Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.” ~Roy T. Bennett
The other day, I was speaking with a student who will graduate college next spring. She is bright and talented and one of those people you know will succeed. Naturally, there is a certain amount of pressure on her. Everyone is asking what her plans are and what she wants to do for the rest of her life.
Her parents think she should go to graduate school. Her friends think so too. Her advisor suggested maybe working for a year and then applying to school.
She told me she’s been asking everyone and now she wanted to know what I thought she should do.
I told her, “I wish you had asked me what I thought a while ago.”
When she asked why, I told her, “Because I would have told you to stop asking everyone else what they think you should do.”
“I’m serious! I would have suggested you sit in silence for a while, ask yourself the same question and see what came to you.”
I told her it was natural to want advice—especially from her parents—but I also told her that starting now she’s going to have to start making a lot of decisions on her own. And the best way to find her way, is to trust herself.
So then I asked her, “What do you want to do?”
And just like that the answer came flying out. She knew exactly what it was and she beamed as she said it.
This did not surprise me. Deep down we all know the answers in our soul. We just don’t always hear them or we push them aside.
Why do we push aside our inner guidance when it’s begging to be heard?
Lots of reasons.
We want to follow our dreams, but not let our loved ones down. We want to be happy, but we want to make sure others are happy too. We care so much about what everyone else wants for us, that we sometimes forget to check in and see what we want for ourselves.
And sometimes, as scary as it is to admit, we don’t trust ourselves to steer our lives. So it can feel safer to have someone else jump behind the wheel.
But every time we choose to ignore our inner guidance or to push it aside in place of confusion, despair, anxiety and worry, we actively abandon our innate, limitless power. We abandon ourselves and who we truly are at our core.
I knew my student was feeling stressed, but I wanted to her to see what an amazing opportunity she has in front of her. Right now, she can choose anything, anything at all. She could travel the world, volunteer for a cause, get a job, go to graduate school or not.
I wanted her to see that one decision doesn’t mean the rest of her life. One decision doesn’t define her future.
Our dreams can always change. Our paths can take on a new direction. Our intended destination can shift from one spot to another.
And it’s not the end of the world. It’s not the end of anything. It’s actually the beginning.
But somehow we’ve been programmed to think that we can’t change our minds. We can’t dream a new dream. We can’t wish or want for more.
We feel like it will seem we are not grateful for all we already have been given and everything we’ve worked so hard for. But that’s not true. We can simultaneously be grateful and want more. The two can coexist. Our lives are not meant to freeze in place.
Gratitude breeds expansion. Gratitude brings more blessings our way, not less. (Tweet that!)
Don’t be afraid of making a decision. Be afraid of not making one.
Ask yourself what you really want. Don’t be scared of the answer—of your truth.
Instead, let the clarity inspire and motivate you. Let the certainty guide you as you move forward in life.
Trust that as you go, more information will come to you. More signs will appear, rooting you on, lighting your path. And know that your intuition, which carries that divine guidance you seek, will always be a whisper away.
But first, you have to go trust yourself.