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Follow your heart, you’ll love it!

Do you sometimes feel bored, or unfulfilled? Do you start new things and projects only to abandon them shortly after starting? Can’t figure out why things you planned don’t work out the way you wanted? It might just be that things don’t work out because your heart is not in them. So instead, follow your heart!

We all know the feeling. You start something new, you are exited and motivated and you dive in. At first things go great, and you enjoy yourself, but after a while it becomes more and more difficult. You start to lose interest and after a while you simply give up. It happens to all of us, but why does it happen?

Doing things for the wrong reasons

When we start new things for the wrong reasons, eventually they will become impossible to continue. Your heart is not in them, and it feels like swimming against the stream. You lose interest and quit, and it feels like failing. This feeling of failing can have a crippling effect on you, and prevent you from starting something new. This can accumulate in such ways that you paralyze yourself from ever starting new things, and only keep doing what you already know.

A fear to fail

The reason we don’t start something new after a failed attempt is fear. Fear of failing again, fear of the opinions and judgment of others. Growing and learning then become very difficult, and you feel like you are standing sill in an ever moving and turning world. Looking at others you might feel inadequate, but try and remember that all of us struggle with these problems. Besides, it is not your fault you are afraid to fail. You were taught to fear this from an early age.

Surfer falling of his surfboard

In school, we are thought not to fail. Tests can only be done once, so you better score a high grade. This sets us up not daring to take risks. On social media we only see the accomplishments of others, but never all the failures that came before. This too can give us a sense of fear. Fear to fail, and even a fear of trying.

Failing vs quitting

It is important to understand that failure is inevitable. It helps us learn and grow, and is an essential part of life. Only by doing, and failing, we learn, so we can do better the next time. There is no shame in failing. Failing does not mean you are not good (enough) or a loser. You only truly lose when you quit, all the rest is progress.

WD40 is a spray-able oil used for all kinds of mechanical applications. Before Norm Larson invented WD40, oil was only a liquid. He saw the need to make it spray-able and started out testing different combinations and ways to make it so. The name WD40 means Water Displacement 40th attempt. Larson failed 39 times before he struck gold. Failure is not loosing unless you quit.

Motivation vs discipline

To prevent starting things for the wrong reasons, we have to take a look at why we do things. Every one is always talking about motivation and how important it is. And yes, motivation has it purpose. Often it is the reason we start something. We find something new and are exited by it, this excitement turns into motivation, and before you know it you start on a new journey. To understand motivation it is important to know that there are two types of motivation;

Intrinsic or extrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation is motivation found outside yourself, like compliments, payment, fame etc. Intrinsic motivation comes from within, like good health, joy, a better feeling of self. In my post self-love is a superpower you can find some more examples of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Woman receiving praise

As you can imagine extrinsic motivation is more fleeting. When there is no-one around to give us motivation, we get demoralized. Whilst with intrinsic motivation we do it for no-one else but ourselves and our own feelings. This type of motivation is ever lasting, it is only measured against itself and not against others.

Discipline

Discipline is continuously doing something no matter if you feel like it or not. It takes over where motivation stops. We all know the feeling; you need to do something, but you can’t put yourself to it, you lack motivation. At these moments, when you do what you need to do despite not wanting to, that’s discipline taking over from motivation.

Where intrinsic motivation wins from extrinsic, discipline wins from intrinsic motivation. It’s what sets apart winners from losers. Discipline will get you through the most difficult moments, the moments when no one is watching, when it is only you against you.

Soldiers marching

What discipline also guarantees, is that you have continuation of the thing you are doing and the process you are going through. The repetition it creates is crucial. Without it, we create the opportunity to say; no, not today, I don’t feel like it. When you do this, it might very well give you a feeling of failure. This can then continue as you feel like you already failed, so what’s the point right?

The trick is to keep showing up, no matter your motivation or mood. And when it is inconvenient then do it for just 5 minutes. At least you did it, and instead of having a feeling of failure, you will have a feeling of victory. And you will be grateful the next day when you continue.

Follow your heart!

So what is the reason that so many of us have trouble finishing what we start? It’s because we are not following our hearts. We do it because we think we need to and because our motivation is often extrinsic. We do it in order to get status, fame, acknowledgement, payment etc. And when that doesn’t happen we are no longer motivated. Our hearts simply aren’t into it. We are swimming upstream. Following your heart is loving yourself, and self-love has lots of benefits. You can read more on the benefits of self-love here.

When we turn our gaze inward and look at our hearts, we start to see our values. What do we find important in life, what do we enjoy, and what makes us happy? It is all found inside our hearts. Looking into your heart, and identifying your own values, beliefs and what brings you joy, will provide you with intrinsic motivation to do more of those things. And this intrinsic motivation is much easier turned into a discipline, guaranteeing continuous results.

From fear to fearless

This intrinsic motivation will last you a lifetime. When we utilize this, we literally put our heart into the thing we are doing. When there is no motivation coming from others it doesn’t stop us, we do it because we love doing it, because we love the way it makes us feel. All of a sudden we are swimming with the stream instead of against it.

Woman following her heart by singing

Doing something from your heart makes it so much easier to do. That’s where the saying put your heart into it comes from. At first this might seem scary, and it is. But getting out of your comfort zone is the only way you will grow. Once you do this you will find that most of the things that scared you aren’t actually all that scary.

When you follow your heart and love what you are doing, you now no longer fear failure. It becomes just a part of the progress of becoming better and better at it. In time, you might even welcome failure as it teaches you new insights!

Do it for the right reasons

Following your heart and finding your passion is what will make you happy. I can’t think of a better reason than that to do so. We all deserve happiness and love, so start by loving yourself! Doing so will improve your life in ways you can’t even imagine right now.

Following your heart might be scary at first. There is a big possibility that your life will change. It might even be that you are afraid to lose people. But is that really the case and if so, is that a bad thing? You will change when following your heart, and most likely your loved ones will (maybe after some muttering) accept it. And if not, then are they really deserving of your time and love? If they are truly loved ones they would want you to be happy, right?

If you are scared to start following your heart, simply ask yourself this; Is what where my passion and joy lies illegal? As long as you’re not wanting to murder people or set up a drug lab and other crazy things, your passion is valid. So if the answer is no, it’s not illegal, then go for it. You deserve it, and you are doing it for the best reason of all, you!

Enjoy life to the fullest, BEINLOVEWITHYOURSELF!