Blue wooden arrow nailed to a tree

How to courageously follow your soul (even when it doesn’t make sense).

“I’m going to work at a primate sanctuary.”

“You are going to, WHAT?!”

This was the typical response I got when I told people that I was pursuing a career in primate conservation. 

I knew my dream didn’t make sense to folks. At first, it didn’t make sense to me either. 

The truth is, I almost chose a “safer” field when I applied to graduate school. 

The moment I was about to choose a more “acceptable” major, my soul screamed “NO!” My childhood dream of working with Great Apes flashed before my eyes and everything within me said, “FOLLOW YOUR DREAM!”

I KNEW without a doubt that working with primates was what I was called to do. 

Choosing to follow my soul and work with primates was one of the best decisions of my life. That experience was a turning point for me. 

It taught me that it was (and is) safe to follow my soul.

Since then, I have followed my soul into countless other unknown, unfamiliar, and unpopular spaces. Each time, I have been brought to my knees in awe of how beautifully, serendipitously, and abundantly the Divine responds to my faith and expectancy.


How to courageously follow your soul


First, what do I mean by “soul?” I define the soul as the union between the Divine and your true self. When you are guided by your soul, you are listening to both the Divine and your true self because you are One. 

I recognize that saying “yes” to your soul isn’t always easy especially when you have no idea where it is leading you. Following your soul requires courage.

How do you lean into your courage when your knees are knocking, your doubt is keeping you up at night, and others are telling you that you’re crazy to do what you’re doing?

Here are five tips to help you courageously follow your soul (even when it doesn’t make sense):


1. Remind yourself that following your soul is not only courageous, it’s essential

The greatest tragedy in life is taking your last breath and wishing you had lived more fully. 

In the book, “The top five regrets of the dying,” Bronnie Ware, a hospice nurse who cared for the dying, said that the top regret of those on their deathbed was, “I wish I dared to live the life I was destined to live. I wish I had fulfilled my soul’s purpose, my calling – what I came here to do.”

With every breath, you are given the opportunity to choose fullness – to be fiercely loyal to your soul’s purpose; to speak your truth; to follow your bliss; to create your path, and to pursue your biggest and boldest dreams. 

Each choice has the potential to change the trajectory of your life – moving you closer and closer to a life that aligns with who you came here to be.


2. Surround yourself with big dreamers who inspire you and encourage you to take big, bold leaps

Following your soul is going to scare a lot of people, not because what you are doing is dangerous or wrong, but because most people haven’t been taught to trust their soul. As a result, they will advise you to play small. 

When you are in the early stages of pursuing a big dream, like a seedling, it is important to provide it with the right growing conditions. 

Nourish your dream with faith. Surround your dream with a select few who will speak life into you and encourage you to follow your soul even when it doesn’t make sense. 

When you provide your dream with the right conditions, it will flourish.


3. Give your fear attention

We’ve all heard the saying, “Energy flows where your attention goes.” So, why would you want to give your fear attention? You certainly don’t want to attract more fearful things into your life by focusing on your fear! 

Want to know a little secret about fear? If you avoid it and don’t face it, it will grow into an unwieldy monster that consumes you (what you resist, persists). Diverting your attention to positive things to avoid your fearful thoughts will only fuel the fearful flames. 

You must walk through the fire and allow fear to form you – mold you into your most whole, worthy, and authentic self.

To do this, you must change your perception of fear and see it for what it is. Underneath your fear is a scared child who is worried that her needs won’t be met. Ask her what she needs. You’ll be amazed how quickly your fear dissipates when you lovingly give yourself what you need.


4. Become intimate with your soul

You might be wondering, “Since I can’t physically see my soul or where it is leading me, is it safe to trust?” 

Here’s the thing about trust. You don’t trust what you don’t know. 

If you don’t spend time getting intimate with your soul, you will never trust it to lead you to your best life. 

We spend so much time studying the stock market, networking with the “right” people, and pursuing job security. We then put our faith in these things. 

Contrary, we spend very little time getting to know our souls and then wonder why we lack faith. 

If you need a faith lift, invest more time connecting with your soul.


5. Look for evidence of when the Divine gave you EXACTLY what you needed.

It’s amazing what you’ll discover when you reflect on your life and see all the ways your needs have been exceedingly and miraculously met. 

When I listed all the times (big and small) that the Divine showed up for me, I had an “Aha Moment.” 

Tears poured down my cheeks as I stared in awe at my list. I realized that not only was I more than just cared for, but I was also ABUNDANTLY cared for. The future no longer scared me. I knew I wasn’t just going to be okay, I knew things were going to turn out EXCEPTIONALLY well for me! I had proof right before my eyes that this was the TRUTH.

I invite you to look at the timeline of your life – all the times you walked through the unknown and were abundantly cared for in big and small ways. What truths emerge for you when you look at your list?


A Final Note!

The quality of your life rests in your hands. By choosing to follow your soul regardless of how much courage you have to muster, you are saying “YES” to a life beyond your wildest dreams.  

15 years after choosing to follow my soul into the unknown, I know without a doubt that my soul will never steer me in the wrong direction. It will always guide me to my best life, and if I can experience this, I am certain that you can too.

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