I vividly remember, at age fifteen, wearing my school uniform that included a tie (yes, even the girls wore ties, and we loved it), sitting in philosophy class, listening to the teacher’s lifeless words, and doodling on my notebook … weird flowers, and strange eyes because, of course, I was a teenager, and I was confused and hated the world. I then stared out the window, looking out at the small road that links to one of the most dangerous highways in the area. I kept staring, imagining myself breaking free from this place and the surrounding walls. I imagined an older version of me, walking from that small street towards me, knocking on the classroom door, and asking the teacher to excuse me for a few minutes just to tell me, “You will find what you are looking for; you will be okay, and I am proof.”
Years passed; the windows and the walls changed, but my gaze from the window remained the same. It is me, at different ages with the same expression, longing with despair. I realized that whatever window was there, it was my way of connecting to the world and my higher self. I had a strong belief that I am more than whatever this is! Such thoughts used to cross my mind all the time: “Was I missing some ride? What do I need to do? Who am I supposed to be? I have worked so hard at any given job. I am ready to be the first to arrive or the last to leave. I am willing to put up with stress and anxiety because that is how life is supposed to be, but what is missing?”
The only thing I was missing and not ready to do was listen to what I truly wanted. The authenticity took the form of a small voice in me that always conveyed absurd desires, the desire to be a facilitator and motivator for others, the desire to be creative at my pace and space, or the desire to be stress-free and excited.
Then, another voice would show up in my head, bullying my true desires. “What do you mean you want time off to discover yourself? You want to study more, YOU JUST GRADUATED!! You are just bored! Who are you to be different?” That bully voice took over my life. Whenever that small voice had something to say, the bully voice would mock it, humiliate it, prove it wrong, and shut it down.
The small voice suffered; so did I.
One day, I attended a seminar related to my work field. Through the different featured guest panels, one woman had a short demo of what her business was all about. She helped people find their passion. She had quit the corporate world and dedicated her life to this. I was inspired and depressed. How did she get there? It appeared that she came from a stable background and attended the best universities in the world. Of course, she can just quit everything and start something fun!
I was in conflict; how do people do this? How do they quit everything and start their dream project?
Days passed, and my internal struggle went through stages. I suddenly decided to love and appreciate what I was doing; I did that for a while, and it beautifully mirrored back! However, I could only project this for so long, and then the battle of the small voice and the bully resurfaced until I was sick of myself.
Fighting for oxygen, I decided to listen to the small voice for once! Just hear what it has to say, for God’s sake. Confused, that voice started mumbling evidence of my current state: “You are unhappy, and you deserve to do something about it.” I was only able to allow the guiding voice speak for a bit. However, I knew if I don’t do something immediately I will lose myself forever. Yes, it was that dramatic!
I found the courage to allow myself to respond to that voice more; I quieted my mind and listened to what I wanted. I am a psychology graduate and ended up so far of my true calling. I listened further and realized I wanted to be a Life Coach. I am not saying I accepted that immediately. I fought it so much. My inner demons became proof in front of me. The bully voice formed in shapes of people who told me I was a bit crazy to do this. At least stay in your job until you are stable enough to be a Life Coach. For the first time, I decided to go with fear. Go all the way. I quit my job and went for it. Now I look back and just feel proud for going towards the fear anyway. The small voice grew and is becoming stronger. The bully voice is still there but much quieter now!
I hope this inspires you. Regardless of the size of your fear, devour it before it eats you by standing still. Give yourself the privilege to honor your values and desires for a more fulfilling, authentic life!