Thursday, September 28, 2017

Letting Your Inner Voice Lead You to Your "Supposed To's".

2017 has been a very interesting year. As mentioned in a prior blog, I lost my job in April. It was quite a blow, but hindsight 20/20, I brought it on myself when I started to pay attention to my inner voice that had been telling me for some time I needed to make some adjustments in my life.  So I did what I thought I was supposed to do and go to my boss about transferring into another role within the company. I had been burned out for some time and needed a change. That inner voice would NOT shut up about this darn change.

Battle amongst my brain and inner voice: OK, OK, inner voice, I mentioned it!! You happy?
Inner voice: Nope, not yet.

I had been with the company for nearly 15 years. I loved the people and the culture, so I wanted to stay. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the cards for me to stay and 3 months after I let my inner voice open her big mouth, I walked out the door of a great company which had given me stability and allowed me to grow professionally. I was devastated to say the least. For months, I got up every single morning, logged on to my computer and filled out application after application. I was never called, called occasionally, turned down and even offered a handful of positions, but for one reason or another nothing seemed to be working out. My inner voice sat back with her hands crossed with a look of frustration nodding her head in disappointment. I would squash her down when I’d start to hear her voice. After all, I was doing what I thought I was supposed to do! One day I looked at the calendar and I had been without a job for 3 months. How could that be? Why aren’t any of these jobs panning out?
Inner voice: I know why…..

Me: Shut up, already. You GOT me in this mess.
Inner voice: (Sitting back, crossing her arms.....waiting patiently) 

After the 3 month mark, that damn inner voice started to speak up a bit louder each day. I tried to ignore her, because she wasn’t making any sense. My brain was in job mode: gotta pay bills, get insurance, have stability, etc. That’s what I was supposed to do. Yet she continued to silently argue to the point I couldn’t ignore her, as much as I tried. One day I was meeting a friend for lunch and on the drive there, my inner voice broke through with a roar.
Inner voice: LISTEN UP!! IF YOU DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO ME, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A MAJOR PROBLEM. I can’t tell you the hows, whens or whats, but I can tell you WHY you need to pay attention.

In the silent moments within her rant, my brain stopped what it was doing to listen. “There is more for you than this. The time has come for you to make a change and follow me. Trust me.” 
I cried like I hadn’t cried for quite some time releasing frustration, disappointment, anger, guilt and sadness from where they had slept quietly in their imaginary vault so I could be doing what I was supposed to do.  
I knew that day that the reason I hadn’t gotten another job wasn’t because of all the reasons my brain was telling me, but because I wasn’t being my authentic self. When I truly began to listen, I realized she had been speaking to me for several years, planting a seed here and there, waiting patiently for it to grow in the hopes I would see it. And there were days I noticed and nurtured it, but more days than not, I ignored it so I could do what I was supposed to do. So I made the decision that day to try and pay more attention to that inner voice. I must be missing something. Meanwhile, the bills weren’t paying themselves.

Four months home, still no leads, my inner voice screaming a bunch of nonsense and I was nearing the end of my wits, a friend asked to meet for lunch. That particular day, she brought a former coworker who I hadn’t seen in months. The three of us sat outside enjoying the breeze and catching up on life. My story had pretty much been a 4 month broken record but I repeated it nonetheless.
And then it happened.

The former coworker who is a successful business woman and a mom of two small children said: “Do you know what keeps me up at night? Worrying about my kids and social media.” She remembered the blog I wrote a few years back about parenting and social media. “I need someone like you around to teach me when they get old enough to have that technology.”

Out of nowhere, bells and whistles started to sound, and I am fairly certain my inner voice did a cartwheel and a split. A door that had been hidden suddenly appeared, opened and opportunity presented itself in the most amazing fashion while my inner voice arrogantly exclaimed, “Ta Da!!!”
September 7th was the fateful date. I texted my husband before I even left the restaurant and said “I know what I’m supposed to do!” After months of questioning my every turn and every decision, I did not question this. Not once. Once that door opened, thoughts and ideas began to flow. I couldn’t keep up with the speed at which they were coming to me. I would sit straight up in bed at night and make notes as to not forget the next day. That inner voice, which I thought had been so annoying, was now fueling me with determination and idea after idea. She knew all along what I was supposed to be doing. I just needed to listen.

Within 2 weeks, I had done tons of research, built a website, held a focus group meeting, created social media pages for marketing, and even found an inexpensive office space that practically fell into my lap from an angel. Less than 3 weeks in, I had my first booking.
Today marks 3 weeks to the day that the seed of Social Media APPtitude was planted. As I sit in my office, I am ever so grateful for small blessings that happened along the way without me even realizing. I'm mostly thankful for the blessing of wisdom and finally knowing when to listen. Sometimes what society and your brain says you are supposed to be doing is nothing at all what your inner voice is telling you. Is it going to be an easy road? No. Will it take patience? Yes. Am I scared? Absolutely. But **something** tells me, I’m going to be just fine.