Lately, I’ve been pulled back in the direction of my old life. A fear has crept up inside me that is causing me to second guess my dreams and goals. Just in case you have no idea what I mean by “my old life,” I’ll give you a little bit of background. When I moved to Florida years ago, I took a job working for an educational software company, then an Internet Marketing Agency, and eventually partnering in my own Internet Marketing Agency. At the time, I felt that I was progressing, moving up, and striving for something. The strange thing is that I had no idea what that “something” was that I was striving for. I did not enjoy the work. I was often treated disrespectfully by my male co-workers. And I came home most nights completely fed up and in need of a drink. I am a person who likes variety. I like to move around – physically. I like to talk to different people and go places – in the physical sense. I also do good work and hold to standards of ethics and integrity. As such, I expect to be treated with the respect that my age and my brain power deserve. Sitting at a desk 8-10 hours is not what I am cut out for, no matter what the finish line holds. I am creative and that part of me is something from which I cannot separate myself.
So here is my dilemma. I decided to go in a new direction. I am writing, coaching, and speaking. I am taking my skills that I learned over a lifetime and applying them to a new career that feeds my soul and hopefully feeds the souls of others. It does not, however, feed my bank account very well… yet. “Yet” being the word on which my future is hinged. In short, I am taking a risk which is causing me fear and anxiety. So the question is, “How can we keep our dreams alive, in the midst of fear?”
Hard work, Perseverance, and Steadfastness
As I write, I am pondering these questions myself. I am reminded of something I used to say to my children. “Where you concentrate your energy is where you will have success.” Hard work, perseverance, and steadfastness are the necessary ingredients in keeping our dreams alive. I would also recommend a good multi-vitamin and plenty of coffee/tea. Now, with that said, we also must manage our fears in wading through unknown waters.
When I take a step back and ask myself “What I am really afraid of?” I come up with a few scary outcomes.
1. Financial fears – I will not have enough money to pay my bills. My spouse will get mad at me for not contributing.
2. Fear of failure – I will fall on my face in front of my friends and family.
3. Fear of judgment – My friends and family will think I’m weird.
Now that I have asked myself what my fears are, I ask myself, “What is the worst thing that could happen by going down this path?”
1. If I can’t pay my bills, I will have to take an office job full time.
2. If I fail in front of my friends and family I will feel silly for about a week or less.
3. If my friends and family think I’m weird, well congratulations! They have thought that for years! This is nothing new!
Ok, now for the fun part. List the BEST things that could happen if you continue on this path and you are successful.
1. I will have financial freedom doing a job that I enjoy so much that it doesn’t feel like work.
2. I will be excited about what I am doing to in my work to help others.
3. I can engage in more charitable giving to causes that matter to me, like helping children who are living in poverty.
4. My husband will be proud of me for powering through and achieving my goals to make our lives better.
5. My friends and family will see that I have taken my dream into reality and they will be inspired to do the same.
Now take a look at your lists. What’s the verdict? Is it worth it to you to at least give it a try? For me, I can confidently say that the answer is YES!