I don’t like The Beatles.
I know that’s not exactly ground breaking news, but it is to me.
That’s because I’ve always felt like I should like The Beatles. They were an iconic and cutting edge band. Everyone likes The Beatles, right?
There’s always been a part of me that thinks I should like them, too.
But that part of me that thinks I should like them is in direct opposition to my authentic voice that politely whispers, “I just don’t care for them”.
That polite voice that’s whispering what I authentically think is my truth and my soul. And it has an opinion on everything from what I like to what I need to thrive.
Anytime I want to know my truth, I listen to my authentic voice.
But there’s another voice – that one says I should like The Beatles. That says I should listen to the experts over myself. That I shouldn’t rock the boat by speaking up. This voice wants to go along with Them. It wants what They want. It wants to fit in nicely with the crowd, even if the crowd is doing something that my authentic voice disagrees with.
Both of these voices live in our minds. We tend to hear one more loudly than the other. Which voice is loudest for you depends on which one you side with more often.
Lions, Tigers, and Bankruptcy
Each time we hear an opinion (which is almost every second of every day), we have a choice of what to believe.
What do we think is good or fun or healthy or ethical? What do They think?
And if our authentic voice disagrees with what They think, we tend to ignore our truth.
Part of that is human nature. Historically, standing out from the crowd would label you as lunch for a lurking predator.
The fear of lions catching us has evolved into fears of getting fired, getting divorces, losing money, losing our homes, never losing weight or gaining 200 pounds.
So we ignore our authentic voice and instead tell ourselves these little, seemingly innocuous, lies about what we should believe.
But these little lies we tell ourselves take us away from living authentically.
Sometimes this is done on purpose. We don’t want negative attention. We don’t want to have conflict. It’s a minor sacrifice to make someone happy.
We’re afraid of being selfish. We think that siding with our authentic voice will lead us astray.
Getting Away From Ourselves
Sometimes we don’t even realize what we’re doing.
We’re so used to taking the ‘experts’ advice over our own that we ignore what we really think.
Sometimes we don’t ask ourselves because we don’t believe we have an opinion at all.
Not checking in with our own voice creates a habit of not knowing.
Each time we ignore what we believe, we are putting up a wall inside of us. Cutting ourselves off from knowing what we authentically want.
There’s often a fear that if we really listened to ourselves, we would have to drastically change, or go in a completely different direction and we’re not ready.
“If I always go with what I authentically think, I will become self-centered and destructive to those around me. I have a responsibility to keep peace in my family. “ I often hear versions of this story. The story of ‘If I listen and honor my authentic self, I will be selfish and irresponsible’.
When you’re not authentic with yourself, it creates little drops of negativity, angst, and stress within you. These feelings then get spun out to those around you.
There’s nothing peaceful or responsible about that.
Courage For the Little Things
The true selfish act is not paying attention to yourself and not doing the work to stay authentic.
Because what you spin out to the world is the same love, respect and honor that you show yourself.
Start asking yourself what you really want. You will know it’s your truth because it feels good to acknowledge it. You don’t have to act on anything, but just listening and honoring your true feelings will bring you peace.
These don’t have to be groundbreaking beliefs. Even those little white lies we tell ourselves can start that wall building up inside…
‘Sure- I like the Beatles’
‘I totally want to be vegan’
‘I really should get up and run in the mornings’
Start listening to yourself. On everything.
Acknowledge that you don’t like the Beatles.
That your body does just fine with the carbiest of carbs.
That you don’t like cats, or are completely happy without having children.
Honor your voice when it says you don’t like running. Listen to it when it says to rock out to gangster rap on the way to work each morning.
Whatever it is – listen without censorship. Honor it as your truth. Love yourself for being honest.
It takes courage to listen if you’re not used to it. It can be scary and it may seem like there’s no voice there. But I assure you, it is.
Start by asking. And then listen. And then, even if it’s quietly to yourself, honor what that voice inside you says.
That’s the voice that tells you if you want to eat meat or do palates.
That is also the voice that will open up about why you’re making certain lifestyle choices.
It’s the voice tells you when you’re ready to make a change.
That voice will tell you what you’re truly passionate about.
That is the voice that will lead you to self-love and happiness.
It all comes from that voice. First it may be a tiny whisper that you barely hear. But keep with it and keep listening.
Know that all good things start small.