We are constantly bombarded with information.
At nearly all hours of the day, we receive an endless supply of knowledge from articles, blog posts, Twitter feeds, Facebook, books, and television.
Access to such a wealth of information can be wonderful—we learn so much about the world and other cultures, as well as our own. We can have friends across the globe. We learn new languages, watch videos that teach us new skills, and listen to lectures from world class teachers.
Unfortunately this information can also confuse us through messages of who we should or shouldn’t be…what we should do with our money, our lives, our time. It teaches us what to value and how to measure success.
How much information is too much?
What happens to your own voice when it is being drowned out by so many others from the media? It’s easy to become overwhelmed with opinions and messages from others to the point that our own ideas and ability to think critically is threatened.
When we aren’t clear about what we believe then we are at risk of letting others fill in the space with their own agenda. And that’s when you run the risk of getting swept up in a wave of others’ ideas and opinions.
If it’s important to you that you stay connected to your own voice, it requires practices to clear out the information clutter.
Here are four ways to find your voice again amidst the sea of cultural noise:
1. Find time throughout the day to reflect.
When you set aside time to sit quietly and contemplate where your life is heading and whether that matches what your inner voice is telling you, you develop more self-trust and intuition.
Rather than jumping on Facebook and other social media outlets impulsively, try to give yourself space to listen to yourself. Spend the first hour after you come home from work sitting quietly, connecting to nature, journaling, and reflecting.
If we don’t give ourselves time to reflect on what is meaningful to us, and whether or not we are becoming the person we want to be, we miss out on our lives. Simply existing and reflecting is a powerful tool.
2. Share with loved ones.
Simplicity is all about creating more space for connection—particularly with our community. In our efforts to reclaim and listen to our own voice, it is helpful to share this with others.
Tell your friends and family about the challenges you’re facing. Ask for their counsel. As you find ways to simplify your life—whether this means downsizing or saying “no” to too many obligations—turning to others can open your mind to new ideas.
3. Be mindful of how much and what you are consuming.
Notice how much time you spend checking Facebook and Instagram. How much time do you spend comparing yourself to others rather than focusing on how much you already have?
In order to disrupt the feedback loop of, “I’m not enough,” “I don’t have enough,” “I wish I was someone else with someone else’s life,” pay close attention to what information you are choosing to consume.
When we are mindful of the information that we take in, we create more opportunity to discern where another’s voice stops and ours begins.
4. You are always free to change your mind!
By allowing ourselves to change our mind, we open ourselves to new ideas, insight, and possibilities!
The beauty of simplifying your media consumption is that you free up space and time for new dreams to arrive. As you become more conscious around your media and information consumption, you will continue to make choices in your life that align more closely with your own values, rather than someone else’s.