Follow your heart?

Just a few nights ago, I listened to a friend bare her soul about how hard it is for her to follow her heart professionally. She knows, on a very deep level, that she has a major contribution to make to society, by reshaping how people think about spirituality. (This is not grandiosity on her part, because she’s done it before.) The problem is that in following her deepest truth about the world and herself, she would be stepping away from the majority of others, and offending many of her closest friends, who believe passionately what she used to believe. This causes her great pain, partly because she really does feel for them empathically, and partly because she’s afraid of being outcast, of losing her friends.

I’ve heard this story, this song, before, many times before. Perhaps it’s a woman who is afraid of what opening up psychically is going to do to her relationship. Or a man who worries how his personal changes will affect his job. The details change, the words change, but the song remains the same. In every case, the singer needs to remember a few things:

– If your “friends” cast you out because you have changed your beliefs, ignoring all that they supposedly love about you, and all the history you have, then they aren’t truly your friends, and they never were. That may be a hard thing to find out, but wouldn’t you rather find it out now than later? True friends stand by you while you change; they love you even if you’re making a mistake, and they love you if you teach then a better way, rather than being in their egos, offended by your change.

– If they cast you out because you have changed your beliefs, it is generally more about them than about you. Maybe they are heavily invested, at a personality level, in being right, or in being seen to be right. Do you really want to spend more time with someone who is more interested in being right, or being respected, than in learning the truth?

– There are other people out there who will accept the “new” you. That’s the point of change — you are changing others by changing yourself. This is authentic leadership, from the inside out.

– How will you feel if you sacrifice your highest knowing, your true path, your calling in life, for the feelings of other people? It may feel safe and comfortable now, but in the long run, you will know that you cheated yourself and the world. Letting go of your own truth to satisfy others never serves you, and because we are all one, it never serves anyone else, either.

So for my friend, as well as everyone else, the question remains — what’s more important, your truth or your short term comfort?

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (, who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.