When you speak your truth, you get to create a life based on the freedom of your heart rather than the fear of your ego – Kute Blackson
Let’s say you have a great idea and the only thing you hear is scepticism and criticism. “That will never work.” “You’re not qualified to do that.” “That’s been done already.”
A flood of apathy dowses your spark of inspiration. Doubt sets in. “What was I thinking?” “What made me think I could do this?” “Who am I to want this?” While themselves reasonable questions, they serve only a feeling of futility. You see only the wall, but not the ladder. You stop before you’ve even started. The result is stagnation.
The truth is, stopping our creative juices has its benefits. Staying comfortable is one. Avoiding risks is another. Evading our own vulnerability is one too, even though we are drawn to authenticity in others and know that life is imperfect.
But there’s a problem. When we choose comfort all the time, life can be pretty damn dull and predictable. We remain locked in our comfort zone rather than excel in our impact zone where our real magic happens.
The question becomes whether it is better to have tried, with a chance of success, than to regret never having tried at all? At least with trying, whether the outcome is favorable or not, there’s always something to be learned.
I get that all growth begins in fear. Every time I write an outline for a new blog, I still feel a little anxious about all the unknowns: What is my intention? What message do I want readers to take away? Will what I’m saying resonate with people?
Thankfully, I’ve learned that fear is just excitement without the breath. As a result, I make progress when I acknowledge the feeling of fear, take a few deep breaths and move forward anyway. By repeating this process, I’ve learned to trust the guidance of my highest self. And when I get still, sure enough the inspiration comes.
Trust is the magic dust we sprinkle on our dreams.
5 tips to follow your heart:
#1. Reverse engineer
Write down how you would like you life to look like in 10 years from now. Then write down the things that need to be in place to reach that goal in 5 years. Repeat the exercise, focusing on the next steps to accomplish in a year, in a month and next week. This is your roadmap that you can trust to bring you to your desired destination in 10 years. Now you know what to do and when to do it, to get there.
#2. Good guy, come forward
Forget the idea that only when challenges and frustrations in your life are gone, will the good guy in you be able to express itself. It’s the other way around. The good guy needs to come forward first in order to inspire and drive our goals and behaviors. “We must move toward the person we want to be – emotionally and spiritually – not become that person only once we have arrived at some new destination.” – Robert Kelsey from his best selling book ‘What’s stopping you?’
#3. Give yourself permission
Write yourself a letter from your parents, friends or partner’s point of view in which you give yourself their heartfelt consent for you to follow your dreams. Let the words offer you abundant support to do the one thing you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t yet acted upon. Maybe it’s that dream job you’ve always wanted or to start your own business. Perhaps it’s learning to scuba-dive or take a cookery class. No need to wait for the permission of others. That may never come. Instead, trust in your own ability to give yourself permission.
#4. Strengths and opportunities
A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) is often used in business to position itself in the market. It can be as easily applied to the individual. Write down your own strengths (e.g. characteristics, competences), weakness (e.g. skills to learn), opportunities (e.g. dreams and goals) and threats (e.g. limiting beliefs or resources). By focusing the next steps in your life on your strengths and opportunities, you’re able to make progress quickly and gain trust in your ability to move forward. Once you gather momentum you can investigate the weakness and threats and make improvements. Sharpening the saw – as Stephen Covey calls it.
#5. What’s the worst that can happen?
This is one of my favourite trusting exercises. Imagine the worse thing that can happen if you follow through on your dreams. Maybe it doesn’t work out like you planned. Maybe you have to give up your job and salary. Maybe you have to sell your house. Maybe your family and friends will think you’re crazy. But you’ve faced challenges in the past and you’ll overcome them again. Ok, so things may have to change temporarily. But you’ll get back on your feet. You always do. You’ve got courage and determination.
Business Growth Coach
PS: Have you followed your heart recently? What did you do? How did it work out for you? Leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you.
(Cover image credit: an untrained eye)