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Are You Doing IT Right? September 23, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People, Spirit & Ego.

3D-CowHave you ever written a blog post seeking reassurance that you’re not alone, that others view the world the same way you do, that you are doing IT (whatever IT is) right?


Me neither.

When we are comfortable with the decisions we are making, that’s a sign that we are on the right track . . . for us.

That does NOT mean that we should encourage everyone else to follow us as we take The Leap and wait for The Net to appear.

It might not be a big enough net.  And it might not be the right leap for them.

7dwarfsWhen we have niggling doubts about decisions we are making, that’s a signal that we are on the wrong track . . . for us.

Human nature being what it is, and silly rabbits that we are, when faced with internal misgivings, we look around to see if others think we are doing the Right Thing.

Of course, what they think is none of our business.   They cannot tell us whether what we are doing is the Right Thing . . . for us.

Because their perspective is limited.  Their view is skewed.  They don’t know how we feel nor do they know which path we are meant to be following.  So their high fives, pats on the back, and nods of reassurance aren’t worth anything at all.


Now, let’s say that while we’re putting IT out there and holding our actions up for a vote from a fellowship of our perceived peers (i.e., seeking reassurance from all the wrong places), someone comes along, looks at us askance, and notes that, IF we were comfortable with the choices we were making, we wouldn’t need to seek external validation from a posse of our peers.

What happens then?

Often, we get bristly and defensive.  Because WE wanted reassurance.  Not just from one or two people.  But from a hundred.  Or a thousand.  Or more.

Because, let’s be honest here, the Ego can NEVER get enough validation.  Like a pig feeding at a trough, Ego has an insatiable appetite.

HobbesAnd we are ANNOYED . . . even if we sugar-coat it with saccharine sweetness . . . because we wanted to be validated in the choices we’ve been making.

We wanted THEM to tell us we are on the RIGHT track.  We wanted high fives and pats on the back and nods of encouragement, not HONEST (*gasp*) feedback.

So our thoughts head south:

Who IS this person to look at ME askance and question what I am doing?  

They don’t know ME.  They haven’t walked in MY shoes.  They haven’t had the same experiences as ME.  They are not in a position to judge ME.  


If you want to know if you are doing it right, look deep.  The answers lie within.

Your perceived need for reassurance from others may be your heart asking you to make a slight course correction:

HEART:  “OMG!  What are you doing?  Why did you just run him through with a pitchfork?”

YOU:  “It’s OK.  I know what I’m doing . . . he tried to hit me with a forklift!”

HEART:  “But . . . “

YOU:  “No, really.  It’s OK.  I did the RIGHT thing.  I asked my posse and they all said I should keep doing what I’m doing.”

HEART:  “What do they know about the path you’re on?”


Be open.  Listen.  Adjust your sails if necessary.  Consistency is over-rated.

Aah . . . that’s better!

”You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity.” ~ Thomas Wolfe

Related posts:  The Sound of Silence (Kate Shrewsday) * To Thine Own Self Be True * The Answers Lie Within * Daily Prompt ~ Fork Me!!!  (I Am Who I Am)


1. granny1947 - September 23, 2013

What a wise post!

nrhatch - September 23, 2013

Thanks, Granny. I haven’t written a “serious” post like this in some time . . . I felt my writing muscles beginning to atrophy.

Felt good to stretch them. :mrgreen:

2. kateshrewsday - September 23, 2013

Lovely, and a post I shall have to read and re-read to uncover all the layers. I have much to learn from this 🙂

nrhatch - September 23, 2013

Thanks, Kate. Using an internal barometer helps to ensure that the choices and decisions we make are “right” for us.

When we find ourselves seeking reinforcements “out there” for choices we make and pathways we take, it’s often a good idea to press “PAUSE* and look within to see what we really think.

Your post today about the Quaker Meeting Place is a perfect example of finding a contemplative space to LISTEN.

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4. Crowing Crone Joss - September 23, 2013

wisdom, humour and more wisdom. “Consistency is over-rated” – so true. Today’s idea or dream may not be tomorrow’s and that’s okay!

nrhatch - September 23, 2013

Yes! People make decisions and continue to live with them long after their tastes and values have changed. That’s a bit like letting our 20-year-old self pick out our 2013 wardrobe. AWKWARD. 😕

It’s so cool that you looked around and asked, “Where do I want to be NOW?” . . . then you headed to Europe to make your dreams come true. Rock on!

5. Tom Merriman - September 23, 2013

My ego loves to be stroked, Nancy, and he is never satisfied. I know I’m doing the right thing for me when I feel good… not all of the time, but most of it. I’m working on the rest! Great post.

nrhatch - September 23, 2013

Thanks, Tom. I think that’s key . . .

Does what we’re doing feel like a good fit for us? Like a custom-tailored-just-for-us life ~ just RIGHT for who we are HERE and NOW?

Or are we filled with misgivings and dread and angst as we move through our days, constantly looking outside ourselves for reassurance that we’re on the “right path” as we stumble along in the dark.

