Whose Voice Do You Listen To?

couple yelling at each other

Article by Wendy McCance

When I was in high school, I dreamed of being an Interior Designer.  I was constantly rearranging my room, drawing sketches of how I could make different rooms of our house over and saved up and bought a drafting table.  My senior year I was taking an art class that I loved and was getting a straight A in (my grades were very average and I was so proud of this grade).

One day I was approached by my teacher and asked what I would like to do with my life.  He wanted to know if I would like to pursue a career in the art field.  I told him that I wanted to be an Interior Designer.  He was very supportive and said that if that’s what I wanted to do, that I should go after it.  Then he told me something that devastated me.  Apparently my mom had called him and asked him not to encourage my dream.  She said that I had no talent in this area and that pursuing a career in Interior Design would be a mistake.  I was in shock.  I couldn’t believe my mom would go to such lengths to stomp out my dreams.  The teacher then told me that as I got older that it was very important to go after what felt right to me and not what others felt I should do.

That conversation was a real turning point in my life.  After that day, when I would make any big decision I would stop and question my motives.  Was I deciding to do something because it was right for me or because someone elses voice was playing in my head and guiding my decision.  I can’t begin to tell you how many times I had to review and change tactics when I realized my motivation came from someone elses expectations or as an avoidance to the disappointment or disapproval I might receive from others.

Listening to your own voice and blocking out the noise of others opinions is probably one of the hardest things to accomplish.  The wide variety of places you will hear the voices of others is staggering.  Society has a set of views that might differ from your own.  Does everyone have to aspire to be married?  Media outlets throw around their beliefs and so do  places of worship.  Family, friends and co-workers will all have the ability to plant their voices in your brain.  Trying to wade through all of the noise to listen for your own voice is hard and can be confusing.  Was it really how I felt, or how someone else thought something should be.

There is no one correct answer.  We are all different and need to celebrate our own uniqueness.  Finding your way and staying true to your own voice is not only powerful, but wonderful.  The uniqueness of each person is what makes life so interesting.  It doesn’t matter if 100 people followed a certain map to get from point A to point B.  The important thing is to know what works best for you based on how you and not others feel.

Staying strong and trusting your voice is the surest way to a satisfying and successful life.  It’s great to get advice and to take into consideration what others have to say.  The trick is to know what advice you feel comfortable taking from others and being able to hear your own thoughts.  In the end, trusting your instincts and staying true to who you are and what you want will bring you the happiness you seek.

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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11 thoughts on “Whose Voice Do You Listen To?

  1. Enjoyed your blog Wendy and totally agree with how important it is to live life on your own terms. My focus as a Life Coach is to help people to that end.

    It’s interesting how life works, you had apposing voices at that time of your life and were ready to take on maybe our most important life lesson. A major focus of mine in Mindfulness and how important it is to be able to step back in the moment and be aware that we have choices and decide which is our own. I just watched this Alan Watts video this morning you would enjoy. It addresses your topic well. https://www.facebook.com/Meaningful.Life.Coaching?ref=hl#!/photo.php?v=377067949058685&set=vb.136336876521150&type=2&theater

    Best to you and your writing. Art
    http://www.meaningfullifecoach.com/
    https://twitter.com/jartlewis

  2. Hi Wendy! Wonderful post, and so important! I have found that following through with your intuition in the moment (meaning, promptly and consistently) is what places you in the right place to receive favorable synchronicities and insights that help you further your goal / project. When you get this amazing kind of support from the “Universe” no one can derail you, you KNOW you’re on the right track! Of course learning to distinguish your inner guidance from all the other voices you hear (even in your own mind) takes some time, but the best confirmation one can receive that one is on the right path are these amazing synchronicities that support your path / project.

    I have a blog post I wrote about gaining confidence in your inner guidance last year. It is titled, “Gaining Confidence in Your Inner Guidance” and the link is: http://www.christinehoeflich.com/?p=130

    I hope you check it out! Christine

    • Hi Maggie, thanks for the comment. With my mom, I basically learned that I needed to follow what was important to me and avoid getting wrapped up in my mom’s view. Hard lesson with many stumbles along the way. 🙂

  3. I just found your blog on Linkedin and enjoyed this post. I’m in the exploratory stages of launching my own blog. I have always wanted to be a writer. I worked in advertising and then stayed at home with my kids for the last 15 years. Two years ago I started writing for a hyperlocal site. I loved the work but it has stalled. I do some website and business writing but my my inner voice says to start writing about what inspires me. I’m so bogged down with what topic to choose to blog about that I feel like I’m in quicksand. I have to just do it! Do you have any advice to offer? Thanks.

    • Hi Vilma,
      I guess the best advice I could give you is to go with your gut. I started writing this blog because I just had a lot of noise to get out of my head. I wrote for myself and didn’t think anyone would really even find my blog. I think it is because I write from my heart and really care about interacting with the readers that I have had some success. I hope this helps. Let me know when your blog is rolling so that I can check it out.

  4. Wendy,
    In high school it was easy for my guidance counsellor to point the direction he thought I should go in. He asked me what sort of work interested me. Noticing that my summers were taken up working for the NYS Conservation Dept., he surmised I should go to Forestry school.

    I was a High B student, but my grades were off the charts in math, and I suppose I could have trailed off into teaching Mathematics. I spent a number of years in Forestry work, Surveying (Math came in real handy), and Landscaping. For the last 25 years I taught adult education in the field of Landscaping.

    Was outdoor work my niche? In my case, it worked out well, along with my passion for the environment and nature all around me. Much of my Poetry and Prose deal with subjects in nature. I’m well published across the U.S. and now in 62 countries in Europe.

    Where eagles fly,
    Don (Greywolf) Ford
    Native American Storyteller
    Author of “Royal Ferdinand”, Short Story PDF, and newest book “”Death & Taxes”, A Book of stand alone stories (Most are true). Both are found at Amazon.com

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