Do you ever wonder how your life might have been different if, in that one moment in time, you had listened to your heart?
It’s not easy.
We live in a society where the main role model is pretty straightforward. Get a job, work hard, get your benefits and retire. Anytime you even think of stepping off this predetermined path, your friends, family, coworkers, and your inner critic (note, not the inner tug) will remind you that following your heart is a foolish idea.
But wait … how would they know that following your heart is silly if they’ve never actually tried to follow their inner guide?
There was a turning point in my life when I subconsciously understood that I would have to play by the rules to be loved and accepted. I was 16 when I shut down and stopped expressing my true self. I started behaving in ways that were expected of me because I feared rejection if I didn’t.
Ten years later, I was a ball of stress and anxiety. I often pushed myself through uncomfortable situations, said yes when I wanted to say no and ignored the inner tug.
This inner tug is an inner voice, a feeling, a gut instinct, your inner child. It’s also known as following your heart or intuition. This tug usually wants to guide you towards a better life but it also requires you to make a difficult decision.
The decision is difficult because it often feels crazy or unjustified.
It took me many small but powerful incidents to understand the importance of following my inner tug.
But the true test occurred in my professional life.
In 2009, my inner tug told me to leave the teaching profession; unfortunately, the fear of the unknown influenced me to continue teaching for another year. It was one of my worst decisions. It was so bad that it basically left a physical imprint that now reminds me of what happens when I don’t follow my heart. I kid you not! So in 2013, when my inner tug said no – I decided to listen. I had nothing to lose. I had already experienced the negative consequences of my stubborn mind.
What could be worse than a life of regrets?
After making the decision to listen to my heart and take a huge risk, my life became an amazing adventure filled with fear, excitement and new experiences to discover at every corner.
How do you define a life that is true to you and not one that others expect of you?
How do you start following your heart?
If you feel like you’re putting up an act when facing the world, work, friends etc. you’re not alone. But this may be one of the reasons why you feel dissatisfied in your career and life …
When you start paying attention to your inner guide, you also create the space to discover your dream job.
Listening to your inner guide helps you cultivate real intimacy with yourself. You will start having stronger opinions, appreciate yourself a lot more and gain more clarity.
But, like I said, following your heart is not easy. It’s a slow process, especially if you’ve been ignoring your inner guide for years.
But, here’s a list of tips to get you started …
PAY ATTENTION. How often do you justify yourself with the words should, have to and can’t? Take ownership of your decisions by replacing these words with could, want to and I choose not to
KEEP IT SIMPLE. Start by listening to your heart for simple everyday choices. Cultivate this practice in those moments of indecision such as choosing what to wear in the morning or deciding what to eat for lunch.
FACE FEAR. Notice when it’s f.e.a.r. (false evidence appearing real) that guides your decision making. If you’re letting your imagination run the show; find ways to overcome that type of fear.
JOURNAL. Write down the moments when you listen to your inner guide. What was the outcome? You will start to notice that it always guides you to make the right decision.
BE PATIENT. You know the saying, “everything happens for a reason?” Well, the reason isn’t always immediately obvious. The “right decision” might take some time to manifest.
Do you want to start listening to your heart confidently?
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This is an updated version of the blog published on April 1st, 2017