No matter what struggles you’re facing or how long you’ve been enduring the same ones, the cause of every defeat boils down to not listening to your heart enough.
It’s so easy to dismiss this as some vague, abstract feel-good cliché, but listening to your heart involves much deeper work than you think. That’s because it’s not as easy as it sounds, it’s not always pleasurable, and it’s especially challenging to do when the incessant cacophony from the world outside keeps drowning out the pleadings of your heart – so much that you think you can’t hear what your heart has to say and that it isn’t important enough to follow.
This can hinder you in your personal growth and journey to self-healing far more than anything else.
Here are seven warning signs that you’re not listening to your heart:
1. You’re not allowing yourself to show up in life as you are.
Most of the time, you alternate between several different personas because you’re too afraid of showing up as your true self, especially when you believe that your true self isn’t acceptable enough for others. This doesn’t necessarily mean you want to be forthright all the time or act inappropriately, but the root of the issue is feeling guilty for being who you are.
There’s a difference between being your best self and acting like a fake “perfect” person out of total fear that nobody will like you if you show any weakness whatsoever. When you show up in life a lifeless character instead of the beautiful human that you are, you start to crumble and fall into the trap of desperately needing external approval.
Instead, be brave and show up as nobody but yourself. Know that your worth rests in your hands and the world needs to see you shine the kind of light that’s naturally yours and yours alone.
2. You feel bitter and anxious more than content and at peace.
You can feel it in your blood and your bones when you aren’t listening to your heart. When you feel agitated and awash in bitterness, your mind and body constantly overexert themselves. You keep beating yourself up for not attaining everything you think you should, which then makes you feel like the world is slighted against you and that you’ll never be worthy of a prosperous, peaceful life (even though it isn’t true because you totally are).
When you’re not listening to your heart, it just makes the inner turmoil even harder to conquer.
Nobody is here to pit you against yourself. It’s all self-inflicted and no matter how inferior you feel from all the things that have made you bitter, you do need to realize that you can break free from this trap by nurturing your heart and listening to the words of wisdom that you’ve always known were true.
3. You judge yourself too harshly.
You’re quick to criticize every single shortcoming and character deficiency you think you have. Even though you’re worn out from constantly deriding yourself, you can’t help but withhold every ounce of compassion you need, since you haven’t gotten over all the wrong things you’ve done in the past or the worst that has happened to you. You somehow think it’s “fair” to blame yourself for everything.
You’ve fallen short and you’ve taken so many wrong turns, but you can still recover from them and make a right turn when you listen to where your heart is calling you to go. It does no good to blame yourself for everything that you couldn’t have prevented because all you can do now is forgive yourself and allow yourself to soar again, no matter how many times you’ve fallen.
4. You think everyone else has it better than you.
You’re caught up with believing that people’s lives are better than yours just because they look more successful, wealthier, more educated, and overall, happier than you…at least, on Instagram. You think you’re always falling behind or that you’re never going to “win” at life because someone else has already reached there first.
When your focus is on a superficial image of success instead of the depths of your own heart, you can lose sight of what makes you a wholeheartedly worthy and distinct individual in your own right.
5. You’re constantly stuck in “freeze mode.”
Being in a rut and always afraid of taking the next step causes you to shut down and never do anything to move forward. You’ve found that whenever you want to make a change in your life for the better, you unfortunately face a paralyzing fear. This is frustrating because you hate how you keep holding yourself back from pursuing what you want the most. When you ignore your heart and listen to the cynical fears of those who doubt you, you end up freezing in place, too afraid to defy their objections.
Whenever you find yourself in “freeze mode,” do something simple you love. Part of getting out of “freeze mode” is lowering the challenge level of your next action so that you can keep the momentum going when you want to pursue something that might be more complex yet completely rewarding and aligned with your heart’s deepest calling.
6. You feel like you’re a useless burden to the world.
When you aren’t using your natural gifts to serve the world in a way that’s authentic to you, you feel like you have nothing to offer except dead weight. Feeling like a burden can put you in an overwhelming state of fear and self-loathing, which stunts your personal growth and keeps you from seeing the unique value you inherently have.
Your heart wants you to understand that you’re never a burden and your presence is a necessity to this broken world. Instead of focusing on the problems that are completely out of your hands, focus on what you have that can make this moment better for you.
7. You think your life is going to get worse, not better.
Your views of the future are bleak because you pay too much attention to all the chaos you see on the news and the chaos around you. You’re so overwhelmed by all the raging conflicts that you feel utterly helpless, as if you can’t do much of anything to get yourself out or even dare to imagine anything brighter for tomorrow.
But your heart holds a hope so bright – a hope that gently tells you that your future is beyond anything you’re dreading right now. Everything that goes on outside of you can’t extinguish what’s within you, even when their powers seem to surpass your own. The more you listen to your heart, the brighter your future will be because when you’re leading yourself, you’ll eventually arrive at a place where you truly belong.
Featured Image Credit: TONL