Follow Your Inner Compass

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Now and then situations occur when we are asked to fit the mold of what someone else believes is best. After high school, my parents said I should get a government job with benefits, because to them, this was a safe bet. But I knew college was right for me, so that’s what I did.

Some people enter college or obtain a job based on their parents’ desires, not their own. Following someone else’s plan can lead to an unfulfilling career and life. When our job is our passion, work is no longer a struggle. We are meant to thrive and be happy, not just exist. By following our interests, we find our purpose—the reason we are here.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. — Oscar Wilde, Irish author, poet, playwright

Our inner compass knows what brings us joy, but sometimes it is hidden behind all the internal and external noise. Maybe we are too afraid to pursue our interests for fear of failure or not living up to someone else’s standards. These are some of the questions we have to ask ourselves like, What is important to me? What do I want to accomplish? and How will it make me feel if I don’t? By finding the answers, we can make steps toward living the life we desire.

There have been times throughout my life when I was a people pleaser, rather than being true to myself. This never made me happy because I was not portraying the real me. The fear of disappointing someone is not a reason to do something that goes against our real self.

By saying yes to actions that do not feel right, we give our power away and let others plan our life. If our heart is not in it, we are of no help to anyone or ourselves. This is a waste of time and energy for everyone.

Our inner compass always lets us know when we have fallen off course. It gives us signs such as contradictory or pessimistic feelings, or an ache in our gut. Feeling negative about a situation is a major sign to pause and revaluate. Would someone be upset if we declined their request? Many times the answer is no. It is our own guilt or worry of what others might think that leads us to make choices that do not benefit us. With age comes the I don’t care what other people think attitude, and this is a wonderful gift. Guilt and worry may still exist—we are just not as bothered by them.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind. — Bernard M. Baruch, American financier, statesman, philanthropist

The next time someone asks for something, we should pause to connect with our feelings before giving an answer. Ask How does this request make me feel? Do I feel positive or negative about it? If negative emotions, guilt, or anxiety arise, this may be an alert that this request is not right for us. Our internal compass is there to guide us in the right direction. Better decisions are made when we listen to our true selves.

Photo by Mariah Hewines on Unsplash

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