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I speak to so many people—friends, family, colleagues, clients, and my network of fellow writers and counsellors/coaches—and there’s one thing that stands out for so many: a need for more.
A need for more from life. More happiness. More fulfilment. More money. More success. More of whatever seems to be lacking.
When something is lacking in our life, we don’t always have clarity on what that is. We often don’t have the self-awareness or the tools to look deep enough within and understand what’s missing.
So we look externally instead. We change jobs. We buy more unnecessary stuff. We try and get our needs met by others. We move homes. We pack up and move away—to start afresh.
We search for ways to make more money, to be more successful. We stay in comfort zones, in places and with people far longer than we should—because the fear of the unknown is terrifying. The fear of potential judgment is terrifying. Truth be told, most people are continually looking for validation.
What people need to do is get out of their own damn way.
Stop searching and trying to fill your life externally. It never ever works.
Your brand-new, shiny job will be a beautiful, temporary distraction. Your bigger, better, new home with all the mod cons will keep those aching voids at a distance for a little while. That windfall of money in your account will have you feeling on top of the world for a moment. That boost in followers will validate you for a bit. That new partner, crush, attractive person who gave you some attention will peak your interest and your confidence for a minute.
But when the shininess wears off, which it always does, then what?
Until you are honest with who you are, what you truly want, and have the courage to listen to your soul, you will be forever chasing an illusion. Until you are self-aware enough to understand there’s work and healing to do, you will be forever hurting yourself and others. Until you are brave enough to tackle those demons and wounds, you will forever be stuck on replay—repeating the same sh*t over and over in one way or another.
Until you see your truth and stop your own bullsh*t, you will be forever tripping over yourself.
Humans are complicated. We form so much of our belief systems as children, and sadly, many will never understand how some of those beliefs can impact our whole lives.
For example, when we partner, particularly at a younger age, we are partnering with the energy of ourselves at that time—the unhealed energy before the work is done. We are partnering to fill those voids left from childhood. Sadly, we are often partnering an apparition, which is why so many of us find ourselves floundering around looking for external happiness as the years go on. When in all honesty, it’s our own wounds and healing that need to be addressed, followed by the relationship.
The catch is when we do our work, many find the relationship is not quite what we want. But alas by this stage, we have kids, so as history would show and continues to show, people stay in their comfort zone. They stay because of the kids. The judgement. The fear. They stay and find a million other things to try and distract themselves from the real issues.
It’s so much easier to lie to ourselves than it is to be brutally honest.
What if we got out of our own way? What if we actually listened to what our soul was saying and we had the courage to follow it? It’s bloody scary, right? Absolutely it is.
But what is more frightening is living a life you need distraction from. Living a life where you need to constantly change external things because it’s far easier than dealing with yourself internally.
The sad reality is you cannot actually escape yourself, and no amount of running or hiding from your soul’s truth will fix you. No amount of external validation will heal you. No amount of mask-wearing or pretending you have the ideal life can ever replace actually being authentically true to yourself. And actually living the life you desire.
With my learnings, experience, and work, I have put together a few things that can help you get out of your own way, stop you from swimming upstream, and stop you from living a life on replay.
1. Be prepared to strip yourself bare. Be completely vulnerable. This is not for the fainthearted.
2. Understand there is no quick fix. As adults, we have lived our lives over many years with certain belief patterns and behaviours. These need to be unraveled and reset. It’s a process, and long-term growth and healing take hard work, sometimes painful work, and it does take time.
3. Understand that without tackling the deep, dark work of healing, real growth can never take place. Daily gratitude, meditation, affirmations, self-help books, podcasts, and good daily routines are wonderful tools, but they are not enough. Make no mistake, we all have healing to do on some level.
4. Work with a counsellor, coach, or healer, but find yourself someone trained and experienced. Supporting someone to heal and understanding the mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of that person requires a certain set of skills. Beware of the toxic positivity coaches; bypassing those buried wounds and hurts is a dangerous thing. Beware of someone offering quick fixes.
5. Get honest with yourself and those in your life. If you can’t be completely honest with yourself, you will never be honest with others. This includes your fears, mistakes, wants, and desires.
6. Don’t fear judgement. People will judge the change in you because they were used to the old you. Those who have their own limited beliefs and work to do won’t understand your growth. When you make decisions, some people will not agree, especially if those decisions go against what others think you should be doing. But here’s the thing, we get this one life, so be true to yourself and what you want.
7. Sometimes you will lose people and that is okay, because others come into your life. Our healing and growth may inadvertently hurt people, which as compassionate humans upsets us, but if we are lying to ourselves, we are lying to others, and in the long run that is far more painful. When we follow our soul, we become the best version of us, which makes us a far better person for those in our life.
8. Learn the difference between your head, your heart, and your soul. We too often silence our soul because what we truly desire sometimes goes against everything we thought we wanted. Everything we have been taught to want. Everything we have known. Understand it is okay to change the course of your life.
Some will think this is selfish, but what is more selfish is being dishonest with yourself. Lying to others to protect yourself. Staying in places and with people because you lack the courage to be truthful. Our partners deserve the truth. Our kids deserve the truth. We deserve to listen to our truth. Faking our life is soul-destroying and over time it hurts those we are often trying to protect. Change done the right way can be the greatest gift of all.
When you start down the path of removing yourself as the biggest obstacle, you start to set yourself free. When you start to set yourself free from your own bullsh*t, the lies you tell yourself, the masks you wear, the distractions, the people pleasing, the need for external validation, it will finally be quiet enough to listen to your soul.
It will finally be time to recognise the healing work you need.
When you get out of your own way, a funny thing happens—you finally discover who you really are.