Listen up - it’s your inner voice talking.
For a long time now, I’ve maintained the same belief – don’t lie to yourself. At a young age, I felt myself slipping down the wrong path, and deep in my gut, I knew it wasn’t for me. But, it takes confidence and courage to walk into the unknown and pave your own path – and that’s not something that happens overnight.
Learning to listen to my mind and body is a journey to be enjoyed and has honestly helped me lead a happier and more satisfied life. In my last post Curiosity And The Cat, I discussed where curiosity might lead you. In a similar sense, be curious with yourself. Ask yourself ‘why?’ Challenge yourself. You’ll begin to uncover your real thoughts – your inner voice. All those years ago, when I started to make a conscious effort to listen to myself and focus on me, I found tremendous reward in the day to day. My whole life changed.
When I read chapter 14 of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In For Graduates by Rachel Simmons, it really struck a chord. When Rachel left college, she was obsessed with achieving her goals, impressing everyone she ever met and shaping a prosperous future for herself. She was offered a scholarship at the University of Oxford and thought her chance had come to shine – except she hated it and after a year dropped out. Upon her return to America she was met with all kinds of criticism from peers and respected members of college staff. Her sense of self was shattered, but she began to realise that quitting Oxford had allowed her time to reflect and re-establish her sense of self.
Rachel reflects most upon a sentiment that Sheryl shares in earlier chapters – what would you do if you weren’t afraid?
As graduates and young people in our careers she invites us to listen to our true desires and ask ourselves what we might do if we weren’t afraid to do it. Linking back to my first blog post – Pave Your Own Path – Rachel also highlights that there is no correct route in life, no right or wrong journey. Each is unique and beautiful in their own right.
It’s all very well and good knowing what you’d do if you weren’t afraid – or even if you are in touch with your inner voice and desires – how do you make it a reality? Rachel suggests outlining your goal and breaking it down into small steps. Give yourself a completion date and time for each part and work your way towards it, growing in confidence with each little step.
You don’t have to know what you’re doing for the rest of your life, you don’t even have to know what you’re doing tomorrow to start listening to your inner voice – it isn’t going anywhere.
Tune in, listen up and be the difference.