Your inner spirit is the internal navigational system to help you get through life.
I used to dismiss my feelings and suppress them to not hurt other people’s feelings. But in the process, I was minimizing my own needs to make others happy. This was a practice I did far too often. Along the way I lost track of my internal compass and what was truly important to me.
I used to be the person who would rearrange my schedule and plans or not share my true feelings to make others comfortable. I’m not sure why I was so scared of sharing what I truly wanted. Most of the time I ended up feeling slighted, hurt or kicking myself for not speaking up. It was through these moments that I needed to push past my fears of disappointing others to ensure that I took care of my inner peace to live a better life of my own.
As a recovering people pleaser, here are a few things I’ve learned to STOP doing to keep a full and healthy inner spirit.
Ignoring Your Gut Feelings
Your gut feelings, hunches or intuition (whatever you prefer to call it) are just as viable as evidence based intelligence. For the most part we already know the answer to our own questions. The challenge is developing enough courage to trust our inner wisdom.
Your intuition is the still small voice inside that can tell you the truth about a situation in your life. Sometimes it comes as an internal whisper or maybe a loud voice telling you not to do something. It can also confirm that you’re making the right decision.
Here are a few quick ways to tap into your intuition:
- Pay attention to your physical responses when thinking about a certain situation. What’s going on in your body? Is your stomach in knots? Are your muscles tight? Are you frowning? Usually your body will give a sign way before you even form a thought.
- Pay attention to your feelings. When something feels “off” – trust it. Resist the urge to brush it off. Acknowledge and investigate those feelings a little further.
- Be present in the moment. We were given this “6th sense” as a way to navigate life. Sometimes situations aren’t always as they appear and tapping into this internal resource is a way to get you through them.
Saying Yes When You Really Mean No
When you continue to say yes to situations and people’s requests when you really don’t want to, it slowly develops the habit of “what I desire or need is not important.” Understand that your needs and desires matter. Saying “no” is nothing personal against someone else. It’s a simple response to what you’re unable to do at the time. Start practicing saying “no” and walking away from any undesirable situation. This will reinforce your ability to intuitively distinguish when something isn’t right for you and help you respond accordingly.
Not Having Healthy Boundaries
Creating personal boundaries for your life is so important to self-care. Personal boundaries are the invisible lines that define what you allow into your space and how much of it you will permit. This will be different for each person, however what’s clear across the board is that you must have your own “No Trespassing” sign. This helps you determine the type of communication, behavior or emotional and physical interactions that are acceptable in your space.
Plan on people trying to push, manipulate and test those boundaries. It’s up to you to be clear and reaffirm where you stand. You may feel selfish, uncomfortable or guilty at first, but having convictions about your core values is nothing to feel bad about. You owe it to yourself in this life to live not to solely please others and to be unapologetically you. If there are people in your life that do not respect your space when you say no, then decide if this person deserves access to you. People will only do to you what you allow.
In the end, you have the keys to ensuring you take care of your spirit and honor your feelings. In doing so you’ll connect more often to the places, relationships, career and situations you prefer to be involved in. Don’t ignore it, don’t brush it off. Your needs and feelings are valid.