Nearly every week, even now as I’m writing this, I want to stop, call myself stupid for thinking I could do this, close my Facebook page, and pull the covers over my head. This is silly! Why am I doing this!? I’m not creative, I’m not an authority on how to live a good life, and I sure as hell don’t know what I’m doing.
These are doubts. These are nothing more than fears that have yet to manifest into reality. Doubts crave comfort. They want us to stay in a warm hiding place, away from attention, financial uncertainty, and new experiences.
We all get them. The moment we step out and dare to do something different and follow our passion, our skepticism lectures us on how bad of an idea it is. But if we step back and examine these thoughts, we will be able to separate fear from rational problems.
So, here are some doubts that affect most of us when we step into something new, what they really mean, and how we can overcome them.
I’ve Bitten Off More Than I Can Chew
When starting any new project (job, hobby, school, etc.), or life style (think weight loss, sobriety, exercise, children, etc.), the full effect of your commitment comes rushing towards you. You think this is going to be more than I can handle. This will be my life now. How am I supposed to commit to this with my limited knowledge and experience? It’s too big, too much, too fast. I’ll just stick to what I know even if it means a less fulfilling life.
Everything in stride, my friends. It’s unrealistic to take in the full effect of your decision at once. If we had to do that, then no one would ever start. You take each goal through each phase of development. You learn how to change a diaper, or you slowly build your muscle mass with light weights, or you do a dry run and tweak your process along the way. Either way, you start with what you have and build from there, one day at a time.
I Can’t Deliver on People’s Expectations of Me
Odds are, when you get to work you’ll see the different paths you can take. People you meet will greet you with enthusiasm and want to help you by reach your goals. Collaborating with team members, like-minded entrepreneurs or customers will continuously raise the bar on performance, and then it becomes a quest to meet those expectations.
This is a healthy side effect of growing success, but it’s also up to you whether you want to follow these paths. You don’t have to meet other people’s expectations on your life. This is your path, your journey. While we constantly try to make other people happy with our service or health, at the end of the day, you’re #1. We cannot live to make others happy when we ourselves are not happy. Keep your goals with you as you cut through the tall grass. Remember why you started and whether these expectations are aligned with your goals.
I’m Not a Maverick
Read a biography of a famous influencer and you’ll see the muck they had to overcome. You’ll appreciate the fact that most of them start out just like you. They had an idea and they went for it. Their grit got them there; it wasn’t grades or savviness, it was their work ethic. They also had challenges, doubts, and sacrifices but the culmination of these made them who they were.
When you go through difficult times, overcoming them will shine a light on your strength. Then you’ll see that you’re no different from the great mavericks you read about in books. Most great people start in the same place as you, so why shouldn’t you be any more successful than them?
If I Fail, Then All the Stress Will Be For Nothing
If it was easy then everyone would be doing it. Losing weight wasn’t easy. Getting sober wasn’t easy. Moving wasn’t easy. Growing a website isn’t easy. Often, the stress is enough to stop any of us from reaching our goals. Who wants to be in a place where they’re saying “Hello!” to high blood pressure, sleepless nights and caffeine addictions? Great rewards take work. That much is true. But you don’t actually know you’re going to fail until you’ve thrown in the towel.
How many times have we started weight loss journeys but thrown in the towel when we go off healthy eating and exercise? Or have relapsed after we had a drink? Most of the times, we are the ones who decide we’ve failed. We’re the ones who actively decide to throw in the towel. We didn’t fail, we gave up.
What if you didn’t give up? What if you refuse to give up this time? Think about how kick ass will your life look one year from now. Get through the drama of starting so you can be in a place where you can maintain, or develop newer, better ideas. Just don’t decide you’ve failed when, in reality, you’ve only been hit with a challenge.
Is This the Right Passion to Follow?
This one’s on you, but I can tell you my perspective. That little voice in my head has been telling me to write since 4th grade. Now I’m 30 and just starting. It never left, I was just afraid to do it.
You’ll know your passions when you examine how you spend your free time. And yes, I know by this argument, Netflix is everyone’s passion, but we can’t just be professional TV watchers (although it would be awesome). What articles do you like to read online? What books are on your book shelf? What kind of Pinterest boards do you have? What gets your heart racing when you think about the possibilities? What do you want to improve on?
There might be an underlining passion here. Explore the possibilities of that and see what you come up with.
I’m Not Creative Enough
Where there’s a will, there’s a… you know. So, you have the idea of what you want to do, but you fuss about being creative enough to stick out from everyone else. How can I be different? What’s my edge?
Creativity comes from looking at the world differently, or from experience. Therefore, collaborating with like-minded people is important. Research your niche. What are others doing, and how would you do it if you were in charge? Put your own spin on it and then suddenly you’re the creative genius that everyone is trying to copy.
I don’t want that last idea to come off too idealistic. So, for example, all bloggers tell me to read other blogs that are like mine. See what they’re doing and build on their experience. So, when I read these posts, I think about how I would work it from my voice. How does what they’re saying apply to me? How can I apply it to my experience; my message? Then boom, I have a writing prompt. Or, like this post, I think about the chaos in my mind and think, I’m not the only one who thinks this way; I’m going to write about it. And 2,000 jumbled words and some heavy editing later, it’s done.
I Don’t Have Enough Time
Unless you’re financially set, you might have to develop your passion while working your current job. This means less time with family and more ways to stretch yourself thin. This is my current situation. Speaking from experience, I find its best to make a schedule of things I’m going to get done each day of the week with down time mixed in. I need to shut down or else I’m a stressed-out witch who projects her stress onto her loved ones. Not good.
I can take a few hours off in the evening if it means doing something the next day and pushing the schedule back a little. I also know that we all have 24 hours in a day, and we are the ones who make our priorities. You have time the same clock as everyone else; you are the one who decides where it goes.
Do Not Throw in the Towel
Doubts ruin our mindset. Even with all the good intentions, we get hung up on the obstacles, timing, confidence, and sacrifice into reaching out goals. We forget how nice it is to be doing the very thing we’ve dreamed about doing. When we are actively pursuing what makes us happy, we must relish accomplishing milestones along the way and savor success in various forms.
The universe will show you the path to success, even if it’s not the path we imagined for ourselves. When we remember what we are doing and that all good things are riddled with muck along the way, then we have the mindset for success. Stay strong. Keep going, and do not throw in the towel yet.