Walking Upon Your Own Path
By Pam Garcy, Ph.D.
Learn how to stop listening to everyone else about what to do with your life and start walking upon your own path!
What does it mean to walk upon your own path?
• It means that you are being true to yourself.
•It means that you are listening to your healthy inner voice, the voice which is urging you to move in the direction of your greater dreams.
•You know that you are walking upon your path when you find yourself in passionate pursuit of that which you find important, valuable, and meaningful.
I have heard many excuses about why not to work toward fulfilling an inner dream:
• I have heard about the lack of time, resources, motivation, etc.
• I have heard about how other's wishes and desires are more important.
• I have seen people "resign" from the only job that their inner selves ever really wanted them to take.
• I have noticed them running away from themselves with self-defeating behavior.
Why do I want to encourage you to begin to listen to yourself, to walk upon your path, to unleash your passion? It is because I believe that each of you has MASSIVE POTENTIAL to contribute to humanity!!! Each person is a TREASURE CHEST, waiting to be opened!
One challenge is that many of you have a MINDSET OF WAITINg.
•You are waiting and waiting for the right time, the right person, and
the right situation to come along and "open" you up.
• You are waiting for an excuse to release the treasures inside of you!
Life will always have its challenges, its difficulties, and its problemsYou can't erase that. There will probably never be a perfect time or situation. So, perhaps you can release the MINDSET OF WAITING..
ANOTHER MINDSET: START WALKING! You are responsible for opening yourself up, and you can start now! Even baby steps can get you going in the right direction! You can turn to others for help and support along the way, and ultimately you retain responsibility! You are the one who decides when to walk, where to walk, and how to walk!
You can take the first step by creating a timeslot for yourself. Yes, I'm actually suggesting that you set an appointment with you! Find a time during your week that you will spend sorting through your mental clutter and coming to clarity. If you have a more flexible schedule, you can find a daily timeslot!
Sometimes, it is helpful to take a walk, sit outside, or change your scenery in some way. This change will allow your mind to shift gears away from your chores and focus upon the higher questions you have for yourself. In coming weeks we will learn how to stop listening to everyone else about what to do with your life and start walking upon your own path! Here's the first question to consider.
"Other's wishes are more important"
One of the main excuses that people use to avoid walking upon their own paths is "other people". As a therapist, I've noticed three primary times when people say, "Other's wishes are more important than mine."
The first is what I call "HIDING BEHIND ANOTHER". Sometimes, we decide that other's wishes and dreams are more important than our own. We put our own dreams on hold to help others pursue theirs. While this might be fine for short periods of time, many of us adopt this as a lifestyleWe make excuses about why we avoid taking action in our own lives, and the excuses often involve others who are pursuing their dreams, sometimes at our expense. We use others to hide behind, and we decide that we cannot have our dreams because of them.
The second is what I call "UNSUPPORTIVE OTHER". There are times when others are not as supportive as they could be, and they may even discourage us when we attempt to step outside of the role that they'd have us take. They are not comfortable with us changing, because it might mean that they are inconvenienced--or worse, challenged to grow! We decide that we'd rather not inconvenience others or face discouragement, so we avoid this pain and simultaneously ignore our own desire to grow.
The third is what I call "SUPPRESSIVE OTHER". When others are suppressive or abusive to our individuality, we are unable to pursue higher order goals. Basic safety and security needs become our primary focus, and we work to meet these before our focus can move to emotional fulfillment.
How to overcome this excuse
Some of you may say, "Excuse? This isn't an excuse! You don't understand!" Let me start by explaining my definition of an excuse--an excuse is something that we say when we have personal power and choose to relinquish it. So, let me remind you of your power in these situations, as difficult as it may seem to see it.
In the first case, you have the power to work on committing to yourself and limit setting.
•Committing to yourself involves creating the time and opportunity in
your life to start pursuing what you love.
• Limit setting involves being firm about your commitments to yourself.
•When others ask you to violate your time slot, give yourself permission to say, "No. I already have a commitment at that time. What other times might work?"
• If you're not one to set limits for yourself, begin by practicing saying the above phrase out loud, in front of your mirror, several times a day. Eventually, you'll be ready to set some limits with others.
In the second case, you can experiment with assertiveness.
• There are three styles of communication: aggressive, assertive, and passive.
• Assertive communication takes everyone's needs into account.
•There are many formulas for assertive communication. One is to start with an "I" statement, and to explain how you feel and what you'd like to see happen. For example, "I feel sad when I cannot pursue my favorite interest. I'd like for us to work together to find a way for me to do this."
• If you face initial resistance, consider it "par for the course". You can later repeat the request using different words. Persistence and respectful communication are the keys.
In the third case, you have the power to seek help.
•I would encourage you to seek the help of a professional, as the third
case can be very tough to overcome alone.
• Don't expect to "walk upon your own path" while in an abusive relationship--if you're staying in this type of relationship, you may already be reading this with a sense of hopelessness.
• Please get help! Consider contacting a local shelter or involving the authorities if you are in danger.
REMEMBER: This is a process. You can begin now! Keep it going, and you'll free yourself to pursue your passion! As you begin to create personal time for yourself, you will be more open to your own inner guidance and walking upon your own path!
Next issue: Part 2.
Pam Garcy, PhD is a Psychologist and Coach in Dallas, Texas. If you'd like a partner in reaching your goals and overcoming the obstacles that seem to stand in your way, please contact Dr. Pam for coaching by emailDr. Garcy offers a special 10% coaching discount to all valued subscribers of Cultivate Life and to customers of Trans4mind.com. DrPam's best-selling books - including the bestsellers The Power of Inner Guidance: Seven Steps to Tune In and Turn On and Wake Up Moments of Inspiration - are available at My Innerguide.com