I love to credit myself for achieving everything awesome in my life, but if I must be honest, I’m not sure how I did it.
Of course, there are moments of clarity, but overall I have no freakin clue how I got here.
Happy family, considering I come from a “broken home”.
An online family business that allows me and my husband to earn good money, enjoy time with our kids, and even have fun from time to time. Our business actually exploded during the pandemic.
We live in our dream home by the beach.
And I have room for mistakes, which is perhaps the most awesome thing. I can try something in our business or with my writing, and it can crash and burn, and it’d be fine. I’d move on to the next thing. How amazing is that, having daily opportunities to find yourself?
But I’m not anything special. I’m not the smartest or the prettiest, I’m not even a very hard worker.
What is it then that gave me pretty much everything I wanted, plus everything I didn’t know I want?
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that it’s listening to my inner GPS. My intuition, or spirit, or whatever it is you want to call it. It’s the only explanation. Despite all odds, my inner guidance brought me here and I feel like it’s going to keep taking me to awesome places.
So let’s see if I can help you hear yours.
Sit with not knowing.
In today’s self-help culture, your inner self is put on a pedestal. It is connected to your spirit, it is wise, it walks in the direction of love and it is all-knowing.
So when you quiet your monkey mind, you’re supposed to find the answers.
Only you don’t. And now you’re panicking a bit. The world wants you to decide. You want you do decide. You could really use a wise inner voice right now, only it isn’t there, so you assume you’re just not able to hear it well and rush into a decision you kind-a maybe think is right.
It’s okay to not know. To not know whether this is the right girl or guy, to not know what to do next professionally, to not know whether now is the right time, whether you want kids or not.
What leads to knowing is the path of not knowing. Allow yourself to walk it.
“I never knew in my twenties that I don’t know is a legitimate answer that you’re allowed to say. And you’re allowed to ask for as much time as you need until you do know. And if somebody doesn’t want to give you that time, they’re allowed to leave. But you should sit with your I don’t know. Nobody likes it. It’s an uncomfortable place.” — Elizabeth Gilbert
Ride the excitement.
When I was a kid, everything excited me. You want to go in the park and jump in puddles? Yeeessss! You want to go to a small, cold city where you’ll pretty much ride with us in the car because we have some work to do? Yeeesss! Yes, yes, yes.
Then you grow up and you calm down, and you value your time and efforts.
You become so good at valuing your time and efforts that even if you do hear that “Yesss!” in the back of your head, you instantly come up with ways to shut it up.
Grown-ups get really enthusiastic about very few things. We mostly go through life doing what’s “smart”. What’s “right”.
But that “Yeeess!” is your inner truth, trying to tell you something. And even if it seems ridiculous and stupid, you want to hear it out and listen to it as much as you can.
According to research published by Project Management Degrees, only half of Americans said they trusted their gut to tell them what’s true. Additionally, 62 percent of top business executives said they relied on their gut feelings. So why do so few people ignore their intuition? Simple: we’re conditioned to. All too often we’re advised to “look at the facts” and “weigh all the options,” when sometimes the answers we’re searching for come from within. — entrepreneur.com
The universe wanted me to live in the home where I’m living now.
When we decided to move to a new city, my husband saw an ad for a property on Facebook and absolutely fell in love with it. I wasn’t sold, because the living room and the yard were a bit small, but it’s rare to see my husband as excited for something like this: he usually takes forever to make big decisions.
So I jumped on board.
But by the time we got here to see it, it was sold to another family. We were both super disappointed when a guy from the building company called to tell us the buyer of a unit in the same gated community had backed away. It was almost the same property, only with a bigger living room and a bigger yard. A bit more expensive, but still on budget.
Good thing we got it because a bit after that, I got pregnant with our second son.
Getting this property seems like the obvious choice now, but it was a difficult deal. Our plan was to buy something a few months down the road, mainly because we had to save a bit more money.
Hurrying to buy what we wanted before it went away meant taking loans from family, cutting back on a lot of expenses, and quite a bit of stress.
But I was smiling through the whole thing. I knew it was what was supposed to happen.
Sometimes we’re so focused on our plans, on how we think things should go, that we close our eyes to the obvious nudges of the world. And it usually nudges us in the right direction.
“Losing yourself does not happen all at once. Losing yourself happens one “no” at a time. (…) Saying yes . . . saying yes is courage. Saying yes is the sun. Saying yes is life.”― Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person
Be in peace about a potential failure.
Failure is always scary, but when we make decisions with our ego, it’s terrifying.
Because the ego makes it all about winning.
When I was working on my first novel, I did it because how cool would it be to actually write a novel? And what if it’s awesome? I’d be the most interesting person among all my friends.
Well, that kind of thinking didn’t lead me anywhere. And my novel sucked. I rewrote it a bunch of times and it got better, but still sucked according to my ego standards.
So I quit.
Even though I am a writer in my bones, I started doubting myself. Was I really a writer? Was I a writer if I couldn't even write one decent novel? If none of my articles made much of a splash? If I still wasn’t that interesting?
You hear that? Do you hear how I silently compete with everything and everyone with each of these questions?
A few months after I quit writing, I rediscovered writing. I was a writer after all. Only now, writing was my playground, not my racing track.
So if you’re super afraid of failure, maybe you’re on a racing track right now. You need to go to your playground. You can’t fail at a playground.
Untangle bad emotions.
Bad emotions feel bad so we try to escape them, overcome them or cram them in a box deep in our minds.
But everything in our lives is trying to tell us something, and especially the bad stuff.
Procrastination doesn’t mean you suck. It could mean what you’re working on right now doesn’t inspire you. In fact, it probably irritates you. What can you do about that? Do you leave it (yes, it’s an option) or do you go about it a different way so that it becomes exciting?
Fear shows us what we need to work on. In an interview with Oprah, Hugh Jackman shares that when he got cast in Les Miserables, he was feeling inadequate to play the part and afraid he won’t perform well. He talked to his good friend Tony Robins about it and what Tony told him, in a nutshell, was to use this fear to guide him to what he needs to work on.
Was it the signing that scared him? Something particular about the part? What could he do to feel prepared?
Consider what bad emotions are roaming free inside you right now. What can you learn from them?
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