Who are you listening to?

We all spend countless hours listening to the world around us. Listening to what our family, friends, colleagues, bosses, and others tell us. Absorbing what society, advertising and social media tell us we should be. About what we should and shouldn’t do. Listening to the messages said and implied in the feedback, advice, and behaviours they model for us that are designed to mold our self-perception and decision-making abilities. Messages that convey to us how we ought to be acting and how we are meant to show up. Here’s the thing, we are not them, they are not us and we can get confused or distracted when those messages don’t align with who we are in our heart and mind and what our values are. Who are you listening to?

What if we listened to our intuition more? Not the voice of doom that can silence our dreams but the expansive and affirming one that knows the gifts we bring to the world. What if we didn’t let others drown out the stories in our hearts and minds? What if we take everything we’ve been conditioned to be with a grain of salt and go our own way? How would that feel?

I’ve spent much of my life being the person I believed others thought I should be. Pleasing others instead of myself distracted me from my true path, leaving me wondering why I didn’t feel authentic. Age and experience, along with a deep desire to design a life of my own creation, led me along a path of self-discovery and feeling more like me. I wasn’t lost so much as re-discovering who I really was and allowing myself to be open to the gifts the Universe has to offer. I’ve ditched my old, fixed mindset and embraced growth. Call it a mid-life crisis? I prefer to call it a mid-life awakening that at times feels uncomfortable. However, that discomfort has led to deeper self-awareness; a connection to the values I live by. It has also given me the courage to tackle issues, conversations and ambitions that the person I used to be wouldn’t have considered taking on.

I believe that life is meant to be an ongoing learning experience. If we choose to participate, evaluate and grow from the lessons before us, it can be a journey rich in self-discovery. We can choose to face the day or stay in our “comfort zone” where everything is easy and predictable. A “comfort zone” may seem like a lovely place, but nothing really grows there. You can choose whether to listen to others that would have you fit into a neat little box, or you can choose to listen to your intuitive self and follow your dreams. For myself, I listen to affirmations that hold me capable and strong, surrender to what lies ahead and boldly lean into the wild potential of my future.

Who will you choose to listen to today?

Shelley Langille, CEC, a Career and Certified Executive Coach and creator of SeeShell Consulting and the International Coach Coalition

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