Louise Smith

Signs You May Be On The Wrong Path

Louise Smith

A little under three years ago I was mentally and physically drained from my day-to-day routine. The sun would have only just risen and I would already be tired. I carried feelings of self loathing, anxiety and uncertainty, until they eventually became too heavy to function.  Like so many, I was in my 20’s and desperately searching for my purpose. The truth in my case, was that I was throwing my energy into something that made me deeply unhappy. Looking back now, there were several warning signs that presented themselves to me but I was confused by what they meant at the time. And so I carried on regardless, even though my wellbeing was taking a big hit. I wish to share with you what my signs were, in the hope that if you experience the same, you can open your mind to a new path that aligns with your authentic self.  

Jealousy. Watching others thrive was excruciating and even made me angry at times. I simply could not be happy for anyone else that was succeeding.  I felt hard done by, like I deserved it more. At the time I knew it was wrong but it didn’t stop the emotions I was feeling towards them - even people that I Ioved! The truth is, once you are content with where you are in life, witnessing the achievements of others brings YOU joy and introduces positivity into your life too. 

Another sign I noticed, was that I no longer enjoyed the things I thought I loved. I would go on a country walk and wished it would soon be over. Or I’d be watching one of my favourite films and sit there bored out of my mind. Even meeting up with friends became a chore. Something was shifting within me and I was not giving it the attention it deserved. I believe my thoughts were coming from a place of guilt.  As if I didn’t deserve a break or to relax because I had not achieved anything to justify it. Ironically what I needed more than anything at this time was to do nothing but listen. 

Health. With constant denial of my issues came some pretty horrific physical symptoms. Intense migraines, low immune system and an angry looking rash no doctor could diagnose that covered my entire body. My mind wasn’t coping with my lifestyle and my body knew it. At the time I felt so let down by my body. How could you fail me like this when I am trying my best? I am now grateful that my body has the ability to show me when I need rest and when I am in desperate need of change. It was as if my body had a secret conversation with my brain like ‘Hey, we really need to show her that she needs help, what can we do to give her no choice but to stop?’. I now consciously work on my relationship between my mind and body daily. So they can thrive as one. As soon as I realised that in fact, I AM my body and I AM my mind, they are not two strangers I just live with, everything seemed to make sense a little more. 

Opinions of others. When we are on the right path it really doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say. With contentment comes confidence, so who really cares if someone has made a judgment about you? I would literally walk in the opposite direction if I saw someone I knew just in case they asked me what I was doing with my life. One time I even got off the train and got back on again a few carriages up so I didn’t have to talk to someone. I wanted people to think I was successful, making money and living my best life so badly that I even dressed a certain way to please them. I was creating a dishonest identity for my self to show others that I was happy because I was so insecure with where I was currently in my life. Our thoughts create a reality that we then have to overcome. So by telling myself I was falling behind, I then had to battle through this feeling for the rest of the day. 

Lastly, the F word. The future *dramatic gong sound*. A foggy mess, sandwiched between unanswered questions and my vidid imagination.  Desperately grabbing hold of any control I had over my life so I would not be a failure. The choices I was making were all built on the foundations of fear. I would do work I hated incase I never became a homeowner. I would spend all my money on superfood powders so I wouldn’t die young. Nothing I did came from a place of trust or passion. I was only living for the future because the present was unbearable. As time passed I was forced to drop everything that caused me any stress. I remember being curled up on my bed listening to rain dance on my windows. It was like I was hearing it for the first time. Every drop resinated within me. I was moving with time for the first time in my life and I wasn’t afraid. 

Being on the wrong path is not a failure, it’s an observation. Learning how to attend to your needs and make positive adjustments is incredibly productive. It does’t mean you have to walk backwards. Trying to untangle your fears from your desires takes time. Allow it. Move with it. Simply saying to yourself “I hear you” when changes to your life can’t happen immediately, will make you feel lighter. This is not a lonely walk you have to endure on our own. I believe we are all craving to live our best lives whether we are aware of it or not. 

So….I’ll hold your hand if you’ll hold mine?