What does it mean to follow your unique path?
There’s something about the way we raise our children, and how we were raised, that quite honestly bothers me. How many of us were raised to pursue goals of “doing good” or achieving ‘success’ above discovering what it means to be our true selves? And I’m not just talking about following your passions and learning your dislikes or preferences. What I’m getting at, is the core of who you are on a soul level. Not what you do and how you do it, but who you be and how you maneuver through this world. And yet instead of this, we’re taught to conform our lives to fit into society’s, parents’, partners’, ‘influencers’ ideas of success, and spend a MASSIVE chunk of our lives trying to appear that we are barreling down this road successfully that we don’t even want to be on. Eventually, this becomes the norm and the standard, we get comfortable with our current circumstances and we simply stop exploring.
For many, myself included, we one day realize that we’ve spent our lives trying to be like other people and that this way of life just isn’t working out. Do you recall the commercial where Shaquille O’Neal is walking in a woman’s shoes and she’s walking in his? Well, if you haven’t seen it then take a look here and have yourself a good chuckle, but pay attention to the message in it and I’m not talking about buying insurance either… You’ll see what I mean. Just go watch.
The alternative to maintaining the standard is to walk a path that is entirely unique to you. God (or whatever you call Source Energy) made you different for a reason. I believe that we each have our own specific growth process that helps us to develop and evolve into higher versions of ourselves so that we can affect that same change in the people we are connected to, and raise the vibration of the plant we choose to live on. But if you’re going to step into the unknown and learn how to be an expert at being YOU then how do you go about that, and if the end goal is to receive what we truly want…then why do so many of us NOT? Let’s explore some blocks that may be in the way of that.
Overcome these 5 blocks to start walking your unique path:
1. Objections from outsiders:
When people who aren’t living our experience give their opinion on our life choices, it tends to bring up the fear of judgment to the point that we begin to value others’ opinions over our own to avoid that anticipated judgment. We then allow that fear and judgment to inform our decisions.
Doing it differently means that you get to do it your way; that way may be a better way.
2. Confusion in knowing the right path:
Your correct and unique path will feel right even in the face of objections and opposition. You’ll just know and feel that it’s the right thing. On the other hand, the path that’s not right for you may feel triggering and you may be met with a lot of resistance. One way to clear the confusion is to be curious and honest about what’s coming up for you about the path you’re on, as well as the path you want to be on.
3. Imposters Syndrome or Pedestal Syndrome:
Imposters Syndrome is an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. Pedestal Syndrome is a state of being or thinking where you put yourself or others in a position of superiority or inferiority. Both of these can lead you to abandon your own path and follow someone else’s. This leads to frustration, more confusion, and resentment about your choices because, once again, you’re valuing someone else’s uniqueness over your own, thinking that theirs is better and yours is the lesser. Can you say ‘self-limiting belief’?
4. Attaching to outcomes:
This is holding on to the ideas of what the journey should look like or be like, and as soon as it doesn’t line up with what we think it should be or what someone else’s journey is. We’re quick to jump ship or make a u-turn heading back in the direction of comfort, frustration, confusion, or resentment. We become disillusioned that staying or going back to the road most traveled, convenient, comfortable, or popular is better than taking that path that’s calling to our soul. There’s less risk in that, right? So we think.
We believe (or have been conditioned to believe) that staying the course and doing the “safe” and standard things is the right move because it seems like the right thing to do or looks like it will get us to where we want to go, but it’s not. That’s why it’s called an illusion. Especially when you know deep on the inside that the path you’re currently walking doesn’t feel aligned with your truest wants and desires. Admittedly or not, our soul becomes vexed when we’re going in a direction that it’s not meant to. It’s that same feeling of discontentment and anger that I felt when I wasn’t happy at my 9-5 job and badly wanted to transition to running my coaching and healing business full-time (my attitude sucked… every day). That tightness in my throat and jaw when I agree to something that I’d rather not be doing. That feeling of complete and utter discomfort, uneasiness, and sadness that’d feel in my energy and my body every day when I woke up to an ex-boyfriend that was abusive and didn’t unconditionally love me for me. Do you get where I’m going with this yet?
So, stop keeping the lie alive that you’re good where you are when your heart and soul are telling you a completely different story, which really isn’t a story. It’s telling you the truth. See, there’s a difference between what you should want and what you really want. Getting to that place of honesty, authenticity, and uniqueness requires taking the road that might look different than the family values and beliefs that you were raised with or adapted as an adult… or what “they” (whoever that is) says or thinks.
5. The Fear Factor:
Most of us have some level of fear when we consider going our own way and not following the status quo. We ask ourselves questions like “will this even work?”, “what if this all blows up in my face?”, “what if what I’m doing is wrong?”, or “what will they say?” What are you afraid will happen if you were to break out of the mold and follow what felt correct and good for you?
Listen, this is your life, your human experience to live the way you want to. While you’re worried about what other people are thinking of you, you could be wasting valuable time and energy by trotting behind someone else’s goals and skipping down their path instead of your own. If you’re afraid then I have a truth for you: No one is coming to save you… but you. So whether or not you’re afraid of something happening or not happening, the path remains yours for you to walk. That path might look like leaving a relationship that’s abusive, setting a healthy boundary with yourself and others, leaving a job that is no longer in alignment with your goals and desires, turning a side-hustle into a full-blown legal business, or getting unconventional help to kick a habit, making a life-changing decision that will get you unstuck and out of a toxic situation… the list goes on.
Truth is that breaking out of the comfort zone of doing what everyone else is doing or what the experts say is right is going to require some effort and energy and bring with it a degree of pain and difficulty. That’s how this human existence where we get to grow works. Nobody who truly wants anything in life gets to escape challenges when they decide to create a shift in their life and walk the road that is distinctively theirs. That’s where gratitude, wisdom, and appreciation comes from. It’s through the struggle, over the river, through the woods, up and down the mountain that you get to the gold.
Reflect on some of these questions to help you discover and embrace your passion and unique path:
What do you like, love or hate?
What excites you?
What makes you angry or uncomfortable?
What triggers you?
Side note: A trigger will show you to your wound, and a wound will show you to your path. It’s not just your passions that will set you on your unique path, but it’s where you’re hurting that will help you move in the correct direction.
What beliefs do I hold about myself and my life, and are they absolutely true?
Deeper than following your passion, discovering your unique path means discovering who you really are. Not your just your likes and dislikes or preferences, but who you are on a soul level. Not what you do and how you do it, but who you be and how you move about in the world. So… who are you really? Who do YOU say you are?
There are all kinds of experts out there. Experts in marketing, sales, social media, fashion, etc. You name it, there’s an “expert” for it. Although these experts have mastered their areas of knowledge or expertise, NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY, is an expert on you except you. Nobody can tell you what’s correct and good for you but you. So do you and follow your own unique path. It was made for only you anyway.
“It’s your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” – Rumi