Be Willing to Accept the Disapproval of Others – one of the essential principles for finding your way to an Inspired Life, and according to Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, a way of making sure that inspiration is your master or driving force, even through following it might disappoint others.
“When we begin to follow our ultimate calling, there will be a lot of resistance,” Dyer writes. “In fact, the purpose of the slings and arrows sent our way is to get us to change our mind and be reasonable, which translates into “Do it my way!”
This section in Dyer’s book, Inspiration, follows the thread I began with A Matter of Focus last month, which discusses the “shoulds” placed on us by our friends, family and community at large – what we “should” be doing for a living, where we “should” live, where we “should” educate our kids, what kind of opportunities they “should” have, what types of vacations we “should” take, and on and on and on it goes. What we “should” do however, is what we feel driven to do, what takes our breath away, what we feel is our purpose.
As I discussed in A Matter of Focus, “shoulds” are everywhere. And really, until the past few years, I could have easily been dubbed the Queen of the Shoulds. But something changed….I started to feel a sense of unhappiness I couldn’t shake. I couldn’t identify it, I couldn’t wrap my head around it, heck I couldn’t even shop it away. And believe me, I tried.
Let me give you an example from my own life. Several years ago, I had a great job with a local governmental agency as a writer. A dream job for many, filled with benefits, retirement plans and a crazy number of paid holidays. But it was flat. There was no spark, no joy, no excitement. It was words on a page, day in, and day out. It wasn’t the words I wanted to write, or the stories I wanted to tell. It was words for hire.
But wait, state job, paid benefits, so what, right? Wrong. The reason I started writing in the first place, the reason that words had carried me this far was because I had passion. Passion for telling the story, sharing lessons from the journey, bringing the truth to light, being the voice for the voiceless, a true breathtaking passion for the art and craft of writing. And with the job, telling the same story a million different ways was not doing anything but killing that passion and removing the joy that brought me into the field in the first place. I thought…and I thought…and I thought, and with nothing but belief in the dream I quit. Walked away from a state job, walked away from benefits, paid holidays and stability and ran straight back into the realm of freelancing.
Talk about slings and arrows – wow! My parents were flabbergasted, and probably thought I had lost my mind. My friends thought I was making a horrible mistake. Heck, even my ex husband called to see if I had gone insane. But I knew….just knew I was making the right decision.
The same type of decision I am once again consciously making as I turn away some freelance projects in search of more space for my growing coaching practice and the writing associated with that. There is passion, and it is something I feel called to do. Ultimately, we do what is before us, we do what we are compelled to do. We grow, we change, and we move with it. And when we listen to that voice, to our authentic selves, we make these moves and changes with grace and ease.
That grace and ease will also enable us to be stronger in our decisions, because believe me when I say, slings, arrows, anger and disapproval will come as soon as you deviate from the “path” that has been set before you. The path of “shoulds”, “woulds” and “ought-tos”, guarded diligently by friends, family and the community at large.
Dyer sums it up beautifully as he writes, “As we gain the strength to ignore the pressure to conform, resistance will diminish and ultimately change to respect. When we steadfastly refuse to think, act, and conform to the mandates of others, the pressure to do so loses its momentum. All we have to do is endure some initial disapproval such as dogmatic persuasion, anger, pouting, silence, and long-winded lectures…and then we’re on our way to inspiration rather than frustration.”
Think about it…do you want to be frustrated or inspired? Do you want to look at what you should do, or do you want to think about what you could do? Do you want to walk the walk and talk the talk or do you want to tune it all out and just dance? Get inspired, dance the dance, and savor the journey. And bottom line, listen to your own truth, not the opinions of others.