5 reasons we struggle to follow our true longings and how to honor them
Throughout my 34 years of working, I’ve experienced one very chronic pattern. I’ve tended to wait far too long to do what I instinctively knew was right or deeply longed to do. Sometimes it was staying in the wrong business partnerships or relationships, or remaining in jobs I disliked intensely. In other circumstances, I resisted having the critical conversations with people – including my bosses – that would change everything. Inevitably, I somehow found myself not doing what I wanted to, often until a crisis hit that pushed me to make a bold move.
Turns out, this experience – of waiting years before doing what you long to – is extremely common. I know because I hear from thousands of people every year asking for help about this problem.
I’ve also discovered through my research that women fall prey to this much more than men. Through my training as a therapist, energy healer and coach I’ve become much more aware of this tendency. I can now see it more clearly for what it is – a deeply-entrenched fear of nurturing ourselves. It’s also part of a fierce resistance against bravely honoring what we believe will make us happy, and ACTING on it.
Why do we hold ourselves back from doing what feels right?
Below are the top five reasons behind our not speaking up, standing up or braving up. to take the actions that will create a more nurturing, rewarding and satisfying life that aligns with what we believe and want deep down:
- You question if you’re right to have these thoughts and feelings
Using my life as an example, I waited years too long to take action because I questioned if I was “right” to think the thoughts I had. For instance, I left corporate life to becoming a therapist, but I found therapy work, while rewarding, could be very dark and disturbing. I didn’t want to be in such close proximity every minute of the day with the darkest experiences of human life. So much despair and pain was wreaking havoc on my own life, and it colored my personal experience in many ways. My boundaries simply weren’t sufficient then to experience all that pain without it bleeding into my own life.
But I felt very bad about considering leaving therapy as a profession, and I doubted myself. I asked myself over and over, “What kind of true helper and healer am I if I leave this line of work?” So, I didn’t leave, for years.
Then, a crisis occurred. A client called me one morning to tell me she was going to kill herself that moment by “wrapping her car around a tree.” At that point, I realized I needed to make a change. I’m so glad I found coaching, teaching, writing and training.
I use all my therapy experience and knowledge every minute of every day in my coaching and teaching work. But my professional identity and role has shifted to something I love much more because I finally honored what I felt, deep down.
- Others may disagree with your thinking, so you doubt yourself
So often, my clients tell me that they doubt what they believe or know to be true because others tell them that they’re wrong. I’ve learned this – if you listen to other people about what you should want and what they think is best for you, and refuse to make yourself your own highest guide in all things, then you’ll suffer and life won’t go well.
After all, you’re the only one on this planet who knows everything about you. Only you can make the best decisions for where you want your life to go.
- You don’t want anyone to be upset with you, and standing up for yourself upsets people
This is a terrible problem for so many women. We don’t want to upset anyone by our actions or words. We’ve been societally trained, many of us, to be people pleasers. We’re taught to do, act, appear and speak in ways that are pleasing, comfortable and supportive of others.
The problem with that is it stifles our independence and strength, our ability to think our own thoughts and act bravely on them. We are especially reluctant to follow out instincts if they’re going to be upsetting or angering to other people.
Again, you can’t live the life you’re meant to if you never want to upset anyone.
As a writer, I’ve seen that if your ideas aren’t upsetting someone, you’re probably not saying anything very important.
- You are afraid of change or starting over because you don’t want to lose ground
Many folks know what they want to do, but are afraid because this new direction will represent some form of a “loss.” They are resistant to the possible risk of money, status, self-esteem, position, security, etc. So, they don’t make the move until something forces their hand.
The question we need to ask ourselves in these cases is this:
“What are you giving up (what is the true cost) of you’re NOT making the move you dream of and that you know will, in the end, suit you better? What are giving up by staying where you are?
- You somehow (subconsciously) are compelled to remain attached to not loving yourself because that’s exactly where you’re most comfortable
Finally, many of us suffered pain and damage in our childhoods where we weren’t validated, seen, loved, appreciated or recognized as valuable. As a result, we’re more comfortable stuck in pain, disappointment and unhappiness. You feel more comfortable and familiar with what it’s like to give up on yourself. You play the victim, hand over your control and make excuses for all the reasons you can’t have life as you want it.
But notice: it’s your subconscious sabotage that’s keeping you immersed in pain, regret, and self-rejection. After that realization, you’ll never agree to keep yourself stifled and suppressed.
Are you ready to brave up and finally do what you’ve been longing to all these years?
Join me in my FREE webinar “How to Unlock Your Most Thrilling Life and Livelihood” on March 2nd at 7pm EST. Come learn how to finally honor what’s true about yourself, and do what you’ve been longing to.
Edited and reprinted from the original, published at: http://kathycaprino.com/2017/02/wait-long-feels-right/