, white picket fence and all that jazz. Not like there’s anything wrong with the white picket fence (I happen to love em), but is it what makes YOU happy?

With the second question, I want you to think about your dreams, aspirations, and goals.

What keeps you motivated, excited, and hungry? 

If your answer is I have no idea, that’s ok. But it could be indicative of something bigger that we’ll need to sift through.

Use these questions to see how powerful your inner voice is. It’s a good benchmark to start with.

So, if you have absolutely no clue for either of these questions or if your responses sound a bit cliché, then guess what’s going to help you figure it all out. 

Your inner voice. 

This is where intrapersonal communication comes in.

Let’s look at an approach you can use to foster your intrapersonal communication skills:

Carve out time to introspect

If you have no time to just be with your thoughts, then of course you won’t know what makes you happy or what dreams you have.

In our fast-paced modern world we’re in constant motion. There’s very little alone time. Even when we’re physically alone, we’re not really. 

I mean, think about it. If you’re sitting at a table waiting for your friend, or waiting for the bus, what are you doing? I’ll wager a guess you’re scrolling through email, or the news, or checking out your favorite YouTube channel (wink wink).

And don’t get me wrong, I’m as guilty of this as the next person.

But it is actually kind of nuts. Can you recall a time when you were truly alone with your thoughts, without your phone, or any other screen, or even a book or magazine? And no, sleeping doesn’t count! I’m talking about a time where you deliberately chose to just sit and ponder.

If you can, congratulations, because you’re in the very small minority. 

If you can’t, give it a shot after this video, just for 60 seconds. You’ll discover that it’s surprisingly difficult.

The reason it's hard is because, in today’s world, our minds are trained for constant stimulation. So that internal voice muscle never gets used, and it atrophies. The same way your leg or arm loses its strength when it’s in a cast. Or when you forget to go to the gym for a week. Or two. Or three.

This is why you have to actively carve out time to listen to it. 

The first step is to cut out any distractions.

Put your phone on airplane mode. Make sure there are no TVs in your line of vision or reading material within arm’s reach.

You don’t have to be in a room by yourself though. You can be in a restaurant, on a train, or even in the office. Just make sure there’s nothing that will interfere with your concentration.

Keep it positive

So now that you’ve sat yourself down and disconnected from the outer world for just a little bit.

What happens?

You start getting thoughts. 

Now these thoughts might be little A.N.T.S.

A.N.T.S are automatic negative thoughts.

When we’re anxious or future-tripping (worrying about the future) it’s not uncommon to hear a nasty, discouraging, and unkind voice.

You’re not this enough or that enough… blah blah blah.

Don’t listen to it. That’s the negative self-talk that’s trying to steal our happiness and inner peace.

Transform that negative thought into a positive one. 

Keep the self-talk as positive as you can. 

If it helps, add “yet” to the end of the sentence. 

I’m not fluent in Italian, yet. But I will be.

I don’t have a group of close friends yet, but I’m working on it.

I haven’t gotten promoted yet, but it’s within my grasp. 

So you see, I’m not telling you to suppress the A.N.T.S I’m telling you to flip them and make them positive. This comes with practice, so don’t be hard on yourself.

Labeling the emotion

The next thing you want to do is label the emotion.

This will force you to concretize the sensation. 

This is especially important to do for negative emotions. It decreases the magnitude of the emotion and its power over you. 

Are you feeling insecure? Worried? Scared? Jealous? Confused? Tired? Hungry? What is it you are feeling?

Or maybe you’re feeling excited? Energized? Motivated?

As soon as a thought enters your mind, give it a label, and then let it pass through to make room for the next one.

Listen, label, let it go. See how many you can do. Count your reps. Just like doing pushups.

The more you do, the better at it you’ll get.

And that brings me to my last point.

Asking Why?

Once you’ve spent some time listening to your thoughts, you can take it one step further.

Begin to ask why you’re having those thoughts. Go one by one. Explore it, appreciate how it makes you feel, and seek out its origin.

Asking why will help you understand in what context the thought and emotion is expressed.

Once you figure out what situations bring out certain thoughts in you, you will have much more control over what you can do to mitigate the effects of the emotions they evoke. 

For example, let’s say you are feeling frustrated with your roommate. Begin your inquiry. Why are you frustrated? Because they left their dishes in the sink. Why did that make you angry? Because you have a big presentation coming up and don’t have time to clean up after them. Okay, so maybe you’re actually just stressed about the upcoming presentation. And now that you think about it, your roommate recently vacuumed your room for you, which was nice. Maybe you'll just do the dishes and then your roommate can help you prepare for the presentation this evening?

Wow, okay, in just 30 seconds of communicating with yourself, you’ve gone from being angry to developing a strategy that strengthens your friendship and reduces your feelings of stress.

It’s amazing all that we learn about ourselves when we invest the time.


If something is important to you, you make the time. What could be more important than your mental wellbeing?

It all starts with these four steps to developing your intrapersonal communication skills:

  • Carve out time in your busy life to introspect and reflect inwards
  • Keep the self-talk positive (talk yourself up, not down). You are enough.
  • Label your thoughts and emotions
  • Ask yourself “why” and begin that important conversation with yourself

Again, this can only happen when you unplug for a bit and quiet the noise. 

Otherwise, you’re going to be stuck in that job that doesn’t challenge you, or that relationship that doesn’t make you happy.

And you might be thinking, well, if that were the case I would know.

Not necessarily. Not if you can’t quiet the noise. The noise of our smartphones. Of social media. Of societal expectations. The things you’re told you should be doing but don’t want to… and deep down you know you don’t need to be doing.

Let me tell you. It doesn’t have to be that way. 

Make time to prioritize your happiness and mental wellness by taking the first steps in allowing your inner voice to be listened to.

Things like exercising, meditation, saunas, being in nature, where it’s just you and no YouTube, social media, podcasts. Just that little bit of quiet time can really help you build your intrapersonal communication muscles. 

And guess what will happen when you do?

You will know what makes you happy. You’ll know what dreams you have. 

And they’ll be yours.

You get to decide. You get to live it.

So I hope that you will do yourself a favor and honor your inner voice.

That’s all from me today Explearners.        

Be sure to check out the other blog articles for more social skills strategies.

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I’ll see you in my next lesson! 😊

Happy Explearning!

About the Author and the Explearning Academy:

Mary Daphne is an expert in communication, executive interpersonal skills, and personal development. She is the founder of the Explearning Academy, a platform dedicated to helping individuals enhance their social fluency, boost their careers, and elevate their social game. Through immersive group coaching programs like the Executive Communication Lab and self-guided journeys, participants gain the social superpowers and career catapults they've been searching for. If you're ready to take your negotiation skills to the next level and connect with like-minded individuals, visit academy.explearning.co and explore the various plans available. Join the Explearning Academy community and unlock your full potential.

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