Who are we, really?  What brings us joy? Are we accepting of the woman we are, rather than the one we really want to be? These questions bubble up during transitional times – milestone birthdays, major life events and the holiday season, with its many obligatory “shoulds” vying for our attention.

To live the life we want to lead, it’s vital we identify what we really desire — a simple yet challenging question. We have so many competing roles: partners, mothers, daughters and co-workers. We wear the multicolored hats of doctor, therapist, friend and lover. While we can seamlessly change the hats, shift the roles, do we even notice what happens within us along the way? We’re so busy that we don’t stop and ask ourselves, is this really what I want to be doing?  Does this bring me joy? Am I connecting to my inner core, the protective voice that says, don’t forget about me, I’m important too.

It’s so hard to show up as our true selves because we wear masks to cover up our insecurities, succumb to the shoulds and impress others. We live with the stress of maintaining our family schedules and competing interests. We listen to our loud inner critic — the bully in our life who tells us we’re not good enough

What if we trusted our inner mentor? A personal guide, a North Star that help us navigate the path that honors our spirit; the deep knowing that already understands what brings us joy. 

How can we reconnect to our inner voice?

  1. Pause Take a moment to identify the competing voices, the external and internal vying for time and energy. Getting still helps tone down the loudest voices, making space for the quieter ones to bubble up.
  2. Reflect Pay attention. Try to pinpoint what’s draining you – something we feel we have to, must do or should do. Things we want to do are energizing and bring us joy.
  3. Question Identify what you want to do, accept what you must do and relieve yourself of what you think you “should” do. Ask yourself how is this action, choice or decision moving me closer to the woman I want to be?

Finding joy is not about dismantling responsibilities — it’s about ensuring we find fulfillment, happiness and enjoyment along the way. Don’t let the noise of others’ voices drown out your inner voice. Have the courage to follow your intuition — it already knows how you want to live your life.

Special Offer: Reset readers can download a free exercise to learn how to “Unlock Your Inner Voice” by clicking HERE.

Alison Deutsch and Wendy Van Besien are Certified Professional Coaches who have each experienced significant transitions, multiple times. Utilizing research-proven assessments, tools and practices Wendy and Alison help women overcome the stress, fear, and uncertainty that occur around making big changes.