How to Listen to the Still Small Voice

Here are 7 steps to listening the still small voice and applying it to your life. You’d be amazed at what you know – or what you COULD know – if you listen…

I’m talking about listening to the still small voice in the context of relationships, but my tips apply to any aspect of life. How can you know what to do about a relationship, job, situation, or person? Should you keep investing your time and energy, or should you start thinking about your future in a different way? Learning how to listen to the still small voice will help you make these huge decisions in life.

This is the fourth post in a Four-Article series. My overall theme was about setting aside the things that are behind us, and making room for fresh new growth. My first post was How to Forget Someone – A Lesson in Deadheading (a gardening theme, which is perfect for Blossom). Next was learning exactly What “Letting Go of Someone You Love” Means – because often we need to let go of the past before we can make room for new growth. The third post in this series was How to Stop Obsessing About What Happened. Today is learning how to listen to the still small voice so you know what step to take next.

7 Ways to Listen to the Still Small Voice

For me, the still small voice is God. For you, the still small voice might be your intuition or inner voice. Maybe it’s a combination of both! Regardless of what you call your “still small voice” – or where it originates from – there are specific things you can do to hear it better.

What do you already believe about the still small voice? Take this moment and listen. What is your still small voice telling you about itself, about your life, about what to do next? Tell me – I welcome your big and little thoughts in the comments section below.

In a nutshell, here’s how to listen to the still small voice:

  1. Stop asking for advice
  2. Make space in your head
  3. Allow the still small voice to speak in various ways
  4. Develop a relationship with the Source
  5. Take time
  6. Remember
  7. Trust the still small voice

Learning how to listen to the still small voice makes it easier to know how to make a decision that will change your life…but it doesn’t mean that following through with that decision will be easy!

Easy is for wimps. We’re strong, tough, and smart.

1. Stop asking for advice

My friend Michelle stayed in an abusive marriage for 15 years. She’s a smart woman, pretty, and fun to be around. She and her husband didn’t have kids for the first 13 years of her marriage. She knew her husband was an angry, controlling, manipulative man…but she couldn’t walk away from her marriage.

Michelle said she stayed with this man for 14 years longer than she should have because she didn’t listen to the still small voice in her head. Instead, she asked people for advice. They were well-intentioned and loving family and friends, but they honestly didn’t know what was best for Michelle. Only Michelle knew what was best for her life! And even though she knew how to listen to the still small voice, she ignored it.

I’ve always believed people don’t need advice…they need help listening to the still small voice in their head. That’s why I don’t give advice to readers, and why I’m on a mission to help people listen to their inner voices.

Are you dealing with abuse? Read 5 Stages of Leaving an Abusive Relationship.

2. Make space in your head

Can you hear yourself think?

I’m an introvert, and I’m highly sensitive. I find that external noise, people, and even music can easily distract me from what I’m thinking and feeling. I can’t hear myself think when I’m around people too much…and I definitely can’t hear the still small voice unless I take time alone.

When was the last time you were quiet? No smart phone, TV, internet, radio, people…just you. The first step to learning how to listen to the still small voice is quietening everything else around you.

3. Listen to the still small voice speak in various ways

I don’t often hear specific words in my head, but my friend Daria does. She literally hears a voice telling her things like “You are deeply loved” and “I am always here with you.” She believes it’s God’s voice, and she feels comforted, loved, and guided by it.

When you’re listening to the still small voice, allow yourself to open up and hear it in different ways. If you’re a Christian, you may find God’s voice in Scripture, church sermons, podcasts (I’m particularly fond of Joyce Meyers), or spiritual apps (I read Nicky Gumbel’s Bible in One Year message every day). If you’re not a Believer, you may get guidance from nature, musics, meditation, or wise mentors.

4. Develop a relationship with the Source

Ah, the most important tip on how to hear the still small voice: develop a relationship with the source! If the source of the still small voice in your life is God, then you need to learn how He speaks to you. If your source is yourself, then you need to have a strong and healthy relationship with yourself.

You can’t develop a relationship with the source unless you follow the first three tips and the last three tips for listening to the still small voice…

5. Take time

It takes time to makes space in your head, allow the still small voice to speak to or guide you, and develop a relationship with Him (or yourself). Sometimes I think this is why people ask me for relationship advice: it seems easier and faster to just ask what you should do about a relationship or problem, instead of taking time and energy to listen to the still small voice and follow its advice.

If you’ve given up on hearing the still small voice, read 10 Signs of Good Relationship Advice.

6. Remember

How has the still small voice spoken or guided you in the past? I often can’t pinpoint a specific phrase or circumstance that told me what to do or how to solve a problem. Usually, something just falls into my head, and I have a strong feeling that this is the right thing to do. Renaming my Blossom blogs is a perfect example! The name just came to me, I loved it, and I ran with it.

Remembering how you listened to the still small voice in the past will help you hear it now. Remembering will also help you develop a relationship with the source of the voice.

7. Trust the still small voice

Ah, here comes the hard part: hearing the still small voice’s nudges and actually taking a step forward. Trusting the voice and making a decision can be difficult and scary! What if you’re wrong? What if you make a mistake, or fail, or regret listening? What if you mess everything up?

Still Small Voice

How to Listen to the Still Small Voice

The thing is, trying and failing is far better, smarter, and more admirable than not taking any action at all. Further, if you’re serious about listening to the still small voice and developing a relationship with the source (which is the best way to hear it!), then you need to trust it. And that comes with hearing it and doing what it says.

Your still small voice only wants what’s best for you. The still small voice won’t tell you to do something destructive, unhealthy, or wrong. You will never go wrong if the source of the still small voice is God!

Questions for you

  • Who is the still small voice for you, and have you listened to it in the past?
  • What is the problem or decision you’re struggling with right now?
  • How will listening to the still small voice change your life?

While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience of learning how to listen to the “still small voice.” Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your thoughts and feelings.

On Blossom this week

Letting go of the past and making room for fresh growth, fresh life, fresh Blossoms was my focus this week. Here’s the lineup:


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3 thoughts on “How to Listen to the Still Small Voice”

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about listening to the still small voice! Nicki, I’m so proud of you for moving on and breaking free from the relationship that was holding you back. Yes, God DOES want us to be happy — and He wants us to be free from pain, abusive relationships, and bruises on our body and soul.

    Stay connected to the still small voice of God, and you will experience joy and peace that surpasses all understanding.

  2. I recall the 5th time I sat on the toilet (bathroom to get away from him_ ..numbed from alcohol and even more numbed from his rages….I would have these moments of clarity (after drinking a bunch – very strange) sit there and shake my head and saying quietly to myself “that’s it! no more”. All the while looking at the scuff mark where he had kicked in that door one time.

    Now he is in jail. It is a relief to me. I will no longer bail him out and write letters of woe; please don’t prosecute…he just needs help – to the judge. He has had domestic abuse classes, anger management and he still can’t control himself. This time I’m listening to the detective that said “just let the legal process work”. God does want us to be happy. There is something inherently evil in a person that hurts another and whom seems to feel the rules just don’t apply to them. I’m broke, but this is temporary….I’m very happy to be getting on with my life.

  3. God is my still voice and I have listened to him in the past and want to continue, because I’m having a lot of financial difficulties, been in a dead end relationship for a year now, and this is not how I want my life to go, so I’m trying to stay focused and stop look and listen to God because I believe he wants me to be happy now despite all the problems I have been going through and I want to be happy as well.