How to listen to your gut and ignore the naysayers

listen to your gut
Your gut is your guide to fulfillment.

The lights dimmed, the curtain went up, the orchestra began the overture, and I knew… I was home.

At 10 years old I performed in my very first musical. I remember so vividly how much love and joy I felt in that experience. I knew at that young age what I wanted to do with my life. So that is what I did.

I started doing more shows, taking more dance classes, and began voice lessons. My life was theatre, theatre, theatre, and I LOVED it. Every minute of it was bliss for me.

I followed this dream into my mid-twenties. I kept performing and training as much as I could. I went to college for musical theatre. And in 2017 I moved to NYC to pursue theatre, my lifelong dream.

I lived that New York actress life for 3 years. The getting up at 5 am, waiting in the freezing cold with a ton of stuff on my back, getting crammed in a hot overcrowded waiting room, to then get pushed into a room to prove my worth in front of 2 mystery casting directors by singing for about 30 seconds.

It was a lot.

In all honesty, it was exactly what I expected it to be like. But I felt the complete opposite of how I thought I would feel.

I was working so hard. Training as hard as I could. Sure, I did get to perform in some cool things and for that, I’m very grateful. But I never felt like I was going anywhere and I kept burning out.

At the beginning of 2020, before covid felt real, I had this gut feeling that I either needed to change my strategy as an actress or do something different.

When everything with covid shut down it was clear. I didn’t miss the actress hustle.

Just a few months earlier in October 2019 I had started a style blog. On a cold autumn wine night with one of my best friends, I let her know I had this secret dream of becoming a vintage-inspired style blogger. I am so glad she encouraged me to follow that passion because after the covid shutdown happened I realized how passionate and excited I was about this new pursuit.

So that is what I did. After being a musical theatre actress chasing big Broadway dreams for 17 years I decided it was time to embark on a new adventure.

I dove head first into style blogging. I learned as much as I could. I was writing, posting, and pitching brands any spare moment I had around my full-time job.

It felt so much better theatre. That was until the questions came…

“Are you doing any auditions soon?”

“So wait you aren’t going to pursue theatre anymore?”

“But you are so good and have worked so hard. Why are you giving it up?”

That last one hurt the most.

I know that these comments probably came from a good place. I knew that I was following my passion. But it still felt yucky to feel like I didn’t have that support.

Luckily I listened to my gut and I kept going.

After 6 months of blogging, I was feeling pretty unsatisfied. I kept overworking and burning myself out. I was not really enjoying the work. Plus the idea of making money by encouraging people to buy stuff just didn’t really fit with my values.

So I decided to go down deep and listen to my gut again. I asked myself what aspect of being a style blogger I enjoyed most.

The answer: giving my friend’s style advice when they asked for it.

This made me so happy.

I realized my dream might actually be to become a personal stylist.

I started to explore this option. But then my overthinking side kicked in the door with logic…

It said:

“Why do you want to do this?”

“Are you giving up?”

“What will people think?”

And worse “What will they say this time…”

Well unfortunately this part of my brain won.

I kept with the style blogging. The overworking, burnout and unfulfilled life continued. My gut was screaming “personal styling is your passion.” I kept ignoring it until I couldn’t. I reached my max when I took a gifted blogging deal that in the end cost me probably $500 when I account for the time, work, and photographer. Even if the idea of a gifted deal was a step towards being a financially successful style blogger I no longer cared. I was done.

As I finished up that deal I started to look into personal styling courses. I found one and took the plunge.

I LOVED it! It was so fascinating. My passion for helping others through style grew. Then in August 2021 I launched my personal styling business. It was up and down those first few months. Some months I was getting good business and some literally nothing.

And just like before I kept overworking myself, burning out, and feeling unfulfilled.

I knew that if I was going to sustain this and make a career out of this I was going to need help.

But I ignored this feeling. I was not making much money in my business and investing in a business coach felt irresponsible.

I kept going. I kept overworking myself, burning out, and feeling unfulfilled. I kept ignoring that gut feeling I had to get a coach.

In January 2022 I finally met with a mentor and she invited me to join her mentorship. I remember feeling so much sticker shock when she told me the price. I knew that I needed this program but I was scared.

So I paused. I dug down deep and envisioned my life in two ways. The first if I did the membership and the second if I didn’t. I immediately felt an overwhelming feeling that I needed to do it.

I signed up. I am so glad I did because I discovered my true passion for helping others through burnout.

I discovered something so precious to me. Something I am so passionate about. I feel so fulfilled. I don’t burnout anymore. And if I start to feel overworked I have the tools and self-love to be able to stop and recover before burning out.

Like is so much more enjoyable. I feel so much bliss and joy like never before.

None of this would have happened if I didn’t do this mentorship. None of this would have happened if I didn’t follow my gut and ignore the nay-sayers.

Each of these career paths was a step. I now have a beautiful business helping women prevent burnout and nurture their personal style. If I had given into the fear I would still be an unhappy bitter actress.

I share this story with you because I know how effing hard it can be to push past the fear and follow your gut. In the moment it feels uncomfortable. But it is worth it!

I look back now and can see how ignoring my gut cost me.

There might be downs. In fact, there will definitely be times it feels impossible. But if you trust that beautiful intuition of yours your life will get better. And one day you will be able to look back at every struggle with so much gratitude. You will be able to genuinely say “it all happened perfectly. I am so grateful for it all.”

Exercise: How to listen to your gut

Use this exercise when you are trying to figure out which direction to go:

  1. Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths
  2. Keep taking deep breaths and tune into how you are feeling physically
  3. Tell yourself “all these sensations and feelings I’m just going to honor them.” However, you are feeling is 100% okay. No need to try to force yourself to feel a certain way.
  4. Continue being aware of how you feel physically and one at a time I want you to imagine each scenario you are considering. Play it out as best you can. Don’t worry that you might be making up something in your head. Trust that your imagination knows what to expect.
  5. Whichever scenario feels physically the best is the one your gut knows is right for you.

When things don’t turn out how we expected when trusting our gut

Sometimes things don’t end up going how we think they are going to when we act on our intuition. This is okay. Be kind to yourself. Whatever happened you will one day be able to look back on how things went with peace. Likely there will be a lesson you learned and an experience of growth.

What do I do if I feel like I can’t get in touch with my intuition?

Listening to your gut isn’t just something you do when faced with a major decision. Just like a muscle it needs exercising.

Start using the How to Listen to Your Gut Exercise with small low-pressure decisions like what to make for dinner or what TV show to start next. These will help get you comfortable trusting your gut.

Remember that trusting your gut is rooted in feminine energy. The practice of doing what makes you feel good. Are you engaging in a daily mindset practice? Are you going on walks in nature? Are you engaging in creative activities for the joy of them? Being in touch with your feminine energy will make listening and trusting your gut easier.

“I’m still struggling to listen to my gut. What can I do?”

I understand how hard it can be to trust this piece of you. Learning to trust my gut was major in helping me make decisions that kept me from burning out. This is something I help women through as a burnout coach. I would love to connect over a call with you to learn how I might be able to help. You can book a free call here.