6 Challenges of Staying True to Your Heart

I hold onto the belief that each person lives out their life purpose if they stay true to the callings and demands of their heart, because it is what allows me to keep my spirits up when it seems like the entire world is against me in doing precisely that.

Before we get into the challenges of living genuinely, let’s ponder on a question: why is your heart beating? Would it be too much of a stretch to philosophize that if there exists a sliver of purpose to be found, it would be found in the heart?

We all know what it feels like when our heart pleas for us to do something, to say something, to take a leap into the unknown, but there are only a few that know what it feels like when we actually stay true to our heart and live out its wishes and desires for us.

I’m writing this because my heart wishes for you to listen to your heart. But my heart also wishes to warn you of some challenges when you do so, so when you finally do that something, say that something, or take that leap into the abyss, you’ll be somewhat prepared for what is to come.


Of all the choices you make in life; of all your dreams, interests, passions, beliefs, lifestyles choices; it is a fact that at least 50% of the world isn’t going to agree with, condone, or support you.

And it is important to ask: who cares?

I call these people the non-believers, and if you pay attention to these people’s opinions, and give your heart for them to hold, they will drop it, break it, and make you feel bad for holding values and making choices you genuinely know will make you feel like an alive and happy human being.

It is an inevitability that a portion of the world isn’t going to cheer you on in life, a fact, by the way, that you cannot change. If you submit to the reality of that fact, you will have thrown away your potential for a beautifully honest life. Which is a silly thing to do over something that you cannot change! You’re damned if you do and you’re damned twice if you don’t. So do.


As you grow—as you transcend your old ways of thinking, feeling, living—the people stuck in and accustomed to your old ways will no longer be able to keep up with your “frequency”, which, in other words, means the level or state of consciousness that you “vibrate” at.

This falling away or a shifting of relationships can take form in a myriad of ways: you stop seeing certain people because they have behaviors and attitudes that you’ve outgrown and refuse to put up with anymore; you won’t text or call as often or you’ll just stop doing so altogether; you’ll stop going to certain functions because they don’t “fit” you anymore.

As we grow, it can often feel like a battle between two sides is occurring within us as we realize our potential and the ultimate “aloneness” of that journey as we tune into our hearts and “know” that some people (who are in our lives right now) won’t be able to walk with us (as much as we’d like them too) the further we progress along our path. (Not unless they too change or at least accept us in our totalities.)

It’s a natural response to feel guilty for all the turmoil that we may be causing within our relationships because of the growth-oriented choices and changes we are making. (For this dilemma, we must again turn to our heart to discern who is worth keeping and who needs to be let go.)

People come, people go. Hold on tightly to the ones that ride with you and for you, as best as you can; love them, support them, be grateful for them. And for the ones that don’t? That’s cool. Let them fall away into the background of the rest of the world who don’t matter at this moment.


Be forewarned: non-believers will attack you for growing. They will complain and dislike and challenge and wail and cry as the old you falls away into oblivion and the new you rises like the blazing sun.

Your growth is threatening. It’s scary. It’s different. It’s new. It makes people a little bit uncomfortable and puts some of them in a position where they feel like they must “defend” their choices, beliefs, lifestyles by making you feel like yours are wrong.

Let them. Fight if it’s worth doing so. But be wise enough to know when it’s not. Then, brush it all off and continue moving forward soldier.


I’ll tell you first hand; this path of staying true to your heart can be hella lonely sometimes. As you progress along the path and learn to make it a virtue of staying true to your heart, it can sometimes feel like it is you and your vision trying to succeed against the entirety of the universe; bad days can feel real bad, and often times, you only have you to rely on for support. Albeit rewarding, it is a lone journey indeed.

You need to learn to be okay with this. We are born alone, and we leave this world alone. We are always alone in this world. But, once you deepen your heart-living, you’ll realize that one’s aloneness is an illusion. We are always connected to all things in existence. And it’s silly to be sad about that.


The freer you become, the weirder people think you are. And that’s a good thing. Weirdness simply means uniqueness. And trust me, this world needs uniqueness. Uniqueness changes the world.

Your uniqueness merges, mixes, influences ad innovates the world that already is. We change the world by becoming who we know we can become and achieving what we know our hearts can achieve.


Your weirdness will be hard to understand for some people despite your explanations for why you do the things you do, believe in the things you believe in, and stand for the things you stand for.

You can try explaining, but most of your efforts will be futile. Ultimately, people will never truly understand you, or perhaps even worse, will misunderstand you.

Just because someone proposes a question, doesn’t mean we’re obligated to answer; “Why are you a vegetarian again?” “Why do you feel like you need to change the world?” “Why do you meditate?”

When I don’t feel like explaining myself, I don’t. Instead, I let my actions, successes, and madness do the answering for me.


This world needs you. You are important. You are special. You have gifts. You have strengths. You have beauties in you, and only within you, that will shape this world of ours into a brighter and better place. But only you can be the channel for those gifts, strengths, jewels. You can also be the prison that holds them from the outside world.

What will your choice be? The path of fear, doubt, regret and misery? Or the path of courage, freedom, power and purpose?

Christopher Tan is a writer at his blog The Art Of Life where he seeks to contribute to positive world change by helping transform the consciousness on our planet. Join his newsletter for an upcoming (and free) book or connect with him on Twitter.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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