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

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 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 with the help of my friend María José of Very Busy Mama. 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 successful

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. I am back (okay maybe you didn’t notice I was gone) and hopefully each of you who are reading will join me in this journey. Please subscribe to this blog (since connecting via Facebook is harder than it used to be) and share your comments as often as possible. Email 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.


Nicole Dash is a writer, blogger and business owner who lives in the suburbs outside Washington, DC with her husband and four children. She started her career as a journalist and copy editor. She also managed public relations and corporate communications for a national franchise company, but in 2006 started a child care business. In 2012, she launched Tiny Steps Mommy, a lifestyle and parenting blog that quickly gained a following and connected her to an expansive group of women-owned businesses. In 2013, she started a digital marketing consulting business that focused on growing community in an authentic way. Through those connections she was inspired to open Play, Work or Dash, a coworking space that also offers onsite childcare up to three hours per day. It is where like-minded professionals pursue their business goals with the extra level of support parents desire; a place where you "bring your kids to work." She is an active member of the Washington, DC blogger community. She has been published on The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode and Pop Sugar.




  1. Blanca Alvarado says:

    The fact that you strayed from your original path is part of life’s journey. Sometimes we need to explore even if we come full circle. It’s all good. I love your writing because it rings true everytime .keep following your heart.,and you’ll never go wrong.

  2. It feels like you and I recently went through similar things! Glad you’re able to step back and focus on what you love. 🙂
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