Have you ever stopped to reflect on the most miraculous and amazing possession you have? It is your body. It is a gift for you to get through your life in and it is the most incredible piece of divine engineering there is. It was created just for you, and it knows you in every way. It is communicating with you every day, and it is telling you the truth. The question is: are you listening and are you trusting it?

Our mind can play tricks, but our body never lies. I want you to think about that statement for a short moment. In our heads, we come up with all sorts of stories, ideas, justifications, excuses and lies, on almost a daily basis. We tell stories about why we should or shouldn’t do things. We come up with ideas that are often influenced by other people’s opinions. We justify behaviours that help us get an outcome we think we want. We make excuses as to why we can’t strive to accomplish something that is actually very achievable. These are all lies we come up with in our mind, yet all the way through our body is telling us the truth. Are we listening to it? Are we trusting it?

For much of my life I have convinced myself of the story that I must push harder, work longer, and achieve more to be successful, admired, and happy. That mindset was created during seven years, from the age of 16 to 23, when I was a professional footballer. Mostly what I heard in that time was, toughen up, don’t be weak, work harder, get up, stop making excuses, no-pain-no-gain, go hard or go home, and give it all or nothing. I thought unrelenting hard work was the only way to get what I wanted. I was wrong. Now, I don’t believe that anymore, however, I still have the tendency to err on the ‘push it a little further’ side.

After an amazing but intense couple of weeks, my body was starting to talk to me. Some mild symptoms of run-down were starting to appear, and my body was saying, Andrew, it is time for some recovery. In days gone by I would have ignored it and kept pushing. But now I know my body never lies and it only wants what is best for me. My body knows me better that I even know myself. So, this week I have slowed down, done less, slept more and I feel so much better. Thank you body.

I think we can all tell stories about when our bodies have told us to slow down, rest or we will be stopped in our tracks. Right? However, what about the more subtle ways our body talks to us? The reality is that your body will tell you what you should and shouldn’t do and what is right and wrong. We just need to listen and trust it. In my podcast this week called The calling, I speak with Jeff Teale, who is passionate about helping people find meaning and purpose in their careers. It all stemmed from his personal experiences.

Jeff had a talent for singing, and because it seemed like a cool thing to do, he followed it through and ended up travelling the world and entertaining for ten years. It sounds like a glamourous and purposeful way to earn an income, right? Well, that’s what Jeff kept trying to convince himself of, yet he was suffering continuously from mental and physical issues throughout that time. Why? His body was trying to tell him something, but he was neither listening nor trusting it. When he finally paid attention to what his body was telling him, he realised, despite other people’s opinions, singing was not his passion or his purpose. Consequently, he changed direction and is now loving his life and is happy and healthy.

The moment you stray from your core values, your true identity, and your purpose in life, your body will start shouting at you. That shouting will initially come in the form of anxiety, stress, anger, frustration, regret, or other similar emotion. Your body is effectively saying, what you are doing and what is at your core are not aligned. The smart thing to do is listen, trust, and act the moment you experience any of these emotions. If you ignore them, your body will start shouting louder in the form of mental, emotional, and physical symptoms that will seriously disrupt your life. Your body will keep yelling at you until you listen, or it stops you. Please don’t wait until it stops you, because it may not leave you with any other options.

As you get into your day today, your mind will play tricks on you. It will lead you to believe you need to do certain things to be loved. That is a lie. It will convince you to behave a certain way to be accepted. Another lie. It will try to influence you to go down a path you feel uneasy about. Don’t listen to it. All the while, your body will be telling you the truth. Pay attention to it, hear what it is saying and trust it. Your body only wants the best for you.