Pursuing your dreams full force is freakin’ scary.
It’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done.
Scarier than moving to Japan, not speaking the language, by myself at a month into 18. Scarier than moving to France, and thinking I got scammed out of my entire savings because the school I was attending wasn’t at the address I physically found.
I have those moments where I wonder, “Am I making the right choice? What if I lose my job because my focus is split; how will I ever survive? Would it be better just to suffer and follow the expected career path?” All at the same time.
In coaching, we call these types of thoughts Gremlins, because they are holding you back from believing in yourself and achieving what you want.
But the fact is I CAN’T just accept the normal life. It doesn’t feel right. It’s not possible. I am literally not wired to be able to do that.
I HAVE TO do something that will make life better, because if this is what my life is supposed to be like for the next 50 years, kill me now (It’s not supposed to be like this, so don’t even think about it).
So I take a deep breath and face my Gremlins head on.
What follows is my step by step guide to overcoming fears that hold you back:
1. Remember, No Matter What, You Will Figure It Out
I’ve been homeless before, on a couple different occasions. I never lived on the street, but I had to get pretty creative about finding a place to live, or food for that matter.
When I was living in Japan, there were a couple of periods where my money didn’t get transferred to my Japanese bank on time. I even went a couple of days where I had virtually nothing to eat (a sweet bun and rice ball does not actually provide serious energy when that’s all you have to eat for 48+ hours, FYI).
When my semester was over, I had a month left in the country after my apartment lease was up. I didn’t have the money for an apartment again (or any of the craziness needed for a foreigner to rent an apartment), and affording a hotel was out of the question.
I had to get creative. I had to Figure It Out.
Worrying about the problem wasn’t an option, because it was already happening. I needed a solution in that moment, so I found one.
Those experiences are what taught me to focus on finding a solution instead of stressing about a problem, especially one that’s not even here yet.
Looking back now, I can’t really imagine living life the way so many people do; worried and stressed about problems that could happen with no thought towards a solution.
2. Just Take it One Step at A Time
Every day I wake up after sleeping only 6 hours, commute an hour to work at a high stress level job, commute home to do work for the certifications I’m pursuing, and then staying up till midnight to work on my company.
Even on the weekends, I live pretty much the same schedule, except instead of heading into work, I’m getting all the life chores done (cleaning, groceries, laundry, etc), along with anything I couldn’t fit in during the week.
And I still manage to have a social life too!
I do my best to speak to my friends regularly, know what’s going on in my family’s life, date, participate in events like the LYL Local, etc.
Most people hear my schedule, and either think I’m BS-ing through my teeth or am an organization superhero.
Neither is true, though I am very organized out of necessity.
The trick is I break everything down into manageable pieces, and work at them one at a time.
When I add a new project, I make a list of all the steps that have to get done for me to reach the end goal. And then I work with the first one for as long as it takes. The next step doesn’t matter until I’ve finished the current one. End of story.
3. Even Champions Need a Break
Sometimes, living a double life is exhausting. I really really really want to just focus on my passion, helping people make the changes necessary so they can lead lives that matter to them.
I want to make a positive impact on the world around me, while living a comfortable fulfilling life.
Unfortunately, in the USA, life is fairly expensive, especially in NYC.
My monthly cost of living is $3000 US, without including savings or the money I put into Balanced U. Nevermind things like eating out, meeting up with friends, shopping, etc. $3K per month is the bare minimum I need to keep living.
And there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that I will settle for selling all my time to another company to barely earn enough to keep moving for the rest of my life.
So when I can’t handle running on overdrive any longer, I take a break. I do Nothing.
And it’s nice!
When it’s over, I do it again until I can’t. Because I KNOW that when I get to the end of each of these lists, I absolutely will be living a life I feel is worth living.
The Real Message Here
So often I see people give up on their dreams or their passion because it doesn’t seem feasible, or it will be too difficult.
That’s a load of crap.
Stop being lazy, because it is absolutely possible.
It IS perfectly OK to be afraid; to feel fear when breaking free of the current.
What matters is how you react to that fear, and what you do to overcome it. Fear is actually a warning sign, “Proceed with Caution.”
So take a moment to consider your dreams, and then what is holding you back from taking the steps to start achieving them today.
My biggest fear is not being able to support myself doing what I love. That fear is there, but it in no way stops me from going all out when it comes to my dreams.
Since I hear this fear all the time, check out the Free Goods! section of the site:
The new Break Even Budgeting Guide is now up!
(Make sure you’ve subscribed to JesWithOneS.com first to get the FREE PW!)
Please share your experiences in the comments below – I’m sure you are not alone, and it will probably do someone some good to see that first hand.