Hello - it is so awesome to have you here. For the first audio coaching I want to explore the topic of navigating external and internal noise in your creative work and life.
This audio coaching will hopefully be helpful for you right now if you’re struggling with feeling overwhelmed by all of the advice, ideas, noises, and expectations around you. Maybe you’re feeling disconnected from your own core desires, goals, and intentions, and maybe you’re struggling to give yourself permission to focus on what truly matters to you most. This audio coaching is here to hopefully support you to listen to yourself and move forward in a way that works best for you.
So first up, let’s explore what external noise looks and sounds like, and how it’s different to internal noise too.
External noise is the ideas, suggestions, advice, and expectation of others. It can come in the form of direct noise - so from family members, friends, mentors, and peers. It’s shared directly with you and in many ways can have the biggest effect on your mindset. So for example, if a family member or friend tells you they don’t think your career path is very stable, or if a mentor or peer tells you that you’re charging too much or too little. Indirect noise can come in the form of podcasts, blog posts, TED Talks, books, social media - anything where you’re consuming the thoughts, ideas, opinions, and advice of others.
The thing about external noise is that it can be very useful to us along the way - I’m so grateful for all the books and articles I’ve read, podcasts I’ve listened to, and advice and feedback from friends, family, and creative peers along the way. But there’s a fine line between external noise encouraging us to do our best work and dive deeper into our own truth and experience, and external noise that overwhelms us, clouds our ability to listen to ourselves, and disconnects us from our truth along the way.
Internal noise, on the other hand comes from ourselves. It’s our inner monologue, our core desires, our inspiration, our ideas, and inner voice that guides us along the way. It’s rooted in our core values and core desires, and listening to it and letting it guide us is how we make things happen on our own terms as we go. Our internal noise takes all the things we’ve learned from all those podcasts, articles, books, friends, mentors, and peers, and deciphers it and makes it work in a way that works best for us.
Now, our internal noise does still come with it’s own issues. At times, our internal noise can also be our biggest enemy - I’m talking negative self-talk, negative mindsets, and stories we tell ourselves that hold us back along the way. That’s why it’s sometimes easier to let external noise just tell us what to do - because internally we have to constantly fight against our fears and anxieties. But if we only listen to external noise, we’ll build a creative life that doesn’t feel true to us as it will be built on the ideas, expectations, and visions of others and not our own.
If this is resonating with you, here’s my advice for you today:
First up, only make space for the external noise that can truly serve you along the way.
And how do you do this? By interacting fully with everything you’re consuming, and asking yourself questions every step of the way. These questions can include:
- Does this external noise align with my own core values and intentions?
- Does this external noise come from a supportive place or a negative place?
- Does the person sharing this external noise have experience, opinions, or enough knowledge of my needs to be sharing something that is actually useful to me?
- How does this external noise make me feel? Encouraged, clarified, and focused? Or anxious, overwhelmed, and negative?
Over time, you’ll know whose noise serves you best, whether it’s certain writers and thought leaders, or friends, family members, or mentors. Be brave enough to drown out the noise that isn’t here to serve you, and take the noise that can and make it work for you along the way.
Second, stay connected to your internal noise.
The main ways I recommend doing this are through regular journalling, by having clear boundaries when it comes to not consuming noise that cannot serve you, and also by having a mastermind partner or group, or a mentor, coach, or therapist, who can hold space for you to listen to yourself along the way.
And third, create and cultivate a positive, productive, and proactive environment for yourself.
This is how you create boundaries against the negative internal noise you may face at times - by cultivating a positive environment for yourself. Whether you do this through meditation, mindfulness, therapy, coaching, exercise, regular journalling, or a mix of all the above and anything else that supports you along the way, do what works best for you when it comes to cultivating an environment where the noise that surrounds your work and your life is positive, productive, and purposeful for you every step of the way.
And there we have it, the first audio coaching of A Wholehearted 2017. To wrap up I have three questions for you:
- What external noise am I listening to right now that isn’t actually serving me along the way?
- What internal noise am I not listening to right now that will serve me along the way?
- Moving forward, how can I make space for the noise that is here to serve me and ignore the rest?
The next audio coaching is all about what to when your wholehearted year feels too hard along the way...