Studies have show that when you change your answer on a multiple-choice exam, you usually find out your original answer was right.
Where does that first voice come from? We have an answer but we hesitate, we doubt ourselves, but our original voice is so often correct! So many times people have said “At first I felt like this wasn’t a good idea (relationship, job, event, answer…) but I went and did it anyway – and it turned out wrong for me.
Why do we have such a hard time listening to that first voice? Because, whether you know it or not, that first voice is YOUR voice. It’s your intuition. It’s your wisdom talking. It’s the things you learned before other peoples’ opinions got in the way.
If you have grown up in a family system that didn’t prioritize the children’s emotional needs then you may have challenges with being in touch with that voice. You may have been conditioned to thinking that honoring that voice is “crazy”, “selfish”, or just plain wrong. If your feelings and your thoughts have never been encouraged, held up, supported … and were meant to be put aside in service of someone else’s, then you will have challenges as an adult to consider what’s best for you. You will likely have challenges making decisions period, but certainly decisions that pertain to you, yourself, and your own well-being.
How to honour that voice? Honouring it is hard because in the moment that we need to do that, we can also feel really anxious. We can feel like we are making a huge mistake listening to ourselves. We then spiral into self-doubt, probably confusion, undermine ourselves… and then take a hit to the self-esteem when whatever it is we are trying to decide on doesn’t work out.
I have heard countless stories of “when I met him/her I had this gut feeling”, and rather than listen to that voice, they embarked on a relationship that didn’t end well. Or “something just didn’t feel right …”; “it never feels good when I go ahead and agree…” . We know this as not honouring that first voice.
It’s not easy listening to your own wisdom. If you have been trained into believing that negating what you need, negating what you need to say, in service of someone else is a good thing, then standing up for yourself and changing that is going to be tough. But I promise you, your anxiety will abate dramatically if you start honouring yourself, your voice, that first voice. It’s the “you” you need to be.