How to be your own guru


By Elinor Cohen.

What if I told you that there is no need to get validation, confirmation or permission about what you want to do from anyone?

What if you never second guessed yourself and always made decisions based on what feels good to you at any given moment?

What if that voice in your head that says...”I really want to do this but I should probably do {insert other thing that makes you feel less joy}” would come around less often and make the guilt disappear? 

What if you could confidently choose a path, unapologetically, because you know from the depth of your soul that you are making the best decision for yourself?

As women, I believe we often have that conflicting inner dialogue with ourselves, because we were conditioned to be people pleasing, super-women who can take it all in, care for everyone else, cross a million tasks off of our list and dismiss our own needs for self care. There is a constant dialogue that goes back and forth between ‘want’ and ‘should’.  This is a conversation I once had with myself:

Want: “What if I practiced yoga for 20 minutes instead of sitting at my desk feeling stuck over this project right now?”

Should: “You should really sit down and create that document so that your client can implement that process more easily”

Want: “But I’m having some creativity blocks and I feel so stuck, I feel like I need to move my body and breathe”

Should: “Well you only have 3 hours left to work and yoga will take time away from that.”

What would you do in this situation? 

Today, I go straight for the yoga mat. But not too long ago, I would give into what I thought I “should” be doing.  

Recently I started tracking my thoughts and ‘shoulds’ in order to enhance my leadership skills in my business, but then I quickly realised I could apply this to other aspects in my life. I noticed that I had some beliefs that were backed up by thoughts that I was feeding myself over and over again. My thoughts were such dictators, and they always shifted my focus towards what I think I should do rather than what I really desire to do. 

It is no secret that the barrier to achieving what you want is entrenched in how you perceive the world. An example of this would be your perception of starting a business. I come up against this on a regular basis.

How many of you think that in order to start a business, you have to have a predetermined passion, create a website, print business cards, create a Facebook page, be active on Instagram, invest in a lot of courses, hire a content writer, invest in advertising and do other things outside of yourself?

The truth is that if you want to start a business, you can get started right now.

You do not have to collect money right away. You can exchange your service for a testimonial, and this would still count as a transaction between service provider and customer. This would also help build momentum and social proof for the results you can get clients. There are small steps you can take in order to create space for a business to grow.

I hear so many people say, “I wish I could have the freedom of being an entrepreneur, but I’m not meant to be one” or “I don’t have time to start a business right now” or “I can’t afford to have a business right now, even though I want one, so I will continue to work a 9-5 job”. All of the things they ‘should’ be doing in order to have a business are taking their focus away from the simplicity of actually getting started. The limited vision of what you believe a business ‘should’ look like is the only limitation that currently exists for you in starting a business (or taking any action on any goal for that matter). 

If you want to get outer results, you have to look within.

You do not need anything fancy in order to start doing what you want to do. You are a smart human, and I am pretty confident that you can figure most things out yourself. The most important thing to understand is that your life is not a prescription that is handed out at the pharmacy. You can choose to do things in a way which resonates with your inner being, and you know exactly what that is.  It takes some time and practice to cultivate it. It is usually that thing you do, which makes you feel good, giddy, joyous, smiley or excited. It may come as a nudge, a thought, a subtle voice or tingly feeling that will make you notice it more than once. 

Pay attention to the way your body feels in different situations. The way you show up in the world is contingent upon your energy and your energy is a unique expression of you.  At any moment in time, you can attract people and opportunities to your business with your energy.

It is rarely a knowledge gap that will keep you from taking action on a goal you want to achieve. People will connect with you and buy your service because you can get them the results they want. If you look at what other people are doing in order to set a standard for yourself, you will get discouraged quickly. You do not have to do things like everyone else. Putting your unique twist, perspective, process or even opinion on your work is the ‘thing’ that will attract business to you.

Doing what feels good to you will always lead you towards success.

Going back to the yoga example, I believed for a long time that you have to sit behind a desk and create the “right kind of content”. I believed that hard work equals long hours of desk time. When I started getting up from my desk and doing yoga, walking or engaging in other activities that I enjoyed, the content would pour out of me more fluidly. I would write with less filtering, without going back and editing what I wrote earlier. Rather than beating myself up for not being able to cross a million tasks off of my list, I engaged in activities that felt good at that moment, and this allowed me to connect with myself more deeply. There is absolutely nothing wrong with listening to what feels good to you at any given moment and acting on it. There is everything right about solving your challenges by doing something completely unrelated yet enjoyable.  

