In my work with young professionals I have sat across many women and men who initially tell me that they do not know what they want to do with their lives; that they have no clue what they want to study or pursue as a career; or, if we are talking about relationships, that they have no idea what they want or what they are looking for in a relationship. And I never believe them.
I believe that, on the contrary, they DO know what they want, but they are either too afraid to pursue it or have no clue how to do so. I know this because when I have explored with my clients what it is that is holding them back or getting in the way of pursuing their real dreams, their answers include: I am afraid of what my parents or others might think. What if I fail? What if what I think is right for me is not really right for me? How do I know?
For example, one particular client of mine was resisting making a decision about her future. It became clear through our session that what was holding her back was ‘wanting to make the right decision for herself.’ We first explored what she meant by ‘the right decision.’ (Was it what is right for her peers or her parents, or was she really thinking about herself?) Then we discussed her options. When thinking about the options in front of her, she did not seem all too excited, and it therefore made sense, then, that she was also afraid that she would not follow-through on whichever option she might choose. I noticed this and bluntly asked her: “What is it that you really want?” She paused and then proceeded to tell me what she really wanted for herself. And when she spoke of it, her face lit up and her whole body came alive. It was as if she had been asleep all this time, and she finally woke up!
She admitted that her fear and what was holding her back from pursuing this short-term goal of hers was that her real wants for herself went against the grain; was different than what her friends had chosen to do, and very different from what her parents wanted her to do. “It’s hard to be the black sheep,” she stated honestly.
Yes it is hard to be ‘the black sheep.’ And I also believe that the things that make you feel most alive are probably the best indicator that those things are what are right for you. (And at the very least are worth trying out!) Yes, it may go against the grain and it may be different than what other people are doing or might thing; BUT it is your unique path.
This reminds me of a quote I once came across: “If you are busy being everybody else, who is going to be you?” (Or something along those lines.) The point is, all you can do and be is yourself. That is your role, and that is why you are here! The world needs (and wants!) you to be you, with all of your unique gifts, strengths, and talents. If you don’t do what you are meant to be doing, who will do it for you?! No one else can, but you.
During the upcoming Jewish New Year, we blow the shofar, a rams horn. The purpose of blowing and listening to the blasts of the shofar is to stir us up and to wake ourselves up from our spiritual and emotional ‘slumber.’ This ‘waking up’ allows us to get in touch with our authentic selves and be real and honest with who we are, what we really want, and who we really want to and are meant to be.
This coming new year, take the courageous steps to being honest with yourself and what you really want. You are most likely to be successful in following through on your personal commitments to yourself and moving forward with your life when you are really in touch with and pursuing your real dreams, wants and desires.
Granted, there are times when this will be harder to do than at other times. And it is these times that you may require support to accomplish your goals. Therefore, surround yourself with people you trust; with those who respect and accept you for who you are. This support will help you stay on track with staying real and honest with yourself and pursuing your true dreams.
And, as always, I am here to support you, as well.
Feel free to contact me anytime with any questions.
Have a great week, and a very happy, blessed, and fulfilled new year!
With deepest respect and admiration,