A popular question in many personal development books and courses is “What would you do if you knew it was impossible to fail?” The answers are as varied and individual as we are. And yet so many people don’t choose to follow their passions or live their dreams. It’s sad to know that life could be so much more if only we were willing to take the risk.
So what is that holds so many people from following their dreams and living their life passion?
A lot of the time, the reasons why people don’t follow their dreams can be found within their mindset. It is vital to success in any area of life that we believe in ourselves and our abilities. Even before we take the first step on the path to making our dreams reality, we must have a belief that success is ours for the taking.
But we don’t know it. Or we do know it, and then we let all those pesky self-doubts creep in. We question. Our resources, finances, abilities, and sometimes even our intelligence all come under scrutiny, and are usually found wanting. And then we let all those self-doubts stop us in our tracks, sometimes for years — sometimes even for a lifetime.
The main culprit in all of this is fear. Fear that we can’t do it; fear that we’ll look stupid for even trying; even fear that everything will go smoothly and we’ll succeed!
No one really wants to admit they’re afraid though, so we tend to couch our fear in the language of excuses. Here are some of the more common excuses people use for justifying why they don’t go after their dreams. Are any of these familiar to you?
1. You don’t think you’re good enough
It’s not that you’re afraid of failing (well, maybe you are), but more that you anticipate failing instead of being successful.
No one is going to take action if they can’t see a successful outcome. To get over this fear, use things like meditation, visualization, and self-hypnosis to change your mindset so that you’re at least willing to try.
2. You don’t have the resources
This is a huge excuse to justify not living your dreams. You may not have the resources, but there are ways to get them. Whether it’s time, money, knowledge, or something else you think you need to really go for it, figure out a plan to get what you need to get started.
3. You’re just not motivated
Lack of motivation can be a sign of fear, or it can be something else. If it’s just that you really don’t want to do it — dreams can change after all — then admit that, and move on to the next dream.
But, if it is fear that’s stopping you, then just dive in and see what happens. There’s a saying that motivation doesn’t create success, success creates motivation. Get a little taste of success under your belt and see if you’re not more motivated to keep going.
4. It’s not perfect yet
This one gets me every time. I like to have all my ducks in a row before I even start something. And you know where that leads… nothing is ever 100 percent ready, so nothing ever gets started.
Here’s the thing… perfection is really a symptom of procrastination, and procrastination is a symptom of fear. You don’t want to do it if it’s not perfect because there’s a fear of negative feedback, so you put off doing anything at all. If there’s nothing out there for people to comment on, you don’t have to worry about anyone raining on your dreams.
It’s taken me a long time staying stuck to realize that it’s okay to start and change as you go. There’s another saying out there that “done is better than perfect,” and it’s true. You can always edit and make changes once you have something done. But you can’t edit something that doesn’t exist!
There’s no doubt that going after your dreams is a scary proposition for most people. We get so used to our comfort zone, and it’s risky to move beyond. There’s a whole new world out there, and it can be a very scary place. But, as the saying goes, the most successful people are the ones who feel the fear and do it anyway.
The first step in living your dreams is to stop letting your thoughts get in the way, and get over the fear. If you let the fear stop you from taking action, you will never achieve your dreams. But, if you face your fears and take action then no matter when you start, you will live your dreams and achieve the success you deserve.