What Does it Mean to Follow Your Heart?
I always encourage people to follow their heart, to follow their dreams. And for most, they have no idea what that actually means.
Thinking we know ourselves is different than actually being connected; being in alignment and confident with who we are, what we want and where we’re headed. And so often people cannot even answer what following their heart means to them.
When I encourage people to follow their heart, does that mean it always works out how they would like it to? Nope.
And there are a few reasons why it is not a smooth road.
First of all, when your dream is about external circumstances–rather than how you learn, grow and really embrace who you are–it’s bound to fail. The perfect picture rarely shows up in reality, and when we think our happiness is tied to it, we end up sorely disappointed.
The second part of the equation is having patterns that uphold a negative belief inside you. In venturing out into the land of doing something you think you’ve always wanted to do (perhaps for your entire life), it will bring up questions around value. YOUR value, to be specific.
Feel like you’ve never achieved enough or been “enough”? Maybe you’ve been looked over for promotions, relationships or the volleyball team. Well, going in a new direction that relies completely on you will bring up every sorry-ass belief you’ve held deep inside about your abilities.
The third pothole in the road makes an appearance as you standing in your own way. Not only do you have some crappy beliefs that come up, but you have a certain way of doing things. Perhaps you require a lot of structure and now it is no longer available. Or you have been doing something the same way for years and now you realize it doesn’t bring the results you want, so you think it must be something around you. Newsflash: it’s most likely YOU. We stand in our own way all the time.
Ok, so there are hurdles, but what’s the alternative? Feeling that life isn’t complete at the end of each day? The regrets will be staring you in the face and you won’t be able to do anything about it. Following your heart also means lessons will be learned. You will grow and sometimes that’s scary. It can result in some kind of loss, BUT if you hang with yourself long enough and you ride the wild tiger, there’s a huge payoff!
External rewards are not the fulfilling part of following your heart, so the results will probably look different and that’s okay. The fulfilling part is internal: how you feel doing what you do on the everyday journey. If you want things to change, it starts from the inside out. And it’s not that you become someone else, it’s that you have to let go of these preconceived beliefs that don’t serve you.
Following your heart is an excellent way to let go of the chains that bind you to a false belief system. Otherwise you’re doing things you don’t enjoy and don’t want to do. That’s never fun… and frankly, isn’t life supposed to be fun?
Many of us struggle with the idea of fun. We don’t even know what that is, and when people tell me they want to find their meaning, I have to break it to them that no brick is going to fall on their head. Honestly, how many people are waiting for a lightening bolt moment? A point where the dream becomes visible, or the path opens up, or the perfect conditions present themselves.Those people spend their whole lives waiting.
Life is an experience.
We only know our destiny by living it. From the experience of doing. People who live in their heads, hoping they’re gonna come up with the solution, end up stuck. You’ll never be satisfied if you stay at the level of the mind. Go for the experiences instead of a path of regrets. If we play it safe our whole life and we get to the end, what do we have to show for it?
And for those wanting meaning, the head will never satisfy. The heart is what drives us. Follow it.