There is something intimidating about following a dream. Maybe even a little scary?! Not in the “monsters under the bed” fashion…More like this crazy battle in your mind between two parts of you.
Existing in blinding light is the half that first invented this brilliant plan, the one who believes in the corners of your deepest soul that you can do EVERYTHING and MORE. The world is your playground. The only way to get the swings to go higher is to pump hard and lean into it. Once you hit that sweet spot with just enough speed, you can hold on and float back into the air. The wind tickles your hair across your face, and that is when it happens. You feel like you are flying!
It is the pit in your stomach that fills up with doubt. The darkness that fills your mind and tells you that
FAILURE IS INEVITABLE. That you cannot succeed. It promises all of the things that can go wrong, will. Sometimes it is even so powerful and convincing, that it can trick you into not trying at all. You might get so confused that you will think this was your idea in the first place, to do nothing. To be nothing. This is about the time you find yourself sitting on the couch binge-eating potato chips. You feel like if you failed at one small thing, you might as well give up on all of it.
As I have spent the last week polishing my book draft for a publisher to read, I know how much is hanging precariously on the edge of this singular chance. It has been on my mind nonstop. When those challenging days hit, when the doubt creeps in, I want to ask myself why the heck I would ever think I could do this. Why had I agreed to allow someone to see my writing? I am not even good! It isn’t exponentially better than what is already available. I am a nobody. Even if she likes the three chapters, it isn’t done and there is no way I can finish writing a full book. Even if for some reason I was able to finish the project and get it printed, nobody is going to buy it or read it. So why try?
This dark cloud has been hovering over my thoughts. It has blocked out my ideas and made it impossible to write. I have been glaring at my computer over in the corner of my room, wishing I could pick it up and release a perfect book onto paper. The words just don’t come….
Then something different happened. I took some time last night to really sit and think about this dream of mine to be a published author. Sure, the opportunity to share my work didn’t show up at the most convenient time:
- I just got a second job to save extra money
- I just built up the courage to start dating again
- I just decided to eat better and work out more
- I am writing three completely different books
- I am trying to live right and still serve others whenever possible
At the same time, I realized something else. Everything in our lives happen independent of how we look at them. Maybe I was looking at these things all wrong….So I took another glance.
- I was able to find a second job, and it is the most uplifting environment! Plus I met someone who can help me get my work in front of a publisher, and is more than willing to help make it happen. Talk about the perfect alignment of timing!
- I started dating again, which means my heart is not as hard and closed off as it used to be
- I am eating better and working out when I can…My body is strong enough to handle all the extra hours of work!
- I am working on 3 books!!! Before, I always said I loved writing, but I never actually did it. I never believed in myself enough to even start one, let alone consider letting someone else read it. But I am doing it anyway
- I have found that true joy comes in those moments when I forget myself and look outward. What a blessing that I can be at a place where I have more than enough and can share with others.
After taking a second to rethink the way I am looking at things, I did something else. I picked up that laptop and went through my “3 big chapters that could change my life.” And I started to delete words, sentences, and paragraphs. Lots of them. Since they just weren’t working, I got rid of them. And then something amazing happened: new words came spilling over the edges and I filled in those gaping holes I had just created.
Sometimes when we have dreams, they seem silly. They appear unattainable. Daunting. Maybe even stupid! Of course, not EVERY idea we have is going to be successful. But how will we know if we don’t try? What if we never give anything a chance because we always expect failure? You owe it to yourself to give it a shot. Put in the effort and pump hard to get that swing moving so high, you forget you ever walked on that boring sand below.
You were made for flying.
Just take that initial step forward and BEGIN. It might not all be perfect at the start, and the doubts will still kick in sometimes. But when they do, take a moment and remember why you made those plans. Recognize the shortcomings, the failures, and setbacks for what they are. Learn from them. Then make up your mind to try again. Because you can do it.
XOXO – Heath
P.S. For more motivation in chasing those “stupid ideas,” read this book. I loved it!