6. Piglet in Portugal - September 23, 2013

This is a very good post! However, just occasionally it is nice to have some reassurance…just a weeny, incy wincy bit 🙂

nrhatch - September 23, 2013

Thanks, PiP. It’s reassuring to hear you say that. 😉

All kidding aside, reassurance is GRAND . . . as long as we don’t let it drown out our inner wisdom when it’s trying to get our attention.

Piglet in Portugal - September 23, 2013

I hear you Nancy 😉

nrhatch - September 23, 2013

Somehow I thought you might. 😀

7. Maggie - September 23, 2013

Good post! It’s good to hear others’ advice and reassurance, but there’s a difference between simply asking for advice versus constantly looking for attention. If you ask for advice and what you get isn’t what you wanted to hear… you can’t say anything because you’re the one who asked for it!

nrhatch - September 23, 2013

Yes! Exactly! A favorite “pet peeve” of mine has always been people who say that they want to know what I think when they really want me (and everyone else) to rubber stamp their view of the world ~ however distorted and misguided it might be. 😕

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9. Rainee - September 23, 2013

Excellent post with lots of wisdom – I also really enjoyed the quote – ”You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity.” ~ Thomas Wolfe


nrhatch - September 23, 2013

Thanks, Rainee. This post flowed ~ it’s great FUN when that happens. :mrgreen:

That quote is a great reminder ~ when we are content with who and where we are, it is enough to “Just Be.”

BTW: I really love that “new” name.

Rainee - September 23, 2013

Thanks Nancy. My family have often called me Rainee. I only just realised that I could change aawwa to personalise it. There is always more to learn in blog land 🙂

nrhatch - September 24, 2013

Yes . . . there sure is. And it’s always FUN to learn something new, especially if it let’s us do what we want to do.

10. Nerdy Woman - September 23, 2013

Although you have no need of affirmation from another blogger, I really enjoyed your post. I was in my mid-twenties before I realized that my life would never be, could never be a carbon copy of someone else’s and that the tune to which I dance is just right for me.

Thank you for sharing this.

nrhatch - September 23, 2013

Thanks, NW! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Here’s to making our own kind of music and singing our own special song!

On that note, here’s a quote you might like:

The journey between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place. ~ Barbara DeAngelis

11. shreejacob - September 23, 2013

Ah…what to say…
I agree with what you say. Completely.
I also see and know the “other side”…when one is starting to become more aware, when looking deep within isn’t the “norm”, it is something we have to consciously remind ourselves to do…when we aren’t sure whether it is our heart, our inner guidance, our ego or our fears. It’s not so much validation as reassurance…or maybe it’s just a justification, words dressed up differently but mean the same thing. The thing is to learn to take what resonates with us and leave what doesn’t. It is to learn to not make it a crutch that we depend on all the time…it is a process of learning…with the aim to “cut the apron strings” of attachment to such validation as we progress on our journey 🙂

nrhatch - September 23, 2013

I see what you’re saying, Shree. Let me give you an example of what I mean:

X finds a wallet with $200 on the sidewalk.

X decides to keep the money as a “gift” from the Universe, telling herself that “it was meant to be.”

X feels uneasy about her decision, because it’s not consistent with her current values. Instead of listening to her inner wisdom, she seeks “reassurance” from others that they would do the same thing.

But she doesn’t give them all the facts . . . such as the fact that the wallet included an ID so that the money could have been easily returned to the true owner.

Because of the missing information, “everyone” but Y agrees that X did the right thing by keeping the found money . . . as a “gift.”

Y asks a few pointed questions and X gets defensive and bristly.

If X had returned the money, she would have KNOWN it was the Right Thing to do without seeking external approval ~ her decision to rely on an external barometer for “validation” is a clue that she is not honoring her inner wisdom.

Hope that clarifies what I meant.

shreejacob - September 23, 2013

Ohhhhhhh…..ok got it. Thanks for the clarification!! My mind usually wanders down the path of those “misty” subjects.
You know strange as this may sound, to me the scenario you gave as an example is so obvious, to me. The thing to do is of course find the owner and give it back! But then again, it would be a selfish thought for me to think because maybe not everyone would realize that! I probably wouldn’t have had in another life time….or something…if you know what I mean?

nrhatch - September 23, 2013

Yay! I picked a “clear cut example” so you would immediately feel the pull of your internal values telling you what to do. 😀

When we act consistently with those values, we feel “at peace” with our decisions. When we don’t, we feel “dis-ease.”

Some people deal with the feelings of uneasiness by looking outside of themselves for reassurance. It seems easier than taking a good hard look in the mirror at the choices we’re making. But, in the long run, we get better (custom-tailored) answers if we train ourselves to look within and honor our wisdom by listening to its urgent whispers.

