Over the last couple of months as I have read other people’s blogs I began to dream about writing my own. But I always pushed the thought away. I could never do that. I am not an experienced writer. Would anyone even be interested in what I have to say? I never saw myself being able to do anything about my dreams. And the thought of what it might take to begin felt impossible and overwhelming. So that’s all they were, a dream, something to fantasize about but not actually act on.
Until finally, my desire to pursue my dream grew bigger than my fear of attempting it and failing. So, I created my blog with all the excitement that anyone ever feels at finally doing something about, what they have long desired to do. In the beginning it was pure joy, like a child at Christmas. As I worked to create and design my blog, I finally felt that things were right. This was what I had wanted to do and I was now doing it. Then I began to share my dream with others. It was well meet and there was plenty of excitement and praise.
However, it was one thing to pursue my dream in private. It’s a whole other story to pursue it under the eyes of others, even if they are in support of me. All of a sudden there’s pressure to perform. That I have to get it right and I can’t make a mistake. If I make a mistake, what will they think of me? Maybe they won’t like it or maybe they won’t like me. Because after all, my work is a reflection of me. This is some of the negativity that has begun to encroach on the joy I am feeling.
I find my thoughts suddenly full of what I have to do because I don’t want to make a mistake and fail, rather than the goal of sharing the wisdom I have received so I can help others. There are also the beginnings of feeling fear and anxiety. What was once exciting and happy was now beginning to feel scary. How can going after your dream become so paralyzing?
It isn’t the simple fear of making mistakes, but making mistakes in front of watching eyes. When we make mistakes in private we can ignore them and pretend they don’t exist, maybe even have a laugh and move on. And when pursuing the dream begins to feel too hard, we can walk away telling ourselves that we didn’t even want it in the first place. We can tell ourselves these things in private, but we are held accountable when we’re in public. So the thought of making a mistake in public becomes fearful and intimidating.
Long story short, every time I have had a moment of inspiration and have sat down to write, bam, writer’s block. Is it any wonder that I would run into obstacles in the pursuit of my dream when in the midst of all my excitement, I have had this litany of negative thoughts and self-doubt running through the back of my mind like ticker tape.
How do we go from the excitement of taking the big leap and going after the dream to being weighed down with self-doubt and fear? This is what it’s supposed to feel like before you take that big leap, not after you have already begun working on it. It’s supposed to be smooth sailing from here on out, isn’t it?
Well, actually no it isn’t. You see, now you’re being tested. What are you willing to give in order to receive? It’s that whole reaping what you sow principle. Notice that the reaping or giving comes before the sowing or receiving does. It’s a matter of how much do you want it and what are you willing to do to achieve it. Will you choose to believe in yourself, in your dream, even if there are obstacles? What if the greatest obstacle is the negative self-defeating thoughts in your mind?
Leslie Householder author of The Jackrabbit Factor says, “When I have a choice, I choose to believe.” Will you choose to believe any way?
After all, mistakes are really just learning experiences. You have these experiences to bring you to a place of decision. The question that any experience brings with it is always the same, “What will you choose to think, feel, and believe?” Will you think you can or you can’t? Will you feel that there is hope or there isn’t? Will you believe it is possible or not? The subject may change and the experiences may differ, but it’s all about bringing you to a place of learning and growing by asking you to come to a decision, what will you think, feel, and believe.
Well, since you are reading this post, you can probably deduce that I have come to a decision about what I am choosing to think, feel, and believe. I think that I can do this and what I have to say is important. I feel that my goal of sharing the lessons I have learned over the last couple of years is obtainable. I believe that there are many who can benefit from these tidbits of wisdom as I have watched my own life turn from depression and feelings of hopelessness to a life filled with gratitude and joy.
So the next time something comes along that brings feelings and thoughts of negativity or doubt, start asking some questions. What am I going to think, feel, and believe about this? And maybe you’ll begin to see that this experience came along not to stop you and tell you that you can’t, but rather it came to show you that yes, you can.
“Whatever my circumstances are, I can always choose my own thoughts.” ~ Leslie Householder
What thoughts will you choose on the road to pursuing your dreams?