Following Your Head vs Following Your Heart
“Follow your heart wherever it may go, just don’t forget to bring your mind with you.”
Does your heart know more than your head? Or do you think it’s the other way around? Surely your head is more rational, more professional and more straightforward? Whereas your heart is the one with the passion, the want and the need. But which one should you follow?
We’re always told to use our head and our heart. But usually, one of them is telling us one thing, and the other is telling us something else.
Say you’re trying to make it as a freelance writer. Your heart is saying, this is what you’re meant to do. This is the start of your path. Grab it with both hands and go for it!
Your head, on the other hand, is saying something different: Be wary – there are so many people doing freelancing right now. Keep your feet on the ground, you won’t get a gig like that. It’ll take time.
And we won’t even go into what the self-doubt monster might be saying.
I’ve never been a good decision maker, but my parents have always pushed me to make them on my own. They’ll help me as much as I want them to, but they’ll never make a decision for me. I like it that way. It’s my life and I know I have to make my own decisions. But when my heart is pulling me in one direction and my head is pulling me in another, it just makes things harder.
So what do you do? Which one do you follow?
I believe you have your head and your heart for a reason. They’re each there to help you in their own individual way.
Which one should you choose? You don’t have to choose.
Really, your head and heart should work together to help you make a decision. The only reason you think they’re separate entities is because that’s what you’ve been told. That’s all you know.
Think about it this way – what would you do if you had no thoughts? You had absolutely no ideas or concepts of life. You’d just live. You wouldn’t worry about anything. You wouldn’t worry about your head and heart.
You can use them together to make the right decisions for you.
But how do you listen to both?
Your head and heart work in entirely different ways and even speak different languages. It’s because they’re both so different, that it makes it hard to know how to use them together. Understanding how they work, and understanding how you can use them both to benefit you, your life will change for the better. You’ll be able to make decisions based on your head and your heart, which will ultimately be the best decision for you. Here are some ways to listen to them both:
Start with your heart
I know what I’ve just said, but hold on. I’ve always followed my heart, for as long as I can remember. When I’m making a decision, it’ll be like my heart is pulling me in a certain direction and that pull will be so strong. I know my heart communicates to me in a way that my head doesn’t. So when it comes down to it, my heart will always get the first say. For you, it might be your head that you’re more in tune with. If that’s the case, start with that first.
Be aware of what’s holding you back
Once you’ve given your heart time to tell you which direction to go in, that’s when your head kicks in. Doubts, fears and anxieties arise, turning what was a positive feeling into a slightly more negative one. Instead of thinking about these as doubts, fears and anxieties, think of them as thoughts – because that’s all they really are. Thoughts coming from inside your head. Once you recognise these, you can welcome them. They’re not there to keep you from doing something. They’re there to help you see the bigger picture. They’re there to help you keep safe.
It’s hard, but letting go of your expectations is what you need to do next. As I’m writing this article, I could be worrying what people will think of it and I could be expecting it to get so much recognition. But I’m writing this from the heart. I’m letting the words flow naturally as they need to. Of course I still have the fearful thoughts, the same ones that you do when you write every single blog post. The trick is to not let them take up as much space in your mind. If you shut them out and concentrate on writing for enjoyment and fulfilment, not to get a certain amount of pageviews, your whole attitude to your online presence will change.
Listen to your head
You know you have that one person in your life who sets things out straight for you and tells you things in a practical way? That’s your head. Your head is there to get you to think practically. Let’s go back to the freelance writing example. Your heart is saying you can write every day, quit your job and create your own career. Your head brings you down from Cloud 9 saying, OK, realistically, how many articles per week could you write? So you’re still following your heart, but you’re including your head too. This is how they work together. You’re not just giving up. You’re compromising between them.
Blending is what we’ve just seen. Using your head and heart to make the best decision for you – better than just listening to your head and better than just listening to your heart. It’s like with any blog post you write. Your heart gives you the inspiration to write it, and your head helps you outline, edit and publish. Once your head sees that your heart is following the best path, you can start to use them together seamlessly.
A Final Note…
There is no magic formula for following your heart or head. What you’ve just read doesn’t have to turn into rules. There are no steps. There is no right or wrong answer. Believe in yourself, have confidence in yourself and really take time to listen to yourself. Embrace having both your head and heart to rely on. When you’re making a big decision, you feel anxious and uncomfortable, because you’re trying to force progress. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and listen to what you really want. What do you feel right now? What is your head and heart telling you?
To enjoy this moment. To live in this moment. And to do the same for every moment in the future.
Do you usually follow your head or follow your heart? Do you think you'll start using them together?