Unpacking my story which I shared yesterday, I am going to tell more about what I learned in that process of finding my purpose in life.
One is facing our inner conflict.
Conflict between two voices we have. One seems to pull us forward, wants us to take risks, acts more like with our emotions and intuition. The other one wants to take less risks, cares about the norms of society, what other people say, wants to use our minds, prefers logical.
We find ourselves in this conflicting place several times in our lives. Which voice is telling the truth? Which one is better to follow?
That was exactly where I was torn apart about my decision for the future of my career. Do I listen to that voice that says this is not you, this is not what you are born to do, do not sell your soul, leave the job? Or the other one? That one is usually in line with what you heard all your life; from parents, from society, from people around you. It is the voice that is easier to follow since it is part of the norm: Stay at your well paying job. You do not need to love it. Just do it as everyone else does. As soon as you hear it though and want to follow this logical one, if you notice, something inside of you gets irritated. It just does not feel right.
To follow the voice that take risks and takes you to the unknown is a more difficult one to follow but it certainly is more exciting. This is usually the road less traveled. You need to accept you can be the black sheep, the rare one, the weird one, the one many don’t understand. You need to accept, this is part of the path. If you stay in your comfort zone, you know in the heart of your heart you will not be happy. This risky one sounds dangerous and definitely out of your comfort zone, but it feels right. You cannot explain the logic behind it to analytical people but you know it is what you need to do.
That is what I had to do with two big decisions in my life. One to quit a really well paying, good job that I did not like, the other one was to take the opportunity to quit everything and live in a very different country at the other side of the globe. Believe me I had a lot of conflicting moments before I made the final decision on both.
In this process I learned about these two voices. The risk averse one is our ego-voice, it is our identity. It tries to saves us by staying small. It is our reptile brain where flight or fight is the only way to deal with danger. It was very much needed centuries ago when we were always in survival mode. It is still very important in emergencies we face. However at a time when we don’t have danger every day, that part of our brain is protecting us from the smallest things like taking risks with our career.
I learned that the voice that tells us to do something different, to take risks that pulls us forward and get us from our comfort zone is the one to follow. Not because it is easy (because it is not) but because that is when we expand, when we learn more about ourselves, understand our potential. We take risks, we fall, we get up again but we constantly grow as a person. There is so much excitement on this path. Assess the risks, know that is a bumpy road, feel the fear but do it anyway.
So when you are quite enough to hear these two voices, choose the one that feels right that will expand your capabilities. The one that does not feel like you have to sell your soul or need to be any different than who you are. That is how to get out of conflict within ourselves and make a choice.