DeJesus helps students explore their inner voice

By Jennifer Cannon
November 2, 2012

Do you hear voices inside your head? No, this does not mean you should be locked up in a padded room. These voices are actually the guiding force in your life.

You may not realize it, but according to academic counselor Maritza DeJesus, we are all influenced by three major voices that determine our mood and outlook on life. These are your inner defender, inner critic and inner guide.

At the Empowerment Workshop hosted by the Center for Teaching and Learning, students learned that the reason for our attitudes in life is due to which of these voices we decide to listen to. We subconsciously decide to be either defensive, down on ourselves or hopeful. Students also explored the Wise Choice Model and learned how to evaluate choices and pick the best one.

Sometimes when you fail a test, your automatic inner response is to blame something else by saying “The teacher never taught us that” or “The material is too hard.” This is your inner defender sticking up for your subconscious by blaming any other possible reason than yourself. Everyone has moments where this voice is most prominent.

Other times, you instinctively judge yourself and blame everything on you by saying “I’m just not smart enough,” or “I’m too clumsy.” You criticize inwardly instead of projecting it out like the defender. DeJesus compared this voice to Eeyore, because it always takes the blame even if the situation is not in their control.

The voice that you hear that pushes you to work through a rough patch or fight past difficulties is your inner guide. It helps you to seek the best of any situation and is the voice that should be strongest, but for many it’s as quiet as a mouse. An example was a father to child relationship, offering the solution to life’s problems. “I learned that you should always follow your inner guide because that’s the one that will help you succeed the most,” freshman Melissa Grisafi said.

Maritza DeJesus and her colleagues began running workshops through the CTL about five years ago and they hold about three per semester. Anyone is welcome but many students receive credit for certain classes such as ECG 100, College Success and Leadstrong. “The purpose of these workshops is to give you something you won’t learn in a classroom,” DeJesus said. “Hopefully you take back something that you can use not only as a student, but in your everyday life.”

Students received worksheets to practice what they learned about their inner voices and also how to make wise choices. By evaluating all possible outcomes, you are more likely narrow down to the one best decision.

By students attending this workshop, they learned that they can change their mood or general attitude by what voice they decide to listen to. However, if the voices in your head start telling you to run around campus, you may have a problem.

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Jennifer Cannon

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