February 28, 2013
(For this week’s audio podcast, click here.)
I was talking to a mentor of mine a few weeks ago and I asked him, “Do you think I’m on the right track?” He said to me, “Mike, the issue isn’t whether or not you’re on the ‘right’ track; it’s that you think there’s a ‘right’ track to begin with.”
As we talked about this more and I began to think about it in a different way, I realized that so often I find myself striving for this insatiable “right track,” as if there’s some place I’m “supposed” to be and some outside authority who can validate it for me.
While there’s nothing wrong with us seeking guidance, feedback, and support from mentors, friends, family members, coaches, counselors, teachers, experts, and more – the deepest truth is that our deepest truth comes from within. It seems to be less a matter of making sure we’re on the “right” track and more a matter of living in alignment with who we are and what’s most important to us.
With all of the ideas, opinions, and influences around us (and in our own heads) living in authentic alignment isn’t always the easiest thing for us to do. Here are a few things to think about and practice to deepen your capacity for this:
1) Listen to your inner wisdom
How many times in your life have you thought to yourself, “I should have listened to my intuition on this?” Often in hindsight after we’ve made a mistake, had a lapse in judgment, or experienced something painful, we realize that at some level we already knew it would turn out that way, we just didn’t listen to our instincts. Whether it shows up as a gut feeling, intuitive hit, or just a thought, our inner wisdom is keen and important. The more willing we are to listen to this inner wisdom and pay attention to it, the easier it becomes for us to live our lives with authenticity, truth, and alignment.
2) Trust yourself
It’s one thing to pay attention to your inner wisdom and a whole other thing to actually trust it. This same mentor of mine said to me a while back, “Mike you actually do trust yourself at a deep level, you just don’t trust that it’s safe to trust, which then causes you to doubt yourself.” So often we let our brain, our logic, or the feedback of others override our deeper knowing and gut instincts. While it’s not always easy to do, trusting ourselves and our inner guidance is essential in our journey of life and growth. The more willing we are to listen and to trust the wisdom that comes from within; the less likely we are to give away our power to others and to the circumstances/situations of our lives.
3) Be willing to change
Change is a funny thing in that most of us seek it and fear it simultaneously. As much as I like to think of myself as someone who embraces change and is flexible, I often find myself quite resistant to changing. And, one of the biggest things that can stop us from going for things, being bold, and making commitments in life is our fear of changing our minds. Ironically, the more we embrace change the more authentically we’re able to commit and go for what we truly want.
Right now, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, however you’re feeling, and however “good” or “bad” you think you’re life is going, you’re not on the “right” or “wrong” track – you’re simply on the track you’re on (i.e. your life). When we let go of our judgment about where we are and where we think we “should” be; we’re able to appreciate our lives, the people around us, and ourselves in a genuine way. And, if there are changes we want to make that we believe will enhance our experience of life, we can make them from a place of truth, love, and wisdom.