About a year ago, my intuition told me something.
I found myself in a situation where I was not only really uncomfortable, but I knew that I was in the wrong place. My intentions were being thwarted, and worst of all, my natural abilities, inclinations and talents were being treated disrespectfully.
I remember thinking, “OK. The situation is clear now. I’m never doing this again.”
And then life happened.
Things got a little bit better, task lists needed attention, day-to-day life got in the way and I forgot my promise to myself.
I forgot it so much that I let the same situation come up again.
Each time, I thought, “Wow. This is awful. I’m not doing this again.”
This last month, I had the opportunity to let it happen one more time. I’m happy to report that I listened to my intuition instead. It wasn’t easy. Those around me expected me to keep going as I always had. No one wanted me to rock the boat and people were relying on me to do what they wanted and needed.
I’m a stickler for keeping my word, but I had to take responsibility for not acting sooner and speaking up. I had to actually admit that what was happening didn’t serve me. I had to clean up the mess I’d made, and stop it from happening again.
What a difference it has made in my self-esteem, in my clarity and in my willingness to work hard towards my goals! I consider myself lucky that I was able to correct this after only failing to listen to my intuition twice. I know there have been times when it’s taken a lot more than that, and the consequences have been much more disastrous. So for this, I’m thrilled.
My only regret is not speaking up sooner. It’s always so much harder to undo something once we’ve let it go on.
And it got me thinking about how many times we don’t listen, or to be more specific, how many times I haven’t listened.
Like when I knew I needed to leave my corporate job about 9 months before I actually did. My chest was tight almost all the time. It usually started at about 10:00am on Sundays and didn’t leave until Friday at 5:00pm. That’s not fun.
I would wake up in the middle of the night with a pit in my stomach, not knowing what to do, or how I could ever get out. Then there was the shaking at work, even though I was really good at my job. There was the ache to see my children, and sobbing at midnight in the basement because I missed them so much.
There are times in our lives when our bodies talk to us. We get chronic colds, we can’t sleep, ulcers, depression, tears, nerves…and the list goes on.
We tend to push the signs aside. It’s so easy to do.
It’s just our bodies, right?
Drink some more coffee, meditate more often or take sleeping pills. In my case recently, I was ignoring the pit in my stomach that started about 30 minutes before scheduled calls, the dread when seeing specific names in my inbox or those nights when I woke up thinking, “What on earth am I doing?”
So what do we do with all of this?
We learn to trust. “Trust what?” you ask? I like to call it, “When our spidey senses are tingling.” Good ol’ Spidey.
When I say that, most people know what I’m talking about. But just in case… ;-), here’s a list:
- That still small voice. It always tells the truth.
- That feeling I get in my chest. When it’s too tight, something’s wrong.
- If I wake up in the middle of the night with a thought, pay attention to it.
- When I leave someone’s presence, how do I feel? If I feel “off” even though they were “nice,” then something is wrong.
- Trust myself enough to know the difference between “I don’t wanna” and “This is wrong for me.”
This doesn’t mean that you run out and quit your job, or that you pick a fight or you walk out of a tough situation.
But what it does mean is that your body, with all of it’s amazing hard-wiring, instincts and a distinct drive to survive, is sending you a seriously strong message.
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Maybe you can take a few small steps towards righting the situation. Start having those difficult conversations, and outlining a plan of action. Usually, nothing drastic has to happen to make the correction, but it’s clear that one needs to be made.
Honor yourself and start taking the little actions needed to show yourself how much you’re valued. At the end of the day, the only person looking back at you in the mirror, is you. Honor yourself and do right by those spidey senses.