When faced with a decision do you think with your heart or your head?
Decisions can be life changing. They can free us from the ties that bind us or they can further tighten the reigns. As a recovering perfectionist I had one resolution for this year. And something that I looked at as being so simple has become one of the most difficult challenges of my life. My resolution this year was to BE OPEN and to wholeheartedly be open to life as it comes.
I must tell you as a recovering perfectionist being open is fucking difficult. Being open is the exact opposite of the way a perfectionist lives her life. That’s why I knew that if I was going to change the way I lived my life, then I was going to have to change the way I reacted to it. To be open, meant I was willing to go with the flow and accept life’s challenges and rewards without ever planning them, or without even having expectations that they would be there.
But in order to accomplish the task of being open in life I had to try something different. I had to begin to think (and listen) with my heart rather than my head.
Here’s why. When I listen to my head I listen to my ego. And if I’m being honest my ego always tells me a reason to close up or a reason to say no. My ego, and my head tell me that I’m not good enough. I’m not worthy of my desires. I’m not ready for the next step.
However when I listen to my heart it loves me and supports me. It tells me the exact opposite of my head. It tells me that I am ready for whatever it is I want and if I remain open it will come.
Being open is not easy. It’s challenging to say the least. As early as the age of four or five we’re taught to plan. Plan our days, our lunches, our play dates and with time the list continues to grow.
Then were exposed to a laundry list of expectations. They start small. Do what I say. Don’t talk back. You can’t leave the table before your dinner plate is clean. But then they slowly start to get bigger. You’ll go to high school. You’ll run cross-country. Hopefully you’ll get a scholarship so that when you go to college at the age of 17 you won’t graduate in debt like the others. But what if you’re not ready for college at the age of 17?
Because the truth is some of us aren’t. And when we don’t meet the set expectations (that we set for ourselves or someone else has set for us) we begin to lose confidence in our abilities. We begin to feel like there’s something wrong with us and then we wonder are we good enough?
This is not the MINDSET that we want to be in when we are faced with life changing decisions. So I ask you to think hard about your mindset when you are faced with making a choice. Yes, listen to your head but allow your heart to lead the way as your heart knows what is best.
Expectations set us up for failure and at times they are so detrimental that they actually keep us from moving forward.
It is our ego that is fueled by the need to exceed expectations. It is our heart that is aligned with our own personal desires and not those of the masses. When we listen to our hearts we understand that we might be different and what works for someone else might not necessarily work for us. When we listen to our hearts we offer more compassion and less criticism.
So while yes there are benefits to both, thinking with your heart and your head, I believe perfectionists need to spend more time allowing their hearts to guide the way. To be truthful if we don’t listen to our hearts I doubt we’ll ever get anything done.