Updated: May 21, 2020
A million voices telling me who I need to be, telling me I am not good enough, healthy enough, strong enough, rich enough...
There comes a time when you just want to silence all the outside voices.
A time when you want to hear your own voice, the voice that guided you as young child.
The voice that tells you what is right for you, what you value, what matters most to you.
The time has come to desperately seek the voice that tells you - You are loved unconditionally just as you are.
In the last decade we have seen explosive growth in the amount of content available on the Internet. So many voices now have a platform to reach millions and billions of people. YouTube for instance, allows us to access an abundance of content from thought leaders, professional experts, as well as the average person.
I am a big consumer of YouTube content, mainly in the area of personal and professional development. In the last decade, I have easily consumed thousands of hours of content.
As I sit here and reflect on my experience, I am grateful for all the voices that brought me peace, all the voices that gave me tools to be a better version of myself, all the voices that helped me to connect to a higher power and reminded me that I am enough, and I am loved.
On the other hand, I have experienced a great deal of confusion, frustration and anxiety listening to so called "experts". When I first started my journey, I bought into the knowledge that experts were promoting based on their resume and achievements. I believed that if they achieved a high level of success then they must have the answer, they must be better than me.
The real trouble for me was when these experts gave advice that did not feel good to me. At my core their way was out of integrity for me. My first reaction was one of feeling less than, next I felt nauseous at the thought of executing whatever they were promoting. I sat in conflict for days, weeks, months and sadly even years.
I could not reconcile what to make of the "expert" knowledge and my lack of desire to execute it. I pride myself on working hard, going out of my comfort zone, having the willpower to do the difficult things, and achieving results. Yet, I sat almost paralyzed in indecision.
I experienced this same reaction when I listened to experts on nutrition, emotional health, mental health, and business development...the subject was irrelevant. The message I kept getting was I am not healthy enough, I am going to get sick because I am not doing enough, my mind is screwed up, I don't have control over my emotional state, I am not successful in business...etc.
The biggest problem was I kept wondering why can't I just take these experts advice and be the healthiest person, the strongest, completely in control of my emotional state, be happy all the time, control my every thought, rise to the top of my field in business.
This left me feeling, well...angry. So I invested time and effort trying to prove the experts wrong by listening to more experts that had an opposing view. You can guess, how well that worked out. I don't' recommend this method as it is useless. It just created more chaos and confusion.
At the time I did not know how to interpret what I was feeling, so bought into the belief that I was broken and I had to keep working on fixing myself. Now I am starting to become aware that these feelings are my intuition at work.
My intuitive sense telling me when something is not for me. The advice or message may in fact be true and it may work for others, but that does not mean that it is meant for me.
In order to get myself out of this rut, I started practicing acceptance. Acceptance of what is, without judgement. I have found this to be the best and fastest way to peace.
Recently, I got to witness my growth in interpreting expert advice. I was listening to a podcast with Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary is best known as a digital media guru and successful entrepreneur. He has a very impressive resume of great success. He is also known for being very direct with his messages.
In the podcast, he said (as I remember it) that in order to be a successful entrepreneur you need to have a spouse that is not interested in having a career or business, you need a spouse that is independent, that could care for the children and the home and you as the entrepreneur are free to focus your time on the business. I could tell as he was speaking that this is his truth and his integrity shined thru as he spoke.
I don't disagree with his statement, he makes a good point. I have met a lot of successful entrepreneurs and most of them do focus almost completely on the business. Statistically speaking, he is probably right on the money. However, there will always be those that defy the odds. There will always be room for someone to pave a new way.
His message is not in integrity with who I am. I want to spend time with my kids, I value an hour of snuggle time too much to give it up. So does that mean I will never have success as an entrepreneur?
That all comes down to how you define success...or more importantly how I define success.
In the past, I would have listened to his words and felt like I had already lost, like I had no chance of success. I would have contemplated his advice, I would have imagined the sacrifice I would need to make to be "successful" and then I would not take his advice and I would feel guilty and frankly like a loser.
So what changed for me?
I am getting better at knowing who I am, knowing my truth, knowing that life is a journey not a destination, knowing how to read my intuitive sense and how to take actions that are aligned with my core values.
As I get better and better at knowing who I am, I find more peace in listening to a million voices.
I grab the lessons that are meant for me and drop the ones that are not a match. I drop them knowing that someone else will pick them up, someone that aligns to that message at their core.
This new perspective has also given me more freedom to speak my truth. To add my voice to the million voices, without feeling a sense of responsibility for all the people that are not a match for my message. I have faith that the right people will find peace, inspiration and love in my words...and that those that do not find value will simply drop the message and walk away.
True freedom (according to me) is knowing who I am and acting in integrity with what I value.
Peace comes from knowing that I am not compromising myself. If I have nothing but my own truth, I am rich, I am free.
When I am free, I am completely grateful for the million outside voices and I am guided by my own inner voice.
What is the best advice you have heard and what advice got your head spinning? Share your insights in the comment section below. If this blog resonates with you, please share it below on any of your social platforms.
Wishing you love, joy and peace,