What if you didn’t accept your dream job because your significant other didn’t think it was a good idea? Or perhaps you continue to practice a religion you don’t believe in, just because it’s how you were raised? Or how about if you married someone mainly because your family loves them….but you don’t? While these examples are more extreme, it’s quite crazy how we let others influence our lives. So often our well-meaning friends, co-workers, or family tell us what they think we should do, and it totally goes against what we feel. While it’s ok to talk over your feelings with others, I think it’s more important that you follow your own gut or instincts on it, even if they don’t understand your choices. Mind you, if it’s a matter of safety, or big issues you aren’t aware of – you might want to listen. You should listen in that case. However, if it’s you pursuing your dream career and people are discouraging you from taking risks – that’s different.
Finding Your Own Way
I’ve found in my life that most of the time I know what’s best for me. Or I feel divinely guided in a certain direction. Even if it means challenges and hard time sometimes, it’s what I want. I’m willing to take that road. And that’s what you have to decide sometimes. That it’s worth going against the recommendations, or even frustrations or worries, of others – maybe the people closest to you. But I will say this – it’s your life and your happiness. If you live the life that others want for you and not what you want for yourself, you are going to have to live with that. And truly, if people know you and love you, they will support you even if they don’t love the idea.
When No One Understands
I remember when I decided to get a divorce and everyone thought I was crazy. “But he’s such a nice guy!” Even one of my friends had the wool pulled over her eyes when he purposely threw a surprise birthday party for me AFTER I asked him for a divorce. She thought it was “so sweet”, and I quickly reminded her it was NOT sweet – it was manipulative. I know there were people that didn’t get it though. He was very charming and manipulative, so most people never saw the negative side of him. It didn’t matter if they saw it though – I did. I wanted out and didn’t care what anyone thought about it. And I was SO happy that I got a divorce. It was truly the right decision for ME. In the end, my family and friends did support me even if they didn’t know all the details on my marriage.
Making Career Changes
What about when you want to change your career path? Maybe you are taking a huge leap and trying something new, even quitting a more “secure” job? I’m sure most of the people around you will have something to say about it, and I’m sure it’s not all encouraging. However, we need to follow our gut, our passions, our belief of why we are here really.
If you are just going through the motions in a job every day, but longing for meaning and joy in what you do, then seeking the right path is the right way to go. People may not agree with how you go about it, but do what feels good. If that means doing it as a side hustle until you feel safe to do it fully, great. Or if that means finding a whole new job and taking a huge leap, by all means, do it if it lights you up.
Influenced by Others
What I see far too often though is people listening to their friend, or family member, and making a big decision in their life based on that person’s opinion of what they should or shouldn’t do. Let me tell you that if I’d done that, my life would look a heck of a lot different right now. And I’d be completely miserable! Seriously, we let people drive our lives far too often. It’s on us to know who we are, what we want, and really take the wheel and drive our life forward.
It’s as big as the jobs and partners we choose, and as ‘small’ as the individual moments when our gut tells us not to get into someone’s car and we do anyway and end up in an accident or something. Really, it’s about following your instincts, your gut, the signs you are getting, and what you know you want or don’t want in your life. But then there’s “peer pressure”. Those times we give in to others, whether they are trying to control or manipulate us, or just making us feel guilty, stupid or even silly for wanting what we want. We need to find our strength and commitment to ourselves. We need to stop letting people influence us or pressure us away from that inner knowing that we have.
Always remember that other people have their own beliefs and values, their own desires, and their own level of faith (or lack thereof) in terms of what is possible. You are different in all of that, and you may want to choose something different for your life, and likely will. We are all different, and the possibilities and options in our lives are endless. It’s up to us to choose what is right for us in every moment.
The Path of Joy
I will tell you this though – the path of joy for you is the right path. No one else can tell you what that is. Only you know what makes you feel giddy and happy. It might be teaching a knitting course to children, or it may be selling computer software to large companies. You may find great love with an outgoing athlete who loves rock climbing, or a quiet scientist who is making new discoveries in medicine. Everyone is different. Embrace who you are and what (and who) brings you joy.
It’s about you. Don’t forget that. In any given moment in your life, you get to steer. You get to decide. And I encourage you to follow your instincts in every way and do what feels right in every moment. From the route you take to work, to the decision to take that great new job. It’s time for you to live YOUR life. To step into your wheelhouse and take the wheel of your own ship every day for the rest of your life.
I would recommend the following book if you’re interested – Energy Speaks: Messages from Spirit on Living, Loving, and Awakening by Lee Harris