12. Three Well Beings - September 24, 2013

You have put some really deep considerations together in a very tidy package. I loved reading this. Just today I was thinking about a situation where I know I won’t be “understood” and I’ve had a little discomfort with that. So how timely, Nancy! I believe each word…I’ll be better prepared to minimize that old ego. 🙂

nrhatch - September 24, 2013

Thanks, Debra. I still have a tendency to want to be understood. But, if I have to choose between being understood and doing what I know is right for me, I choose to do what I know to be right for me (even if Ego is NOT happy with me). :mrgreen:

Good luck. There’s a quote that’s “on point” but it’s not jumping to the forefront. If I think of it, I’ll be back.

nrhatch - September 24, 2013

Found it:

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

13. colonialist - September 24, 2013

Excellent food for thought.

nrhatch - September 24, 2013

From Ego’s perspective, there is safety in numbers. We see others make dubious choices and feel free to follow their lead without risking loss of approval from our peers.

As a result, we may act in ways we know to be wrong and then attempt to justify our actions by saying, “Others would have done the same thing. I know because I asked them.”

When we choose to engage in questionable conduct, we know we are not alone . . . but are we in good company?

colonialist - September 24, 2013

In the final analysis, we deserve the company we choose.

nrhatch - September 24, 2013

Good point! That’s why I left the practice of law. 😛

14. Pix Under the Oaks - September 24, 2013

I hear you too Nancy. Excellent post this morning. I just read it to CH. And I am smiling cause you used a Kliban Kitty.. 🙂

nrhatch - September 24, 2013

Thanks, Pix. Glad you enjoyed the post. Here’s to following the whispers within. That Kliban Kitty Kat makes me smile too . . . he sits on my bookcase next to a marvelous magician.

15. ericjbaker - September 24, 2013

Working in the corporate/recruiting/training and development arena that I do, my initial perception of your post title was “Are You Doing IT Right?” As in, “Is Your Information Technology Operation Lean and Adaptable in Today’s Dynamic Market?”

I need a vacation.

nrhatch - September 24, 2013

Bwahaha! Communication is a tricky business, indeed. Hope you get that vacation soon. 😀

16. bluebee - September 25, 2013

Like the person who goes to the doctor, and then becomes infuriated because the doctor has had the gall to tell them to do a, b or c.

nrhatch - September 25, 2013

Yes! So many patients just want to hear, “Take 2 pills and call me in a year.” They don’t want to make their own health a priority by exercising and eating right.

Heart Doctor: ”OMG! How did you gain 30 pounds in 30 days? You’re supposed to be on a diet.”

Patient: ”I am . . . I started the Blood Type Diet.”

Heart Doctor: ”But your cholesterol is through the roof, your blood pressure is soaring . . . “

Patient: ”No problem, Doc. I asked my friends and they all said the Blood Type Diet is the best!”

Heart Doctor: ”It’s your funeral.”

17. Perfecting Motherhood - September 25, 2013

Haha, I don’t know about people wondering if they’re doing it right and seeking reassurance, but I know a few people who are definitely doing something WRONG and not seeking feedback!

nrhatch - September 25, 2013

Yes! Your astute comment made me snicker! Thanks. 😀

18. sufilight - September 26, 2013

I have learned in life to look within and make my own choices. Some have been scary for others such as quitting my corporate job and moving 3,000 miles away even while dealing with partial deafness. None of these decisions were the wrong ones, it created the life I live nowadays which is to my liking. It’s funny the friends that tried to discourage me, also wanted to make changes but didn’t have the courage at the time to do this.

This is one of my favorite posts. Filled with wisdom and depth.

nrhatch - September 26, 2013

Thanks, Marie. This post seems to have struck a chord with many readers ~ not surprising given our current cultural conditioning which encourages us to compare what we do, say, watch, eat, and wear with what others are doing, saying, watching, eating, and wearing.

You’ve given a great example of the value of using our inner compass to make decisions ~> some won’t encourage us to follow our dreams because they’re scared; others will discourage us because they’re jealous; some try to hold us back because they’re selfish (and want us to stay put); others restrain us due to differing values or short-sightedness or [insert here].

What do they have to lose if they are wrong in the guidance or restraint they toss out? NOTHING.

I’m glad your life is more to your liking these days. Mine too.

But I had a horrible nightmare last night -> I went backwards instead of forwards. And ended up right where I started, which wasn’t where I wanted to be. “They” encouraged me. And “they” were no where in sight when I collapsed in defeat. 😕

19. jannatwrites - September 26, 2013

I always like your ego wisdom. But hey, I’m not telling you you’re on the right track or anything 😛

I’ve experienced blog doubt, but it’s usually when I read one of those “How to have an awesome blog” posts…they really do push the stick to one theme point. I decided to just write what comes to mind instead. If one doesn’t like randomness, my blog isn’t the place for them!

nrhatch - September 26, 2013

Thanks, Janna. For what it’s worth, I love your blog. Even the bestest, most well-written blogs get old if they keep slogging over the same old ground. Much better to “mix it up” and engage in random posts of whatever.

In uncertainty lies all possibility!

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