How Your Body Tells You What You Need — And The Trait You Need In Order To Hear It

People say "listen to your gut" ... but they never tell you how.

young woman with long dark hair sits on the floor confidently Steven Aguilar /

As a coach and energy healer, I've noticed my clients' interest in doing things their way sparks when they're on the cusp of a new life stage such as adulthood, mid-life, or retirement.

This makes sense because these times are natural points of personal reflection and transformation.

However, I've also observed those who have a healthy dose of self-confidence, self-compassion, and curiosity freely embrace all kinds of change and the personal growth that comes with it.


For that matter, most clients who possess these traits are more at ease with transitions and navigate them well. They seem to know how to determine what they need and what is best for them. 

Let's take a closer look at self-confidence and how it contributes to your personal growth and living your life on your own terms.

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Confidence is key to knowing what is right for you

Confidence is the sense that you know what's right and what's true. With respect to personal choices and personal growth, it means knowing what's right and true for you.


And you don't need to check in with others or social media for validation.

Here, the use of the word "sense" is essential because confidence isn't just about what you think. While thoughts are how your head-brain communicates to you, your heart, gut, and body speak through felt senses, i.e., the sense of something within you.

For example, you could experience bodily sensations like warmth or a flutter in your heart. Or, the presence of tension or nausea in your gut. You could also become aware of an alluring and unfolding notion not yet fully formed. These are all true reflections of, and communication from, your unique and authentic self.

Since you're the only one who can discern these important cues, no one can validate them for you. You must trust and have confidence in reading your inner self. In other words, confidence reflects what you know in your core.


And when you get that clarity, your head, heart, and gut brains all tend to agree. That's rock-solid confidence.

RELATED: How Self-Awareness Can Help You Be More Happy & Confident

Listen to yourself to know who you are

For many people knowing what they want doesn't come easy. In fact, neither does turning their attention inward. Emotional and cognitive confusion and a habit of modeling what's trendy or expected challenge authentic expression and decision-making.

Getting in touch with yourself, listening to and being with what's in you gives you a solid sense of what is, what makes sense, what's right for you, and what choice or path you want to take. This inner reflection generates confidence because it resonates with you on all levels: gut, heart, head, and body.


Inner and intuitive impressions offer real wisdom, especially if you constrain your mind-chatter and head-brain analysis from shrouding your perception. The analysis is useful, but not while you're turning inward. Do these actions separately.

Taking all of your intelligence into account will reveal the right move for you. You can be confident of that.

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Release limiting beliefs to build confidence

Limiting beliefs are simply beliefs that block your mental, emotional, physical, or energetic flow. Examples are negative self-judgments that often include words such as I can't, shouldn't, or have to.


These limiting beliefs eat away at your confidence and impede your life from moving forward.

They can feel like rigid truths rather than simply thoughts, which can inhibit your desired shift in focus, perception, or intention. This is why they can challenge or even destroy your confidence.

When it comes to beliefs, what builds confidence is not the suppression of negative or counter-productive thoughts and beliefs, but rather the cultivation of believable and probable alternative realities where you can see your confidence in action.


In sum, a lack of confidence can make you tentative and unclear about your wants and needs. It hampers your capacity to set and maintain healthy boundaries. Furthermore, a lack of confidence can manifest as fear, self-criticism, avoidance, and perfectionism, all of which forestall your life unfolding and moving forward in ways that you desire.

In contrast, building confidence is key to living your life your way. The release of limiting beliefs combined with the ability to listen and know yourself are critical for self-confidence. In this way, building your confidence transforms challenges and change into rewarding opportunities for personal growth.

RELATED: 11 Limiting Beliefs That Seriously Hold You Back In Life

Patricia Bonnard, Ph.D., ACC is a certified International Coaching Federation (ICF) leadership coach, certified Martha Beck life coach, and Master/Instructor Energy Healer.