People often tell me that my expectations in life are too high. They tell me that my dreams are impossible and that I shouldn’t keep trying to pursue such lofty goals. I know that I may not be typical in maintaining such dogged focus, but is there really a time when you should just give up on your dreams? I know that my decisions have put me in some unnecessarily stressful situations, but I feel like the stress is lesser now than it would be if I followed their advice. What do you think the right thing to do is? What would you do in my shoes?
I can completely relate to your story; people have often told me to stop trying to achieve my goals, or to at least shift my focus so I’m spending less of my time on them. It’s hard to maintain focus on a dream when the world tells you that it’s unrealistic, too big, or that the chances of success are low.
As someone who’s trying to earn a living as an author, I can confirm that even writing a book is a challenge, let alone writing dozens in order to attract a sizable audience. Building an author business doesn’t have the same kind of predictable income that a 9 to 5 job does and people worry about me as a result, especially my parents.
There have been many occasions when I considered giving up on my dream and settling for something less. I can never pull the trigger though because, for some reason, I get extremely depressed whenever I work a typical job and I have never struggled so much emotionally when I focused on building a business and figuring out how to get by day-to-day. It’s not easy, no doubt, but my life does seem to be better when I’m following my passion, despite the challenges.
I don’t necessarily know why my life seems to work this way, I’ve spent many hours trying to figure it out but, when it comes down to it, this is my pattern. So, I’ve had to make my choice, a life of temporary uncertainty (potentially even years) is my preference over a life of relative certainty where I am less able to do what matters to me.
That’s the key message I have for you today. From what I can see, it’s never appropriate to give up on something you really care about. If it’s something you really want, you can’t give up on it. No matter how many times you try, you will always come back to it. And, if that’s your experience, this is how you know what your path is.
If like me you find yourself constantly returning to your dream, the problem becomes a matter of motivation instead of feasibility. If you’ve been trying to accomplish something for years and haven’t succeeded, you may find yourself struggling to move forward at all. You still have the desire, but you no longer believe in your own capability.
This is where the words of others often cause problems for people in similar positions. After being told so many times that your dreams are impossible, or not worth pursuing, you may hold these same beliefs now. Well-intentioned people are trying to help you find the security you desire, but they don’t necessarily recognize how negatively such comments can destroy you in regard to the things you truly want.
You have to combat these thoughts now and the best way to do that is to recognize that “impossible” isn’t a thing. As a general rule, with the exception of some high-tech concepts that haven’t been invented yet, your dreams have already been realized by someone else.
Someone else has already achieved the status of bestselling author, historic inventor, billionaire, or saint. Yes, it may be difficult, yes, there may be challenges and the road may be uphill, but it is possible and that’s what you need to keep in mind. Keep moving forward; keep putting on foot in front of the other, and you will reach your goal eventually. If nothing else works, you will literally run out of ways to fail and will inevitably succeed.
It sounds like this is the path you’re currently on, one that you can’t really change even if you try. So, now is the time to stop listening to the naysayers and the time to cling to the dream. This is your path; it is clear and obvious to you, never give up on that. You have been given a gift, a clarity that others rarely get, trust that things will work out in your favor eventually despite the difficulties you face. Believe in yourself and in your dream; someday, we’ll both get there.
Lexis is Alexis Rae Baker, who writes from her home in Olympia. What would you like to ask her to comment about? Write to her at Lexis@theJOLTnews.com
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