There are so many opinions and ideas in the world. And with the help of technology, it’s become almost effortless for individuals to share their work, thoughts, and opinions on social media, blogs and websites. So why add to the clutter? Why share your truths? Why expose yourself to strangers? Because someone out there needs you. Someone fighting the same battle or experiencing the same joy as you needs to hear your story, experience your art or feel your passion.
I’ve wrestled with the idea of writing and publishing my work for years, all of my adult life really. I knew I had a knack for it at a young age and that sparked an intense desire in me to be a writer. I dreamed of writing a novel that would reach the hands of people all over the nation, or better yet, the world. But something happened in my mid-20s. I don’t know what sparked it, but I started to question my ability to write. I convinced myself no one would care about what I have to say and that it was pointless to try. I was utterly and completely defeated – the ultimate writer’s block. I fanned out my own inner flame and shut out a piece of my heart and soul. Subsequently, I always felt like something was missing, something wasn’t quite right, like I wasn’t being my authentic self.
If you’ve ever given up on a dream, you probably know the feeling I’m talking about. You understand the soul-aching pain of not pursuing your passion. There is nothing more devastating than living a life void of passion. You wander through life aimlessly, hoping that the next partner, the next career move, the next pay increase, etc., will finally bring you the happiness you seek. But here’s the truth, those things will never bring you true happiness. As author and spiritual guru Eckhart Tolle put it, “Joy does not come from what you do; it flows into what you do and thus into this world from deep within you.”
Maybe you haven’t discovered your dream yet, maybe you don’t know what you’re passionate about – that’s okay! It can’t be forced. It’s an inner knowing deep within your soul and the more you search for it, the more it will elude you. Your passions can’t be forced. I believe they are innate and when we quiet our minds and listen to our inner knowing when we pay attention to what brings us joy, our passions will be unlocked. It may take years to discover, but don’t give up! Try new things, act on ideas, see what lights you up!
For many of us, fear and anxiety that we aren’t good enough stop us in our tracks from exploring our passions or living out our dreams. But here’s what I’ve learned from countless others who are living out their dreams – you have to start somewhere and you have to push past the fear. Maybe you start small with journaling a few ideas, maybe you create something that you never share with anyone else or you only share with those in your inner circle. As you keep iterating, keep practicing and learning from mistakes or pain points, you will find your voice. And when you do, you will be so full of joy, you’ll feel inspired to share it with others.
As I’ve slowly started to dabble in writing again and sharing my work, I’ve felt immense joy, but I’ve also felt incredible sadness and frustration. Sadness that I shut it out of my life for so long, frustration when a piece of work gets rejected. The creative process is a rollercoaster of emotion and forces you to face your fears head on, which is scary and overwhelming. But let me tell you, it’s all worth it. After wandering around aimlessly for years, I finally feel like I’ve found my voice again – and myself. I’ve overcome the fear that I’m talentless and that my opinions are worthless. Even if I never do write that book I’ve dreamt of, allowing myself to take baby steps and to do what I love has filled me with the light of possibility. It’s given me some confidence back, it’s helped me explore myself and my values and overall be a happier and more fulfilled person.
If there’s one thing I hope you take away from this, it’s this: choose curiosity over fear. Choose to explore your dreams and passions and keep exploring them until you’ve truly found yourself. Your voice, your art, your creative genius deserves to be seen and heard by the world. Who knows, your work may inspire someone else to explore their own dreams. Your words might make someone’s day or save their life. Your creation may spark a revolution. Don’t give up on your dreams, whatever you do, don’t give up.