Have you ever noticed that sometimes in military life it seems as though every time you turn around someone or something just keeps getting in the way of your dreams? It may feel like for every idea you have or action you take there is someone out there telling you it can’t be done or how it won’t work. They may even share a suggestion as to how to do it “the right way”.
After church today, I reflected on something the pastor said that really hit home and got my wheels spinning. He was talking about the disconnect that we all have when others tell us how we “should” act and what we “should” do. He went on to discuss that when we let others “mold” us we are actually preventing ourselves from living out our purpose.
And you know me, when the wheels start turning I just can’t let go. So I started looking back and noticed an interesting pattern in my journey. During the times in my life as a military spouse where I have struggled, been stressed out or just plain “messed up”, without exception it’s when others have tried to “convince me” to do something that wasn’t in direct alignment with my purpose. These times were filled with “people pleasing” and wishy-washy boundaries and my thoughts centered around what I “should” be doing, rather than what felt right.
And as I really dig deep I can’t help but notice that during the worst times, I felt manipulated rather than supported.
Now I’m sure there is some psychological explanation, but I know one thing is for certain. During each of these times, I gave my power away, and felt helpless and trapped because of it. Instead of standing strong and acknowledging that I really do know what makes me happy, I allowed others to place their agenda into my life. And the only person who suffered was me.
If you read my blog or follow my speaking you know that I am all about being real, making a difference and supporting others. But until today, I didn’t realize that I held a belief that was holding me back.
I believed that in order to keep things stress free so I could be happy, I had to do it in the way others want me to. I thought that if I wanted to help and support others (something that truly makes ME happy), I had to do what they needed. And to make things worse, I believed that if I didn’t do it their way I wasn’t really helping them. But I couldn’t have been more wrong.
[Tweet “If you try to please everyone you will miss out on doing what it is that you were sent here to do”]
What I failed to recognize was that my gift, my ability to make a difference, can only shine when I follow my heart. And that doesn’t mean that I have to do so in a way that others think I should.
I realized in order to live my “best life” I have to be me. Not the molded version of me that fits someone else’s agenda, but the me with all the bumps, bruises and scars that life has brought. I now get that it’s these battle scars that I bring to the table in a unique way that is my destiny.
I think in the grand scheme of things happiness is all about tuning into what it is that stirs something deep inside of us and taking the action to bring it to fruition. It’s about following our gut instincts and trusting ourselves enough to know what actions support what it is we are being called to do.
No one else knows what you “should” be doing in your military life better than you do, so trust your abilities and uniqueness, because only then will you be on the path where your dreams can become your reality.
~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and lifestyle blogger as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com