A Lesson on Following Your Heart and Never Giving Up

For the past four years, I’ve been following my heart and refusing to give up on wherever it leads me. And it’s led me to some exciting places, vibrant people, and new mindsets. 

When I lost my job, I made a decision. Actually, the most important decision of my life — to follow my heart. And to intuitively listen to where it was guiding me no matter what and to never give up on whatever that is until I exhausted it completely.

Some may see it as reckless and irresponsible, but I see it as tuning into my true self. After all, how can we live a wholeheartedly authentic life without following our heart and intuition? 

I spent 16 years ignoring what my heart was telling me and slowly withering in the corporate world I wasn’t designed for.

I get it; we all want to “do the right thing.” We take advice from family and friends that leads down a logical road. We follow the roadmap that society tells us is right instead of following the roadmap that is printed on our hearts.

All my life, I listened to everyone else’s ideas of what I should do with my life. I let people who barely knew me become the director of my life and tell me what I should do with my life.

I thought I should get a degree that pays, so I majored in computers and business when my heart wanted a degree in music or journalism.

I thought I should get married, so after years together with my college sweetheart, I got married instead of following my heart and walking away.

I thought I should own a home, so we bought one when my heart told me it was a bad idea.

I thought I should be loyal to an employer, so I stayed way too long when my heart was dying at a job I hated.

I listened to everyone else and ignored my heart. But as life often has it, your heart can only be put on hold for so long.

“If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down.”

~ Buddha

Slowly and quietly, my heart began to offer me little truths. I began to listen more and more.

And on that fateful day in 2015 when I lost my job, do you know what I did?

I paused and listened. To my heart. To my intuition. (And, of course, I cried. From relief and from stress.)

I took time off to think. 

I ignored what everyone else thought I should do; which was find another job right away.

And my heart told me loud and clear it was time to do something else with my life. It was time to create the life I had been trying to create in the background of all the “shoulding;’ to become the woman I knew I wanted to be.

When my heart told me to grab an experience and go for it, I did it. 

When it told me to travel, I saved the money and did it. 

When it told me to learn new things, I learned.

When it told me to take time off everything to heal my body, mind and soul, I did it. 

When it told me it was not time yet, I listened and waited.

When it told me it was time to write and speak my truths, I wrote with passion.

I believe that following your heart is a courageous thing. It takes courage to follow a path into the unknown. And one that, most likely, will light you up.

The lesson?

YOU, and only you, decide what your life looks like. 

You decide what you’ll walk courageously towards and what you’ll walk away from. 

Follow your heart, want what YOU want, and do the things YOU want to do.

If you’re brave enough to listen to your heart, it will call you to feel, create, and become your most beautiful self.

And when you listen, you’ll be both scared and excited.

The best thing you can do is listen, then listen some more. Master the art of listening to your heart, and you’ll be guided to exciting places.

Of all the things I’ve learned on this heart-led journey, it’s that we all do it in our own time. Sometimes, like in my case, it can take years to heal and listen to your heart fully. But whatever you do, never give up.

I haven’t. 

No matter my struggles or how hard the path gets, I carry on with what my heart believes I should be doing. 

“You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved.”

What would listening to your heart look like? What type of woman would you become? Share it below.

Comments +

  1. Dee says:

    Beautifully said.. I was so fed up with the corporate world that I quit my job, over a year ago now, and despite the fact it was very frightening at the time, I have never looked back since.

    • Michelle says:

      Thanks! I feel the same way about corporate and was in the same place. This new path was scary and still is most days. But it’s been such a mind-expanding experience, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I know myself so much more now.

      Here’s to keeping going and never looking back!

  2. Deb says:

    After years of following the traditional “safe” path society tells us to take I too lost my job in corporate America. Almost two years have gone by now and have never been happier than to great each day with gratitude and let my heart show me the direction. Embrace the day!

    • Michelle says:

      Love this! “to greet each day with gratitude and let my heart show me the direction.” That’s exactly it.

      No more hamster wheels being driven by what you think you “should” do.

      Losing your job is scary, but it often happens for a reason. It’s usually because we weren’t in alignment with what we should be doing.

  3. Robin says:

    I so resonate with much of what you share here, Michelle. I used to live my life doing the OPPOSITE of what my heart wanted. As if living for others and those “shoulds” as you say, had more credibility and wisdom than my own inclinations. I was in conflict with my life and myself for decades: I knew what I feIt and wanted but I didn’t have the courage to act accordingly. Until I left my marriage and home in the suburbs and returned to living my life in accordance with my values. Then, like you, I felt ignited, on track, happier. There is much more to my story – because ultimately I followed my heart to an indigenous village in Mexico -where I still live – but I wanted to let you know you have a “sister” here. You mention the courage to follow your heart – it does take courage – and sometimes, it also “takes what it takes” to get there.

    • Michelle says:

      Thank you for sharing your story Robin! It’s truly inspiring. You are quite right, sometimes it takes time, patience and persistence to get to where you know you should be.

  4. Jacqui says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog and wholeheartedly agree. I love my simple life and following my heart in all that I do, despite others telling me I should be doing something else. I keep following my heart on a journey to fulfil my dreams how ever long that takes me.

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