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Yesterday I got a haircut–a cute short, sassy, blonde do. I have not had hair short in years so this is quite the change for me. Before I left for the salon my husband said, “Are you sure?” and I said, “Yep, I am ready I am excited I am ready for a new do”. And I was, I felt it in my bones, I was SURE. After all was said and done and my hair stylist said “ta da” I thought yep, I LOVE it-just like I knew I would.
You know those decisions you make that are just gut decisions? When the answer is a complete YES? Those are the decisions you know will work out. You know they will be ok–no matter how dramatic no matter how much change they involve when you are ready you are ready. And then there are those decisions that we make that we say YES but there is a small voice inside that is saying no, not now, not this one, there is another reason you are doing this. The key to living happier is listening to that little voice. The times in my life when I haven’t have been trouble.
I remember shopping for my wedding dress. I did not have magical, fairy tale ideas about wedding dress shopping. In fact, I was not looking forward to it at all. My nearest and dearest and I got married at my parent’s back yard. It was a low key, beautiful, casual celebration–so the traditional gown was not going to work–but I didn’t really have a vision for what I wanted (Mistake #1). But a friend convinced me to go to one of those large wedding gown shops where you get a consultant, you try on 50 dresses and they oh and ah over each one you try on. The only goal I had for that day was that we were going to walk out of that shop with a dress–I was NOT going through this shopping event again. And we did, after the 6th or 7th dress I found one I liked. Liked not loved. It was a traditional, satiny, beaded, non-descript wedding dress. But as I stood there in all my glory and all the ladies were “oohing and aahing” I said yes (Mistake #2). Even though I had heard ‘oh you just KNOW when it is the one’ I convinced myself that that was just urban legend and that I just wasn’t a wedding dress girl. So I didn’t listen to the little voice saying “nope, this isn’t it” because I told myself that it just wouldn’t happen for me and I need to suck it up (Mistake #3) and I put down a deposit.
Not 3 hours later, as I sat on my couch thinking “Maybe, that wasn’t the dress” I started searching on-line and I found the perfect dress. A beautiful lace, fitted dress for less than 1/2 of the price of the other one. I ordered it telling myself that if I didn’t like it I could ship it back. Weeks later I received it in the mail and I tried on the dress and it was PERFECT–every part of me screamed YES. I showed it to my friend and she too screamed YES! Even though, she told me later she wanted to hate it because she liked the other one so much but it was so perfect she had to say yes. To this day I look at that dress and smile.
So Let’s Review the Common ‘Ignoring Our Internal Voice’ Mistakes.
Mistake #1 No Vision: You have to have a vision: you have to know what you want, know what you stand for, know what is important to you. Even if it has gotten buried there after years of neglect and maybe out right ignoring it, you have to know your vision. Which is why I got my haircut. My vision was to feel better good about myself, to do something radical, shift things up and give myself a good kick in the pants. So I researched haircuts, factored in my hair type and what had and hadn’t worked in the past and made a plan.
Mistake #2 Listening too Much to Others: It is so easy to get sucked in to the opinions of others. When everyone was telling me how great I looked in my dress it was easy to ignore the voice in my head saying “but you didn’t want a traditional dress”; “I thought you wanted lace”; “is this really going to send the vibe of a casual wedding?” Taking in too much external feedback always drowns out our inner voice. I know from past experience, this is a real problem for me. Before I got my haircut I only told my nearest and dearest because I didn’t want to hear any voices swaying me.
Mistake #3 Assuming you are Wrong: So often we shut out our voice immediately because we just assume we are wrong. We assume we don’t know, can’t have it or are just plain ignorant. Our inner voice is a place of wisdom. The wisdom it shares might not happen on our time line. (No matter how much I wanted to, I wasn’t going to find my dress in that shop, that day.) We have to trust it. We have to trust ourselves.
I would love to hear from you–I know we have all been there. What mistakes have you made to keep you from hearing your inner voice? When is a time when you didn’t listen to your inner voice and later regretted it?