Today I’m linking up with my friend Andrea at DreAm heART sMart ArT for her blog challenge. The prompt is “HEART”.
When you’re in a tough situation, do you follow your heart or your head?
Most people will say, “I follow my heart! My heart and my emotions know what’s best for me!”
That may be true, but in practice, I’ve found that most people actually follow their heads or logical minds more often than their hearts. This is true even when we truly WANT to follow our hearts.
What Does It Mean to Follow Your Heart?
When I say “follow you heart,” I mean trusting your emotions or how you feel inside at a primal level. Following your heart is all about trusting your instincts. The answer might not make sense or be completely feasible in the real world.
On the other hand, following your head means to think logically about a situation. You might make a list of pros and cons or weigh each of your choices to make a sensible solution. Following your head is the so-called “smart” thing to do—you’re using your mind and the available information to make a sound decision.
But how often have you done the smart thing, the right thing, only to feel an ache inside you later?
Sometimes a decision can look good on the outside but can really damage us emotionally.
What Your Heart Knows That Your Head Doesn’t
Not surprisingly, since our heart-thinking is tied to our subconscious emotions, our hearts will know when we’re in a bad situation long before our intellectual minds do.
Think about a bad relationship from your past (we’ve all got ‘em!). I bet there was something inside you that was telling you it was time to ditch that toxic person weeks or months before you did.
For example, a woman in a physically abusive relationship might know with all her heart that she should get out right after the first time her boyfriend hits her. But her mind might get in the way and try to work out a justification for staying: “But it was my fault.” “I don’t have the money to leave him.” “He’s so nice to others, no one will believe me.”
Here’s another common situation. Your heart might not be in your current line of work anymore. Sure, it might have been great for a while, but now you’re bored, frustrated, or emotionally drained. Your heart wants you to move on!
But what’s your head telling you? Probably that you should feel lucky to have a job, that you need the paycheck, that you’ll fail if you try to do something else. So, you might stay at your lousy job and ignore the pleading of your heart.
The Price of Not Listening to Your Heart
Sometimes it makes perfect sense to listen to your head. I don’t want you to become broke and be living on the street! I also think it’s a bad idea to start a fight with someone 3 times your size or throw a drink in someone’s face.
But when have you been hurt by not following your heart? I, for one, stayed in terrible romantic relationships and friendships for far too long in the past. I wasted months (and years!) waiting for people to treat me well. In the end, I was left emotionally scarred. Not listening to my heart made me very distrustful for a long time.
I want you to reach for the stars and achieve all your wildest dreams! And you can only do that when your heart is in it.
What Should You Do?
If your heart’s not in your current situation, then it’s high time you start listening to it. The best thing you can do is trust what your emotions are telling you AND arrange things in such a way that your head feels like you can take the next logical step.
Listening to your heart + being smart about it = happy fun time for everyone!
Let’s say your heart is telling you to get out of a bad relationship. Do the smart thing by saving money to move out and creating a network of supportive friends and family. Obviously, if you’re in real danger, the smart thing might be to go to the police.
If your heart wants you to find a new line of work, don’t just mope about your bills! Take time to research other jobs, read about things that you’re passionate about, and start saving money so you can leave your job whenever the time is right. Hey, create a vision board while you’re at it.
Can you find a way to trust your heart and appease your logical brain? I know you can!
Do you follow your heart?
In the comments below, let me know what your heart is telling you about your current situation.
Having trouble following your heart? Is it hard for you to figure out what you really want? Get your free Ready, Set, Go! coaching call with me, and I can help you find your direction.