How do you know whether you are doing something you want to do or if you are following someone else’s prescription? 

If you are feeling tired, unmotivated and resistant most of the day, you have an energy leak.  An energy leak occurs when you are doing things that you think you ‘should’ be doing, but are not aligned with your core values and desires.  If you catch yourself seeking others’ opinions and overthinking about a certain problem, you are working against yourself and the energetic flow that is surrounding you.  If you are focusing on the challenges you are facing, rather than putting thought energy towards their solutions, you are missing out on the opportunities under your nose. This can drain your energy quickly and it is important to track when these low moments occur. If you track the low moments, you will soon discover which activities make you feel less than optimal. However, if you feel like you are awake, focused and sharp, accomplishing a lot of things, full of gratitude and that opportunities are constantly landing on your doorstep, you are doing what you want to do.  Because you are in this constant ‘feel good’ energetic flow, you are feeding your body, mind and spirit with that amazing energy.  When you consistently engage in this feeling, you will inevitably attract people and opportunities that feel good as well.  You will then start seeing the external results you wish for your life and business, and you will be on your way to becoming your own guru.

Here are 4 strategies I teach my clients, in order for them to practice feeling good and becoming their own guru:

1. Journaling. 

Practice unfiltered writing or what is called automatic writing.  Allow whatever thoughts you have in your head to spill out on paper.  I also recommend having intentional writing sessions, where you can ask yourself a question and then start writing about it. I often write about what I want and how I want to feel when I have it. I have learned that focusing on how I feel at the finish line is more helpful than focusing on the logistics or how I will achieve my goal.

The result: A clear view of how you want your future to look. More importantly, it will help you understand the gap between what you have today and why it supports / does not support how you want to be. By writing it all down, you are giving it energy and life, and it will start manifesting immediately. I believe that things can begin happening, before we see them in front of us. You will, undoubtedly, know exactly what you want by creating this blueprint of you.

2. Meditate. 

Sitting in silence is a challenge, but once you learn how to work with your energy and your thoughts, you will look forward to this alone time with yourself. When you focus on quieting your mind, you will start seeing things you have been missing in the past. Like everything else, this is not a process that can be perfected overnight, and the results are not direct or immediate. However, if you commit to starting at 5 minutes a day, I promise you will feel different in just 2 weeks. Track and document your experience after meditating.

The result: You will feel like life is slowing down and you won’t feel so reactive.  You will be able to reflect on situations as they are happening, instead of reacting to them immediately. For a long time, I would take in other peoples’ beliefs and opinions as my own, and this created a huge gap between what I had and what I wanted. Meditation helped me close that gap.   

3. Ask yourself intelligent questions. 

“How can I play bigger”? instead of “Why can’t I get any clients right now?” Ask the important questions of the future results you want to embody, rather than why something is missing from your life. I find that when I ask these questions right before a silent meditation, before I go to sleep or before I go running, the answers always pop up. The answers usually appear when my mind is completely zoned out. I write things down as soon as I can so that I do not forget. 

The result:  Living deliberately and allowing your brain to find you the right clues to your answers. Our brain is a vessel of efficiency. It does not know what is good or bad, it just wants to help you find the clues to your questions.  

4. Follow your curiosity and cultivate trust.

Do you have thoughts that come up and start with, “I wonder if…”? That is your curiosity! Know that this thought is coming up for a reason and that you should follow it. Follow it without attachment to the end end result. Follow it even if you cannot create a connection with a specific benefit or outcome at that very moment. Plan for 20 minutes a day just to listen to those curious thoughts and ideas that pop up into your head. Trust that it will lead you to the answers you are seeking. 

The result: You will cultivate a practice of listening to your inner guide and trusting it. This is how the intuitive muscle is grown and strengthened. Your intuition is your ticket to becoming your own guru.

You are the creator of your own life and business.  You can choose to listen to what someone else says, and then you can choose to do it your way.  If you want to be your own guru, learn how you relate to yourself on a deep level and do more of what you enjoy doing.  When you consistently practice feeling joy, you will start feeling in the flow and noticing the magic all around you.  The immense success you envision for your business starts with connecting deeply with your inner guru.


Elinor Cohen is an intuitive business strategist that helps heart-centred entrepreneurs connect with themselves on a deep level, so that they can access the best version of themselves in their business.  She teaches business owners that business success starts with turning on their inner light, and then shows them how to shine on with a personalised marketing strategy that will create an impact on people and their profits.

Find out more about her mission at