I’m 27 years old and working a job I see no future in.
I work as a nanny but not because I love kids and see a future working with them. I took on this job so I could take on my true passions.
I ventured into the writing and podcasting game at the beginning of this year with a vague idea of what I want to accomplish and how I see all of my pursuits playing out.
Some days I wonder how I’m going to make money. I wonder if I’m living life the “right” way. I wonder if I’m too old to be doing this. I wonder how I will ever make this all work.
But the rest of the time, I know I have a message I need people to hear. I want to inspire people to start living life for themselves instead of others. I want people to have a healthier life, mind, and body. I want them to take control of it all now.
I also know that I love my mediums. Writing puts me in a flow state; I thrive off thinking of the right words to say to invoke certain emotions. Interviewing for podcast episodes lets me dive deep into a person’s psyche and personality. I love it all.
But, like everyone, I have doubt sometimes.
So what sets the people who succeed apart from the people who don’t?
I’m watching a Netflix Original movie as I write this — The Unicorn Store. It’s about a girl who pursued art in college, was kicked out, and took a temporary job at a PR firm.
As she stepped out of her room, having forgone all of her colorful clothes and beaded necklaces, her drab grey suit stood for something important. It stood for the loss of her creative pursuits and ultimately someone who gave up.
Of course, the story gets way better. She reinstills a sense of purpose in her life through her creative pursuit of building a perfect home for a unicorn. Quite the interesting analogy for conveying a message that most 20-year-olds grapple with.
So then, what is my point here?
When you pursue something you love, at some points, things are going to get hard. You’re going to think you’re a failure. You’re going to wonder if you can even do this. You’re going to think about quitting it all and pursuing a “normal” job.
But that’s the point that will determine your success. Are you going to be the one that gave up? Or are you going to be the one that keeps fighting? Are you going to keep going even when it feels like you should quit?
Nothing good ever comes easy, and without persistence, time, and determination, most people won’t ever see their dreams come to fruition.
Because sometimes letting go of a dream can seem easier — and most of the time it is. But consider what you’re really letting go of : a life of pursuing your passions. A life that feels fulfilled. A life worth living.
So when the going gets hard, remember why you started.
Whatever your pursuits may be — creating a blog, starting an Etsy shop, gathering money for a startup — remind yourself of the reason you started.
Why did you decide to begin this journey?
The fire that will keep you going is the passion behind your why.
If that why is money, fame or success, that’s not sustainable. In the moments of greatest doubt and obstacles, money won’t be what keeps you going.
But creating things you love, having a message you’re determined to spread, truly enjoying doing your craft , that is what will keep you going.
And you’ll need to remind yourself of that at your lowest points. Tell yourself that what you’re pursuing has an end goal more significant than the hard times, that to give up would be to give up the life you are meant to live.
Let go of the notion it will be an easy path.
JK Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before someone bought The Sorcerer’s Stone.
Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first TV anchor job.
Steven King’s Carrie was rejected 30 times.
I think you get my point.
The path to success is never easy — not for anyone. So let’s finally let go of that notion, because if you buy into that idea, you’ll never achieve anything.
There’s going to be a lot of mess ups. You’re going to have to give it some time. You may even be rejected, criticized, or fired.
But knowing these moments will come and being ready for them will make all the difference.
So hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst. That’s probably amongst the best advice I’ve ever gotten, even just for life in general.
Be your own number one fan.
Friends and family are great support systems to have, but trust me, sometimes they’re not going to be there for you in the way you want. It’s not their fault. They have their own lives going on and sometimes won’t be able to be as excited for you as you want them to be.
So when it comes down to it, be your own number one fan.
Find validation within yourself. Be the one that tells you to keep going, not the one wondering if you should quit.
The passion behind what you do lies within yourself. You will always be the one that is most excited for your achievements. Find value in that. Embrace it.
Celebrate all of the small wins, because trust me, you’re not guaranteed that someone else will.
And having the sense of someone that believes in you, even if that’s just yourself, will make all the difference in the moments of uncertainty.
So what this all boils down to is this: when the going gets hard, when you’re not sure what the hell you’re doing, when you wonder if you’ll ever make it, are you going to be the one that keeps going or the one that gives up?
All the successful people you emulate are the ones that didn’t give up. They’re the ones that kept fighting, the ones that didn’t have a Plan B.
So don’t be the one that quits. Be the one that dared to keep going. Be the person that made their dreams happen.