Our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlour soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Next to Resistance, rational thought is the artist or entrepreneurs worst enemy. Bad things happen when we employ rational thought, because rational thought comes from the ego. Instead, we want to work from the Self, that is, from instinct and intuition, from the unconscious.
A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. Its only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” - Steven Pressfield, Do the Work
The idea of “being realistic” holds all of us back. From starting a business or quitting a job to dating someone who may not be our type or moving to a new place – getting “real” often means putting your dreams on hold.
Today, let’s take a step away from rational thought and dare to be bold. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish but have been afraid to pursue? Write it down. Also write down the obstacles in your way of reaching your goal. Finally, write down a tangible plan to overcome each obstacle.
The only thing left is to, you know, actually go make it happen. What are you waiting for?
I feel like I already have been pursuing what I have always wanted to accomplish. I want to travel around the world. I want to inspire people through my stories and books. I want to have my financial freedom and the time to enjoy it.
In a way, I think I’m still a child. I tend to dream the impossible, and believe I could do anything I set my mind to. I do feel sometimes, that some people tried to shake it out of me to be more rational and adult-like. Maybe that was just my courage heart going into shrinking mode.
To be honest, to start pursuing the dream wasn’t that hard for me. I’m the impulsive type and the start was when the universe started aligning itself for the dream. Everyone supported me, I found a great community, and everything went in great flow. Perhaps it also helps that I have always been a headstrong person. I kind of know what I wanted all along, albeit rather vague, and I don’t think anybody could change my mind.
I think, looking back, I should’ve chugged more work out of me that time, at the start. Wrote a bajillion more words, send out my stuff to people. Who knows I could be lucky and landed myself a good publishing deal . Well, maybe not. But I certainly miss that naivety!
After some time struggling, I came to the middle part, the hardest. It’s the part where you have only seen a glimmer of hope of making it, but you’re not there yet. Self doubt is at the highest point. Will I ever make it? Is it all worth it? It’s one thing to never pursue your dream, but it’s another to pursue your dream and then thought of the possibility that you sucked big time.
What to do then? I won’t lie, the thought of going back to work in a comfortable IT job, where everyone thinks I’m good at and has a steady income, crosses my mind several time. Who, in their right mind, would choose to do something that put their soul for everyone else to see and judge? Certainly artists and entrepreneurs don’t have a right mind. Thankfully, neither do I.
Besides, I’ve burned that bridge already. The only time I will ever rebuild it and go back to a 9 to 5 job, is if it’s a matter of life and starvation. I told myself there’s no turning back. It’s do or die.
This is the test, the time when you really have to be bold. Not just for the first plunge, but to keep up with it, to keep going. This is the time when you must stand up for yourself.
Obstacles at the starting point:
- Money. Even though being a starving artist is somewhat poetic, the reality isn’t. I found out that I worked better when I’m well fed. I have full support from the husband but I hate being a housewife.
- Just do it! The adrenaline rush will take care of everything.
Obstacles at the half point:
- Self doubt, other people’s doubt. Put on your headphones and listen only on positive thoughts. Hang out only with encouraging people. While critiques are beneficial for making myself a better writer, negativity isn’t.
- Persistence. Has everything to do with self doubt. On the other hand, you will found out that pursuing your dream is the most rewarding thing ever. Stick to that feeling.
- Fear of failure or fear of success. Either you’re too scared to finish and send out your manuscript, or, after listening to how much money some snobbish authors are making, you vowed to not to be like them (which includes the money making). Don’t think too much of this kinds of fear. It’ll just paralyze you and gave you an excuse to stay put (which is a sure way guarantee of shameful failure of doing nothing). Just deal with things at it comes. You’ll do fine.
- Nothing ever changed. Perhaps true, but even water would only start to boil after you it reached a certain temperature. Think of what you do as giving the heat to water. It’ll eventually boil when you persist!