Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” This is not to say that following in the footsteps of others will not lead you to understand your true purpose and set you up for success there but to also consider choosing new and unexplored paths, to take risks and make mistakes. This process can be terrifying, though, as venturing out on your own into new things may cause anxiety and hesitation. You may even consider these feelings as signs that you aren’t on the right path. I’ve experienced this fork in the road many times and assure you that it’s not the end but only the beginning of something magical and fulfilling.
The key is to understand the difference between true fear of failure and the natural jitters that occur when you are faced with the challenge of new experiences. Below I’ve outlined some of the clues to both emotions. My hope is that you will gain some understanding into how you react to your circumstances and whether you tend to move forward on the path or retreat in fear of the unknown.
Natural Signs that You Are on the Right Path
Excitement/butterflies that cause you to dream about what might be.
Contemplating the outcome in terms of pros and cons.
Feelings of pride about accomplishing something new.
Feeling of peace when thinking about your goal.
Others encourage you to take steps.
Resources and helpful people seem to come naturally.
You do not fight yourself to move forward.
Clues That You May Be Going the Wrong Direction
Constant fear clouds your mind and heart when thinking about your path.
You may become physically ill during your course.
Others do not encourage you but challenge your ideas.
Everything seems hard and is not falling into place.
Your mood is not stable.
You have an odd feeling in your gut.
You question everything.
You keep changing your mind.
The above clues are by no means a complete list of what can happen when deciding on a life path or direction; in fact, they are only surface and each needs to be considered carefully. One thing I can tell you is this: know yourself well. Try to recall patterns in your life whenever you’ve tried to move in a new direction. Do you always become fearful of change? In what areas of your life does this fear appear? What may have happened in your past that caused the initial fear? Does change excite you? Do you become hopeful and encouraged by new opportunities? While you should ask yourself all of these questions and more, focus on your emotions the most, as they are the best indicators of your truth.
Seeking Outside Help
Trusted counsel is always a necessary resource to anyone who desires to move into a new and challenging season of life. I’ve said many times before how important it is for women to have a support system in place. Mentors, teachers, coaches, counselors, therapists, trusted friends, and caring family help guide and encourage us when we question our own ideas and actions and can be crucial in supporting positive choices. If you don’t have any of the above people in your life, I encourage you to seek out at least one person who can stand by you during life transition. I understand that many women cannot afford coaches and counselors; that is one reason why I created this community. We always welcome your ideas and questions here and will do everything in our power to support you on your life journey. Clergy and non-profit organizations also offer free support for anyone who needs advice and counsel about life changing choices.
No matter how you came to walk on your current path, you owe it to yourself to clarify your purpose for being there. I believe we all are where we are because of past thoughts, beliefs, choices, and words. We each create our life path by being who we are or by being who we are not. It is in this revelation, you finally begin to see your truth and the path for which you were meant to travel.
Please share your thoughts and experiences about walking on the right path. If you have not done so, please pick up our RSS feed or sign up for our email community in the right sidebar to receive a free gift.
Making Life’s Decisions by Kellie R. Stone
Where Do I Belong? by Kellie R. Stone