I was messaging another coach today, someone who once came to me as a client for a reality check. As I sent a few words of encouragement, I noticed a familiar and common phenomenon: the words I said to him were completely applicable to my own mindset in the moment. I told him what I needed to hear, in this case, “Lead with love, and they’ll find you. Let go of that other energy–set a kind but firm boundary, and let your natural light shine.”

I’m pretty sure this phenomenon is not limited to coaches.

What are you saying to others, in the form of inspiration or advice? How is it applicable to you? Our inner wisdom tends to seek ways to get our attention, sometimes subtly. There’s a benefit to listening in on our own side of the conversation.

I wonder how different the world would be if we truly heard ourselves? One of the most fascinating dynamics of coaching happens when I repeat a client’s words back to them and they say, “Oh! I never heard myself say that!”

We’re not always fully aware of what actually drops from our lips.

I’m also realizing as I write this that I’ve facilitated webinars on mindful listening, but they were focused on listening to others. Clearly there’s some important listening to be done internally before we can be fully effective at hearing others. I’ve been immersed in studying the Internal Family Systems model, which focuses attention on what my internal voices are saying. I’m learning more about how I communicate with myself, and how that affects my interactions with the rest of the world.

When the internal voices become my external words, there’s something valuable for me to learn. Sometimes they’re nuggets of easily recognizable wisdom, and sometimes they’re a bid for attention from a part of me that’s not being heard. And more likely, both.

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