How many times have you kicked yourself because you didn’t listen to your inner voice? It was a quiet whisper – your gut instinct – but louder and more persistent voices drowned it out.
Drowned out by the noise
Maybe it was the voice of others in positions of power. Maybe it was your own insecurity that your opinion wasn’t worthy. Perhaps it was the whirl of busy noise and colour that is our world today, with stress and demands intruding into that quiet space where we find the truth.
Hearing the right voices
I know, I know…hearing voices isn’t the kind of thing that you bring up at a cocktail party. I’m not talking about invisible people here. What I’m referring to is listening for the right kind of voices. Of course, there are people you trust such as mentors, coaches, parents, who presumably have your best interests at heart and are supportive. These voices are good sounding boards.
But having said that, even these voices can be wrong – wrong for what’s right for you.
Why? Because when someone tells you what to do, you do it but you don’t necessarily understand it and you certainly don’t own it. You might even have a certain amount of success, because modelling is a powerful way of learning. It can fast track you and minimize your mistakes.
But you are trapped in a cage.
Leaving the nest
Most of the greatest achievements and inventions in history happen because the person would not be defined by someone else. Even when others didn’t believe, the person would follow and trust that inner voice.
Now, I’m not saying go ahead and ignore your mentors or burn bridges, because that’s a very quick way for people to quit helping you, but I am saying you eventually need to cut the apron strings, take responsibility for your own decisions and follow your own path.
Like a kid leaving home, you start to try things on your own instead of always being protected. A true mentor will still always be there for you if you fall.
It’s a scary step to leave the nest.
Do you want to fly?
You need to try things on your own, trust your instincts, learn to ‘feel’ things for yourself. Will you make mistakes? Of course! Maybe even a few more at first than if your mentor was always telling you what to do.
But ultimately, failure is one of the best ways to learn and really own the lesson because you’ve ‘felt’ it. It’s how you break out of the cage and reach your potential, instead of being stuffed into another’s framework.
You become free to release your own ideas and creativity and make it truly yours.
When you are feeling conflicted, it’s usually because you haven’t made a decision, or at least not one you are comfortable with. Remember, not all decisions feel ‘happy’, even though they are ‘right’ for you. Move past the emotions and get to the integrity of what you believe is the right thing to do…for yourself, your team, your situation.
A mistake made in integrity and truth is better than a ‘correct’ decision made with poor intentions. Find a quiet space, either in your mind or an actual quiet space (a room, or headphones in) that allows you to hear your inner voice.
Fly – be free!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on times you did or didn’t listen to your inner voice.
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