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Christa Smith Psy.D.


Marching to the beat of your own drummer

Photo by Christa Smith
Source: Photo by Christa Smith

There are those people who say they always knew what they wanted to be...a mother, a surgeon, or a writer. But for many of us knowing what we want out of life isn’t that easy. It’s as if our genuine desires are a code we can’t seem to crack. Or worse, we wonder if we have any genuine desires at all.

Knowing what you want can be a challenge at any phase of life whether you are graduating from college or contemplating retirement. But there is a reliable way to tap into what we really want, a way that connects us with our feelings and bypasses the complicated inner maze of our own expectations and those of others. Simply pay attention to what makes you enthusiastic. It’s so simple yet it’s such a good tool. When making decisions it’s easy to get wrapped up in and even stalled by pros and cons lists or other intellectual exercises. Though these exercises have great value, they are not the whole picture. Enthusiasm, or lack of it, tells us how we feel about something. It appeals to a part of ourselves that needs to be consulted. If we ignore our feelings we miss out on vital information and guidance.

In a good relationship, as we build trust, it becomes easier to understand and be understood. In a similar way, by listening for our enthusiasm and responding to it we build a kind of rapport with ourselves. As our inner voice is heard over and over again it starts to trust us and it speaks more clearly. We, in turn, learn to better understand its unique language. Out of this new rapport comes a greater ease in making decisions and a kind of self-faith.* We learn to trust who we are and what we really want our lives to be about.

© 2015 Christa Smith

*I use this term with gratitude to my client who coined it.


About the Author

Christa Smith, Psy.D., is a psychologist and mindfulness enthusiast who works with people who want to make a shift.