06/09/2014 11:50 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

It's Not Enough to Hear the Warning Noises, You Have to Listen

Dave and Les Jacobs via Getty Images

Have you ever noticed the noises that accompany imminent failure? The squeak of your brakes. The rattle in your attic fan. The loud buzzing in your refrigerator. These noises usually start without warning, but they almost always indicate something is wrong. Like mechanical shouts in your face, these sounds want and need your attention.

Did you know that within each of us, we have just as many warning bells? Our bodies, our hearts, our souls know when something is wrong. When potential failure is near. They fill us with many signals, but our squeaks and rattles are much easier to ignore. You see, our noises come in the form of headaches, fear, worry, doubt, anger, sadness, depression, hunger (or lack of hunger) and a general inability to focus.

Recently, I have been filled with many warning noises. Noises that make me realize how far I was pushing myself. How much I was trying to do. How often I was neglecting my needs -- maybe even my loved ones' needs -- and ignoring the bigger picture for my life and dreams. I lost sight of many things and for a few months allowed frustration, a general want for "more" and a fear of failure to control my decision making.

I stopped writing and creating regularly. Instead, I spent every free minute working on several businesses at once. Never mastering any. Never feeling like anything is enough. Always feeling guilty that I was dropping a ball somewhere. Then I had an epiphany. It's not enough to hear the warning noises, you have to listen. And I finally understood the noises for what they are. Warnings. Just warnings that I can take care of before they lead to real failure.

I am writing again and will keep writing because this is what grounds me. I am going to stop putting undue pressure on myself to "succeed." Instead, I am going to truly live and feel the success that already exists.

I am successful, but sometimes I forget. Maybe we all forget from time to time.


I am going to eliminate that damn noise by focusing on the people and things I love. I will give myself permission to let go of everything else. Hopefully each of you who are reading will join me in this journey.

Subscribe to my blog Tiny Steps Mommy and share your comments as often as possible. Send me ideas or questions and maybe we can help each other identify the rattles and squeaks before they drown out the other noises. You know, the ones that really matter, like the laughter of our children or the quiet beating of our own hearts. This originally appeared on Tiny Steps Mommy.