People who want to pursue their aspirations are commonly held back by the same fears. These fears keep dreamers in their comfort zones and persuade them to live a “safe” life.
They don’t take action because they’re afraid of the consequences. They stay in the life they know.
Every day, the calling raises its voice in hopes that the dreamer will hear it over the worries that have plugged their ears.
You can push your desires down, but they won’t disappear. They survive, and when you’re seventy or eighty, they’ll jump out and slap you in the face. Regret will haunt you.
Sound dramatic? It’s not. It’s a reality.
My 73-year-old grandma often tells me she wishes she would’ve stayed in school and gone to college. The desire to have done something extraordinary with her life eats at her as if little vampires have taken up residence inside.
Do you want to become the person who says to their grandchildren, “I wish I would’ve…”?
“Chase your dreams and your nightmares will grow tired of chasing you.”
— Matshona Dhliwayo
You don’t need to be fearless. You don’t need to find a way to make your doubts disappear. You need to acknowledge them and realize they’re not as frightening as you believe.
Fear 1: People Will Think I’m Crazy
Some people will think you’re crazy, and others won’t believe in you. What does that have to do with you? How do their words affect your actions?
The people who lead their lives based on what others think of them don’t make it far. This concern should bear no weight.
“What people think of you is none of your business.” — Deepak Chopra
I once told a “friend” in high school that I wasn’t going to college. “I’m going to be a blogger,” I said. He replied, “Okay. Don’t call me when you’re living in a box.”
I could see in the faces of my peers, teachers, and some family members that they thought I was an idiot for not going to college. I didn’t let their thoughts and words stop me because they didn’t matter.
For a few moments, you’ll feel like an alien. But people move on and so should you.
You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it. — Robin Williams
You are crazy. Who said that had to be a bad thing?
Fear 2: The Chances of Success Are Low
This is true. The chances of you becoming a successful musician, vlogger, or business owner are low.
The odds of becoming a thriving writer are stacked against me. Heavily. But if victorious writers — who, in the beginning, had equally low odds — could achieve their goal, why can’t I?
You’re not pursuing the impossible. A challenging goal, yes, but not impossible. So, if you’re not entirely unlikely of winning, why not take the opportunity and run?
The more you take action, experiment, learn, and keep going, the higher your chances. (Perhaps it’s not a hard fact, but that’s typically how these things go.)
Change your mindset around failure. The chances of success are low, but not nonexistent. I write because I’ve learned to focus on the possibility of success (no matter how small) rather than the possibility of failure. That’s the big secret.
Fear 3: I’ll Embarrass Myself
Yes, you will. You’re going to post on Instagram and get two likes (from your parents). Your YouTube video will receive ten views if you’re lucky.
If your friends and family see those low numbers, you’ll feel embarrassed because you don’t have more to show for your work.
I can assure you: your friends don’t give a crap. Even the ones who think you’re crazy aren’t pausing and saying, “Ha! I knew they’d fail.”
You’ll feel embarrassed, but you’re not truly making a fool out of yourself. Even when I’ve had no views, reads, or likes, my friends have reached out and said that they think what I’m doing is great.
The embarrassment from the absence of results is in your head. Mostly, people will be impressed that you’re taking action at all.
Sure you may make a fool of yourself — but I don’t know about you but I’d rather get beaten on the field than shrivel up on the sidelines. — Michael Thompson
Embrace embarrassment by working on your goal despite the lack of immediate results. This worry will fade over time.
Fear 4: It’ll Take A Long Time Before I’m Successful
The process is long, but most of the time, it doesn’t take as much as you think. People are simply too impatient to stick around for longer than six months.
They see little to no results for their efforts, and they quit. Success takes time. If you’re not willing to waste time chasing your dream, you’re welcome to waste time living a life that won’t make you happy.
“We tend to believe in the ironic notion of ‘wasting time.’ We don’t want to waste time pursuing something that might not work. But we’re more than happy to waste time doing things that will either keep us stagnant or move us backward.” — Ayodeji Awosika, Real Help
This article isn’t for everyone. Some people enjoy their nine to five lives. Not everyone wants to change the world, make millions, or be famous. If you are that person, if you want greatness, you’ll need to work for it. For years.
You didn’t complain about the four years of education you needed to get your degree, did you? Then why do you complain about this time frame?
Fear 5: I’m Afraid I Won’t Be Able to Figure This Out
Some people never write a book or book auditions because they don’t know how to do it. There are too many steps involved. Too many problems to unravel.
Can they figure it out? Of course.
Out of all of these fears, this one is the most ludicrous. You might not know how to write a book, but answers are a Google search away. You don’t even need to go to college.
“Everything is figureoutable.” — Marie Forleo
Open YouTube, and you can find millions of tutorials on hundreds of thousands of topics. Buy courses, read books, reach out to experts, ask questions.
The journey ahead of you might seem intimidating, or you might feel unequipped. But you’re smart enough to find answers. You don’t have a valid excuse not to try — not in this era.
You don’t lack the necessary intelligence, courage, or confidence to begin. Everything you need is inside you, but your worries aren’t letting them see the light of day.
Now that you know what your fears are (and how ridiculous they are), you can kick them to the curb. You can take action.
- People will think you’re crazy, but that’s none of your business.
- You’re not chasing an impossible dream. Focus on your chances of success rather than the low odds.
- Embrace the embarrassment you’ll feel. No one’s paying that close attention.
- Success is a long game (but it might not be as long as you think).
- You can learn to do whatever you desire.
Don’t try to eliminate your fears. Meet their eyes and give em’ your most innocent smile. The one that says, “Don’t worry about me. I’m not doing anything.”