Everyone has an opinion. And you didn't even ask for one!
Every article gives you 3, 5, 10 things to do that will fix it all...just follow the advice and your world will be fabulous. Every book is a self-help "listen to me" guide by experts who want to share the golden truth with you.
Every tweet, post and blog directs you toward happiness and success. It's do-able if you just do what I say.
When do you disconnect from all that?
What is the balance between learning from others and trusting yourself?
I believe (and you should do as I say of course) that the rule is...first learn the rules and then break them.
Ask questions, learn how the group does things to first establish relationship and then tune into self. If it’s not your way, your physiological system will tell you. For some people, if they don’t listen to that inner knowing for long enough, the expression begins to manifest itself as symptoms of depression and/or anxiety.
Some of us never learn society’s rules and we get triggered into constant survival mode. At the end of the day we are social beings and when - back in the day - being ostracized from the group meant physical death today it can often mean psychological illness. So we stay with group-think and stay safe.
Some of us never learn to tune into self. Or maybe we tune in but we ignore. Or maybe we tune in and make a plan but leave it always for “later”. In essence we betray ourselves. Over time we no longer trust ourselves and we lose one of our greatest gifts - the gift of “knowing”.
Some might call that knowing “spirit” or “inner child” or “true being”. It speaks volumes to us and holds a wealth of information if we teach ourselves to listen and trust it again like we did when we were kids.
I invite you to find the balance.
Once you master the knowledge and skills of being the student (in any new chapter in your life) then have the courage to notice how and when you come to life or find calm. And under what circumstances do you shift to fear or feeling small - frozen.
Have courage to make small shifts toward doing things more and more your way. Know that it will get all kinds of reactions from your loved ones and even complete strangers. But whatever reaction you get - supportive, demeaning, apathetic - tells you about where they are in their journey and very little about you.
Bonus: A healthy inner circle of positive & meaningful friends/family will help you learn the rules and help you break the ones that are toxic to you.
The rules might be great rules for someone else but that does not need to concern you.
Good luck on your journey!