Sometimes in life, your heart is pushing you to do something, but you may be afraid to listen. Nancy Solari, the host of the national Living Full Out Show, has some strategies for learning to trust your gut in these instances. Normally, Nancy interviews another guest on their experience overcoming adversity in their life. However, in an installment all about following your instincts, Nancy herself sat down in the hot seat to answer some major questions from members of our online community.

Nancy has had to trust her intuition at many different points in her life and continues to do so every day. Since she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare eye disease that causes severe vision loss, at age 16, Nancy’s eyesight has gotten progressively worse, making her change occupations many times. In response to a question about her decision to become a talk show host, Nancy tells the story of her 10-year-old self, watching Oprah and thinking what a cool job that would be. This desire eventually led her to get a degree in broadcasting, psychology, and later, life coaching. Over time, she realized she needed to figure out what qualities set her apart. As she lost more of her sight, she discovered that her other senses, particularly her hearing, improved tremendously, which she uses to her advantage as a radio host. She relies on instinct to get around on a daily basis, remembering details about where obstacles are in her environment.

Throughout the program, Nancy reminds us that by listening to our inner voice, we are being true to ourselves and our goals. Sometimes the only way to make a switch is to jump in and see what happens, learning from mistakes made along the way. Nancy discovered this through personal experience, and she believes it is a good philosophy to live by. 

Nancy has worked in several fields over the years, including, among others, broadcasting, music, and real estate. She says that in a way, each of these jobs paved the way for the next. After college, she was a newscaster until her condition made it difficult to read teleprompters and her love of singing pushed her into performing. When it turned out the music scene was ill-suited for her personality as well as her vision, her boyfriend at the time suggested she’d be great in real estate, a profession she ended up loving. Yet she still felt as though there must be more. That was the first spark of an idea that eventually became Living Full Out, where she has returned to her broadcasting roots. Nancy’s advice to others who may need to find new work is to focus on your talents. Find the activity that makes you forget that you’re working and turn it into a career.

Over the years, Nancy has struggled with anxiety over her vision loss. She has a few methods she uses to push through on her worst days, the main strategy being what Nancy calls switching up energy. As she explains it, emotions are all just “e” motions, that is, energy in motion, and when you’re feeling down, you need to find a way to redirect that energy. Some of the ways Nancy does this is by drinking something hot or cold, eating comfort food or something spicy, or taking a shower and letting the feeling of cleanliness wash away her negativity. On days when the gloom refuses to lift, the best solution might be going to bed early, shutting the door on that day where nothing seems to go right, and trusting that tomorrow will be better. For Nancy, and maybe for you, too, music is another way to cope. You might play happy tunes to get motivated, but occasionally, what you really need is to let yourself feel. “Sometimes it’s the losses in our life that anchor us,” according to Nancy. Sadness is as much a part of life as anything else, and while of course, it’s unhealthy to wallow in sorrow 24/7, it’s just as damaging to avoid the emotion entirely.

Nancy’s story may be different from yours, but the lessons it teaches are universal. You will benefit from learning to trust your own gut feelings in life, just as she has. For more information on how to start following your heart and to hear more of Nancy’s story, listen to the full radio program by going to livingfullout.com/radio-show/ and clicking on the episode titled, “How Following Your Instincts Through Difficult Times Propels You to Live Full Out.” If you let your inner voice be your guide, you’ll be on the way to living full out.

Contributing Author: Ariel Zinkan