5 Sacrifices You May Have to Make When Following Your Inner Voice

Filed in Finding & Following Your Voice, When Writing Is Hard by on May 20, 2011 • views: 420

Let’s face it—following your inner voice doesn’t always translate immediately into joy and bliss. A lot of times it can make you feel downright uncomfortable.

Taking action to pursue your calling will help you find meaning in life and bring you a deep sense of satisfaction, but it’s also likely to cause you some anxiety and stress, especially when you first get started.

Following are several examples of sacrifices you may have to make when you start listening to your soul’s commands. It helps to be aware of these and realize that feeling a little uncomfortable is totally normal, and usually temporary. That way, you can hang in there until the rewards start coming—which they definitely will if you stay on track.

1. Your title. You may have worked hard for years to attain your current position, and now your inner voice is urging you to do something else. Maybe it wants you to cut back on your hours, or leave your job entirely. Either way, you may have to suffer a demotion, or a complete loss of your “job identity,” so to speak. If you’ve got parents, a spouse, or friends invested in your current identity, be ready to face questions, comments, and even ridicule. It’s all uncomfortable until you begin to establish yourself in your new occupation, which may take awhile. Realize that this sacrifice is normal, and well worth it for your future happiness.

2. Your lifestyle. How much value do you place on your second home, RV, yearly vacation, or new clothes? If your life change involves a transfer in jobs, you may have to suffer a lower income for awhile. This one can be particularly difficult if you’re used to a certain lifestyle. You may have to face some embarrassment in front of your friends and family, or a few blows to your ego when you have to move to a smaller house or sell a car. Ask yourself what’s more important—square footage or a sense of real purpose?

3. Your pride/confidence. When you’re starting something new, you’re like a freshman in college or a private in the military. Green around the ears, so to speak. Gone is all the confidence you built up in your old position, replaced by a little (or a lot) of that uncomfortable insecurity. You may even feel downright foolish now and then. Don’t worry—it’s all to be expected. If you can stand it, it’s good for you to go back to being a beginner. It will heighten your awareness and make you feel more alive, and learning something new is great for the brain cells.

4. Your relationships. This one can be one of the toughest sacrifices you may have to make. Along the way, as you start making changes, you may find that some people just can’t accept it. It’s really tough when those people are the ones who mean a lot to you. Try to be patient. Explain to the person that this is something you feel you need to do, and you hope for his/her support. Give them time to come around. But don’t let their negativity affect your resolve. Everyone has their own issues to deal with, and likely their response has more to do with their own struggles than with you.

5. Your identity. Especially when we want to make changes later in life, we can feel like we no longer know who we are. Spend twenty years being a doctor, what are you if you decide to quit the profession and raise Thoroughbreds? Spend thirty years being a mom, what are you if you decide to go back to college? It can feel like you’re falling without a rope. Be patient and try to enjoy the ride. You’re on your way to a new identity, which if you let it, can be tremendously exciting.

You may find other sacrifices you have to make along the way. When you start to feel super uncomfortable, take some time to calm your emotions (with a long walk, music, exercise, or meditation), then reconnect with why you’re doing this in the first place. Something inside you compelled you to make a change. Honor that inner voice, and it will lead you right.

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