A New Kind of Resolution

At the start of the year, many people find themselves setting goals for the year ahead. Often, these goals are healthy and aim to address things on a physical or practical level. This year I want to encourage you to think about setting a surprisingly simple, yet often overlooked goal. Listen to your inner voice.

Our inner voice, or intuition, is with us at all times, acting as our nearly impeccable guide. It sends us signals though our body and often through conscious thoughts. It alerts us when there is danger or someone is not to be trusted. It also tells us when someone is safe and when we are secure.

The problem arises when we ignore our inner voice, overriding it with excuses, rationalizations and justifications.

It is human nature to want to believe in what we see right in front of us, even if it does not align with what we feel inside. In an effort to be polite, keep the peace, not to offend or upend things, most of us have been conditioned to gloss right over our gut feeling. This is especially the case for people pleasers and those who have experienced an unstable childhood. Overriding our intuition can leave us in various precarious situations as we abandon our true selves.

This year I challenge you to slow down and listen to your inner voice. How do you feel in your body around certain people? Does your stomach clinch or do you find yourself desperately seeking that person’s approval? Or, the contrary. Do you feel completely at ease around someone? This doesn’t just relate to people, but also to situations. Does that new job opportunity fill you with a sense of dread or does it excite you? Rather than stuffing these feelings down or talking yourself out of them, as you identify some of these feelings pay attention to them. They are there to act as your guide. As you begin to honor this precious gift that is your innate intuition, your outer life reflects your true inner self.

Avery Neal, PhD is a practicing psychotherapist, international author and speaker. In 2012 she opened Women’s Therapy Clinic, which offers psychiatric and counseling support to women. She specializes in depression and anxiety at all stages in a woman’s life.

Dr. Neal is the author of, If He’s So Great, Why Do I Feel So Bad?: Recognizing and Overcoming Subtle Abuse, which has been translated and published in twelve languages. Her articles and interviews have been published by Oprah.com, American Counseling Association, Counseling Today, BookTrib, Best Self Magazine, Hitched Magazine, Bustle, POPSUGAR and PKWY Magazine, and her courses have been taken by over 18,000 people worldwide. The International Association of HealthCare Professionals nominated her as one of the top psychologists in Houston.