When Your Heart’s Not In It

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!

Click here to read more posts for the DreAm heART sMart ArT blog challenge.

Do you follow your heart?

3 Simple Steps to Become a Productivity Superstar

Dump your excuses, transform your habits, and become the most productive person you know.


  1. Tinfoil Tiaras on November 6, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    As passionate a person as I am, I am a list maker and definitely follow my head which makes decisions challenging because I don’t trust my heart. I’m going to create a vision board, not feeling very inspired by my 9-5 these days.

    • Sage Grayson on November 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      I’d love to see your finished vision board! Put a picture on your blog or tweet it when you’re done. I make a new vision board every few months to reassess my goals and plan out what I want next.

      Sorry to hear that your day job isn’t so inspiring. Maybe your vision board will help you find your passion for your job again…or lead you to a different line of work. Follow your heart, as always. 🙂

  2. Ralph Shybiker on November 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Your words are so true. I’ve learned, only through experience, to listen to my gut and remove the bad things in my life. You’re so smart!

    • Sage Grayson on November 5, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Yes! The heart and gut are related…or maybe they’re the same? Either way, there’s always something inside me that knows what to do before my brain does.

  3. Molly on November 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    This is something I’ve dealt with many times in the past and wow, were they ever learning experiences! Like you, I wasted years in relationships that I shouldn’t have because I followed my head rather than my heart.

    The only thing I’ve going over right now is whether to keep blogging or not….. While it’s a pretty minor decision, it’s still kind of a difficult one. I’m starting to really feel that my heart isn’t in it anymore, but I’m giving myself some time yet before I make a solid decision. I think your advice of following your heart while also being smart about it is perfect!

    • Sage Grayson on November 5, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      I get overwhelmed by social media. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc, so I understand your feeling about wanting to cut back. Sometimes when my heart’s not into something anymore, I give myself time to think and discover where my interests do lie. Take time to figure out what you want and where your heart is leading you. You’ve been blogging longer than I have, so I can see why it’s a big decision for you.

  4. Andrea on November 5, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Dear Sage, thank you for beeing part on my challenge! I really listen to my heart. It is quite easy for me because I always have been like this. But of course I totally agree with the head! It needs balance. Dreams are coming from the heart- and dreams need a vision- and that is where the heart and the brain are getting married! Love and see you in a week!!! Flying from Switzerland!!! Andrea http://www.dreamheartsmartart.blogspot.com

    • Frauke Moebius on November 5, 2012 at 3:54 am

      Dear Sage,
      I still have problems posting comments, so please excuse me just answering Andrea. I love your post! It’s so true, our heart could be so helpful once we learn to listen to it and use the information well.
      – Frauke

      • Sage Grayson on November 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm

        No problem, Frauke. Sorry my commenting system is being weird. Thanks for checking out my blog post. 🙂

    • Sage Grayson on November 5, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks for hosting the challenge, Andrea! I can’t wait to see you next week too.