Stop overriding your best sense! How your actions can align with your needs.

You feel like you are about to collapse. But your only focus is to push through. What’s that you hear from your friends about taking care of yourself? That you have needs, too? Yeah, but…

You just don’t have time to take care of yourself right now. There is so much to do that you aren’t sure you know what that would mean.

Maybe later.

Think about it. Do you pay attention to your needs? In the flurry of activity that is your day, do you pause to see what they might be? And then take action that actually attends to them?

what you needOr do you charge forth, ignoring the warning of your inner senses? I call this overriding. To override your natural inclinations is a familiar dynamic. It seems the easier path when outside demands and inside pressures confront you.

Whether it is something as simple as eating food you know your body doesn’t like or a complex situation you shy away from addressing, overriding takes you away from your natural path.

It’s just not good for you.

Let’s take a look at what the dictionary says about the word “override.”

Override: to make (something) no longer valid; to have more importance or influence than (something); to ride over or across (Trample); to prevail over (Dominate); to set aside (Annul)

That’s a lot to consider when it comes to how you live your life. How you treat yourself.

What If You Were to Pay Attention?

You learn to override internal signals early in life. It starts first in response to how you expect your environment to be, relative to how you are actually received.

Stay with me here.

Did you feel like your needs were important to those who took care of you? Were your choices recognized?

Over time the behaviors that arise from this become the patterns that regulate the flow of your self-expression.  Either throttle or stream. These patterns get locked into your belief system and become embedded in your way of living.

The result? You sacrifice who you are and what you need to do.

How do Children Know What They Need?

Two-year-old Isaac was his usual engaging, joyful self throughout his Grand-pop’s birthday party.  As the soft, soon-to-be-end-of-summer evening moved towards his bedtime, his two middle fingers found their way into his mouth, signaling his quieting down time. Then, in the midst of adult conversation and laughter, his voice came clearly: “Home. Go.”

Isaac knows what he needs. He is a genius at stating his needs and seeing to it that they are known by his caretakers. It’s what two-year-olds are supposed to do: declare themselves. He has no way to override his needs.

He hasn’t yet learned to ignore himself in order to be acceptable to the outside world.

How to Build a Sense of Trust

Ignoring your inner communication fractures your forward movement.

You act without regard for the truth of yourself and others, pushing to meet some behavioral criteria. Giving way to your expectations of how others will judge your actions leaves you out of the equation. You lose trust in yourself.

Your inner guidance becomes difficult to discern.

Your Needs Help Guide You

As you pay attention to the signals your body provides, you build a sense of self-ownership. Listen to your inner communication as you take action in life. This creates a purity of energy in action. You bring everything into the equation: you have regard for the situation at hand, feel the truth of what is needed and stand with yourself.

Self-denial gives way to true self-regard and self-worth. Your future—all that is to come to you and all that you are to create—demands that you listen to yourself.

This is integrity of heart in action.

You are so ready for this, aren’t you?


Take a breath. Release it. Take another. Devote some dedicated time of concentration/meditation. It doesn’t need to be hours of quiet, perhaps only 15 minutes. Then allow the question to simmer within you. Let responses bubble up into your awareness. Notice new ways of thinking, of images or ideas that arise spontaneously. Pay attention to your dreams. Let it happen. Be aware. See where it leads you next. Let yourself savor this process of receiving from yourself. Don’t judge whatever comes up, just receive it. Make notes.

You may want to share something from this process. Sharing is an important way to anchor an insight in your body. It leads to deeper insight. It stimulates action.

Scroll down and add your comments. We’d love to hear from you!

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14 Responses

  1. Laurie –

    This one really resonates with me. I think many needs get pushed aside in favor of our assumptions about others’ expectations. And, quite often, those assumptions are incorrect. Thanks.

    1. Andrea–Even when our assumptions are correct, we still need to choose…to be in integrity with ourselves or to override. I’m glad it resonated with you! Laurie

  2. We are taught as children to not place our needs above others. However the best to get your needs met is to help others meet their needs, but if we never disclose our needs how can we help each other. Understanding your own needs can be a task all by itself.

    1. Butch–I have found that most people (to varying degrees) bury their own needs, turning a blind eye to them. Sometimes that is necessary in the moment. Just think of parenting a young child. But all that burying means that getting to know your own needs is indeed a task all by itself! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Laurie

  3. Well articulated. I like “creating the purity of the energy” by listening to you inner self. I will be more mindful to not override what I know is true to do in favor of short term wants. Thanks.

    1. You are welcome, Jennifer! There is so often a price to pay that is not considered in going for short term wants/desires. Laurie

  4. I love this concept–it gives me a word for something I experience. This is a brilliant statement: “Ignoring your inner communication fractures your forward movement.”

    1. That’s wonderful, Deanna. As soon as you have the awareness, it becomes difficult to continue on the path that no longer supports who you are.

  5. Yes, I am certainly guilty of charging ahead and not listening to that inner voice at times. Mostly, I do pay attention and I am grateful for the spaciousness of my life right now. I make time to listen to myself and my family and focus on taking inspired actions instead of hurried actions. Thanks for another awesome post, Laurie.

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