What no one tells you about following your dreams.
Hey babes!! I've been at this dream of mine for a while now, and I've learned a LOT. It turns out, there's a bunch of stuff no one ever tells you about. Sure, we all know following your dreams isn't going to be easy, but there's so much more I never prepared myself for. Whether your goal is to get fit and healthy, start a company, write a book, or even travel the world, these are the things I've seen affect pretty much all doers and dreamers as they work towards their goals.
So here it is: the 4 things no one tells you about following your dreams.
1. The people around you, even those you love, will show resistance, doubt, and even jealousy.
This one has shocked me the most throughout my life. It's not that I haven't had wonderful support, but it's amazing how anytime you express a dream or goal how many people around you show resistance to that. It may be because they want to go after their dreams too but are disappointed in themselves, or it could even just be genuine concern because they love you and don't want to see you fail. Or sometimes (and we all do this) they want to keep you in their little box of who you are because humans are naturally resistant to change.
Have you ever tried to stick to a diet only to have all your friends tell you to live a little and let loose? Have you ever tried to work hard in school only to be made fun of for not hanging out with everyone else? It's exactly the same thing, and when you go for your dream, expect resistance even from those closest to you.
There will be those who tell you your dream is impossible, that you should do something more practical, that you have become too obsessive, that your life doesn't fit how they think it should, that you're not smart enough to get it done, that you're too lazy, or all of your ideas have never worked before. Get this: before I moved to Oahu, I was told that my photography would fail because no one would hire a white girl from Arizona. And yet, my photography business and everything else I've created has multiplied and turned into something beautiful that I'm now proud of! Just because someone you love and trust says something doesn't make it true about you. No one knows you better than yourself (and God!), so even if it's your best friend or even your mom, they don't get to decide how well you accomplish your dreams - you do.
Here's how you fight it: don't tell, just show. Keep your goals on the down low, and then smash them out of the park. When the naysayers doubt you, use it as motivation. For me I just think about how great it will feel to prove them wrong. I literally had people make fun of me for taking photos back in high school. I've had plenty of people make fun of me for sharing my life on Instagram. I've been made fun of for my captions, the way I post to Instagram stories, how I talk, you name it. And yet, those are the same people asking for help down the road when they see how much my hard work has paid off!
So don't let anyone get you down. Keep that chin up, and get to work. You've got this!
2. Do what you love, and you'll kind of work all the time.
I love this drawing I found the other day. It's TOO true. Don't get me wrong, there's definitely a need for some work-life balance when it comes to doing what you love, but I also think it's so cool how people who follow their dreams get to wake up excited every day!
Sure there are aspects of my work I'm not crazy about (cough cough emails..) and I do have to set apart time to make sure I am disconnected, but anytime I feel stressed or overwhelmed with work I remind myself how freaking rad it is that I get to do my dream job every day.
Say goodbye to sleep, because all of your best ideas are gonna keep you up at night. When you're following your dreams your brain gets wildly excited and there's no better feeling. You want to run a mile a minute and have a million ideas floating around in your head. I've always felt like I was on the right path in life when I could feel the inspiration pumping through my veins. That's what passion can do for you, and it's beyond exciting.
How to deal with it: stay organized and write things down. If you're kept up at night with racing thoughts write down everything you're thinking about so you can just get back to it in the morning. You can't do all your ideas at once. Some of mine have taken years to actually execute. Do one thing at a time, and do it well. Carve out family time and fun time and pointless time. By pointless time I simply mean give yourself time to do something that contributes absolutely nothing to your work. Paint, draw, play an instrument, read a novel, play with a child or animal, spend time in nature, bum out on Netflix, try a new recipe, phone a friend. It's so important to find that balance even though you could easily spend all your time working on your goals. This will keep you from burning out and the passion ignited past the honeymoon phase.
3. You will get scared and doubt yourself repeatedly. Oh, and you're gonna fail. A lot.
This is the hardest part about following your dreams. We can't stand failure. It's humiliating. We start thinking maybe people are right about us. Maybe we're stupid for trying so hard. Maybe we should've picked something easier. Maybe we're not cut out for it. Maybe it's not worth it. Maybe I'll never be as good as them.
We are our own worst enemy when it comes to following our dreams. And somehow we've all tricked ourselves into believing that everyone else has it figured out. We compare our chapter 1 to someone else's chapter 20 and wonder why we suck so bad. We get started full of passion but when things get hard we listen to our own doubt too much.
How to fight it: allow yourself to feel the funk. You don't always need to be killing it. You might not stick to your workouts perfectly or get behind on a big project you're passionate about. I have some news for you: IT'S OKAY. The world is gonna keep turning and you're still going to accomplish your dreams and it's all gonna be okay. Take a break from social media for a bit because let's be real, nothing feeds the lie that everyone's got it all together like Instagram does. Spend time doing the things that really matter and when you're ready, hop back into it. Don't think your dreams are over just because you missed an opportunity or didn't go full speed for 5 months straight. You've got this. I believe in you.
4. Happiness guilt.
Oh boy, this is a first world problem if I've ever heard of one. But it's REAL. And it's closely tied with #1 on this list.
Happiness guilt is when things are going super good for you but then you find yourself holding back, keeping things inside, or even stepping away from your dreams because you're afraid of shining too bright. You're afraid of outshining your friends or making your family feel bad. Others are struggling, so who are you to feel so great and be so proud of yourself? Who are you to travel the world when some people can't even pay their bills? Who are you to share your fitness journey when others can't overcome an eating disorder? Who are you to be stoked on your dreams when others are tied down to their responsibilities?
Here's the thing. There will always be someone doing better than you, and there will ALWAYS be someone doing worse than you. You can't feel guilty for other people's choices and circumstances. Sure, don't rub it in people's face's that you're doing well, but don't shrink yourself either. Shrinking serves no one.
You are experiencing the happiness that you have because you created it. You worked hard for it. You have privileges and maybe even a bit of luck that others don't have. But that doesn't mean you should give it all away because you don't want to make anyone feel bad. The answer is actually the opposite.
Here's how you fight happiness guilt: recognize your blessings, be humble, and focus on gratitude. And when you get the opportunity, GIVE BACK. I'm a firm believer we aren't blessed just to be blessed. I don't think God wants us to selfishly use our blessings to just live a luxurious life and be thankful. I believe where much is given, much is required. And if you are lucky enough to be born with privilege and the opportunity to work hard for your dreams, then I think much is required of you. Use your happiness, your passion, your dreams, your blessings, your privilege, your luck, your opportunities - all of it - to give back to the world. Be a force for good, and there will be no reason to feel guilty for what you've worked hard for.
Did anything on this list surprise you? What's your ultimate goal you're working towards right now? I love to hear from you + read your thoughts about what I've written!
Until next time.