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How to Follow Your Heart (Even When Everyone Says You’re Making a Mistake)

by Ashley on August 21, 2013 · 6 comments

How to follow your heart

During my sophomore year of college, I decided to major in Child and Family Studies. With dreams of becoming a Child Life Specialist and working with children and their families in hospitals, it seemed like the perfect major for me.

However, when I shared the news with my family they were unsure of my plans and skeptical if this was the right path for me.

“I think you’d be much happier pursing business or a field with more career security,” they said.

It happened again when I accepted my first job offer out of graduate school. I had decided to pursue counseling and was offered a job at a local non-profit organization. I was super excited about the position and knew this was the best step moving forward.

“Are you sure this is what you want? It might be better if you went into private practice. It would be more financially stable.”

Three years later, as I launched Your Super Awesome LIfe and quit my non-profit job, those voices came out again.

“You spent years earning this degree and poured thousands of dollars into this. How can you walk away now? It’s not a smart decision!”

But I did it anyway.

In each of these situations, I chose to follow my heart, despite what I was hearing from others. I listened to their concerns, but in the end, I did what was best for me. Even if it meant letting someone else down, hurting feelings, or bruising a relationship.

That’s what makes listening to your intuition so difficult, right?

We want to make other people happy because we crave their love and attention. We want to be responsible. We want to do what’s “right” by society’s definitions.

And if we’re chasing our big dreams and going off the straight and narrow path that others have created for us, we’re risking rejection and disapproval.

We want to be accepted for who we are, but we’re scared to show our true selves for fear of being rejected.

Amen.

It’s one of the most challenging things to do, but that’s exactly why we must try. That’s why we’re here.

As humans, we are built for self-actualization. That means we are made to want to fulfill our potential. We all have a purpose and if you give up on yours because others don’t approve, you are only raising a white flag of surrender to the world. You’re basically saying you quit.

If you always followed the expectations of others, your life would be overcome with regret and resentment. And who wants to live like that?

We must live our own lives, create our own truths, and do what feels right at our core. When we begin cultivating these habits for ourselves, we will feel at peace, centered, and fulfilled. And that’s when we can begin giving back and sharing our gifts with the world.

Here are 3 tips to help you follow your heart, even when others say you’re making a mistake:

1. Listen to your intuition

Learn to listen to that quiet voice within yourself, rather than the opinions and fears of others. That inner guide is your intuition, your higher power, guiding you toward your destiny. To begin listening to this voice, you could practice yoga, go on quiet walks, or set aside time each day to meditate or journal.

2. Trust yourself

Once you have developed a strong connection with your intuition, it’s time to begin trusting yourself and actually follow through. This looks like doing the thing you’re scared to do: Quitting your job, backpacking through Thailand, writing a book, going back to school, or completing yoga teacher training.

3. Live your truth

We are all here for a reason, and no one else knows what that reason is except for you. Your unique blend of talents, experiences, and beliefs has led you to this moment and this decision. Those of us looking in from the outside cannot possibly see the intricacies blended together. You must listen to your intuition, trust yourself, and live your truth.

[photo credit: trilliumdesign]

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Nadine August 21, 2013 at 7:14 am

JUST what I needed to read this morning. Having reminders like these- of why I’m taking a less traveled path, how important it is to my life- helps keep me motivated and reminds me that there are others struggling to do this too. It’s scary, but it was always going to be scary. We just have to do it anyway.

Thanks Ashely, you’re awesome!

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Jennifer August 21, 2013 at 8:56 am

Ditto!

Thanks Ashley! You go great with my coffee :)

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Esme August 21, 2013 at 9:10 am

Ha! Blog synchronicity. I posted on mine this morning about all of the enormous leaps I’m making these days, and this was a really nice thing to read after having exposed my new adventures to the world. Thanks, Ashley.

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Nic August 21, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Love this Ashley. Even though we know we should be our authentic selves and trust our intuition we are still wary of ‘exposing’ ourselves to possible criticism. I have been through that and have now realised that only I know what my intuition is telling me. You just have to be strong and believe and trust your truth and your purpose. Thank you brilliant one!

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