If you are like me – the square peg in the round hole, the misfit, the few out of many in the world who are hell-bent on following their inner calling, here are a few things you will need to know about following your dreams.
First of all, this path you are taking will be questioned.
They will ask you why you on this path?
A lot of people will be scared on your behalf. Scared that you are making a huge mistake; scared that you won’t make it. Scared of the problems you will encounter for following your dreams.
They are scared that you are doing something they could not do and you might succeed at it.
They will advise you against it. Tell you to take the easy way out.
They will mock you; make you feel like you are a fool for choosing to follow your inner callings.
Are you ready to handle all the criticisms? The mockery? The depression and anxiety that might stroll in?
I know you tell yourself that you are ready and I believe you. You are not crazy for choosing to follow this path. Remember I am in your shoes and I know the fulfillment that comes with following one’s dreams.
Thing is, when you are walking as one with the crowd, forging your path, hitting milestones no matter how small, you will hardly go unnoticed.
Did I tell you of the envious glare you will probably get at every turn? It’s normal. You are courageous and not everyone is capable of doing what you are doing. So, expect the envy.
With envy come criticisms. Your choices and decisions will be scrutinized as if it’s their business.
Don’t bother explaining to them. They won’t understand and they won’t try to.
But hey, all that does not matter.
It is expected. You will face all these. The criticisms, mockery, envy but remember that nobody will be as critical of you as you.
Yes, that is one truth about following your dreams that almost everyone fails to understand.
Sure, others might doubt you.
They might question your motives and your path.
But at the end of the day, nothing holds you back like yourself.
No voice will be louder than yours. No motivation will be greater than the one you give yourself. No judgment will be as paralyzing as your own. No doubt will stop you from the one you give yourself.
This is why it is important to be your best friend. If you must follow this path, then you must be your own biggest fan, cheerleader and believer. Stop searching elsewhere for strength and affirmation. Look inwards. It’s right there.
Of course, few people might support you and your work. They will be inspired by the life you live but on days when doubt sneaks in and you begin to wonder if you are truly on the right path; it is your conviction that will pull you through.
It is your vision that will keep inspiring and pushing you to keep growing. No affirmation or praise is greater than the one you give yourself.
The problem does not lie in your willingness to take the first step but your willingness to wake up every single day and keep taking those steps. Consistency is pain. It takes a lot of mental agility and resilience.
But you have to believe in yourself and keep moving.
Keep plying the route less traveled.
Take the lead and allow others to follow so they believe they can create their path too.
It is not going to be easy. It is hard. Very hard. Remember I am already on that path and I know how it feels.
Following your dreams but settling for an ordinary life that everyone else is living is not an easy way out.
Every path is hard.
Which one will you choose?