I seem to be full of songs today. Also full of rants. This is one.
There's this idea that gets thrown around in various forms a lot. Too much. I saw a version of it go by online again today. It goes something like, "If you really want to do something you'll find a way. If you don't find a way, you must not really want it or it's not really important to you."
This is garbage. It's all lies. I suspect that the idea was first put out there by someone trying to sell their very special system for helping you get what you really want.
The thing is, there's so much more to following your dreams and doing the things you really want to do than just putting your mind to it. Willpower and organization won't get around depression, anxiety, other mental health issues. They won't get around health issues--your own or those of loved ones and people you take care of. There's a lot of stuff that can get in the way of your dreams. None of that means you don't really want it, it isn't really your passion (or one of them), or that it wasn't meant to be or you're not cut out for it.
If you have a dream, if you want to create, hold onto it. Don't listen to the people telling you any of this junk about you not doing enough, being enough, wanting it enough. You are enough. Your dream is enough. Go do it your way!
Do you have a dream so big you don't even spend much time thinking about it? A dream you brush off as not a real goal or desire, just a passing fancy? Because it's so big it seems like there's no way it's happening?
I want to be a published author. I've been writing for decades, and before that I was a storyteller, making up tales in the lunch line to amuse myself and my friends. Since high school, teachers and workshop leaders and fellow writers have been telling me I'm a good writer and that I should submit some of my work. I still haven't done it. There are a lot of reasons--fear that I'll never get published even if I try; overwhelm at the idea of all the things you have to do to submit stories and keep track of where you've submitted, etc.; the constant, compelling pull of new stories and projects. But mostly I think it's been the fear that I can't do it or it won't be what I thought--all of that. I even convinced myself for a few years that I didn't want to be published, that I just wanted to write stories to enjoy them, and that was enough. It sounded good, and I even believed it.
So how do you know you have a secret from yourself? It usually surfaces frequently but in a quiet way. You make something and think "I could sell this," and then you brush it aside and move on to other things. People around you comment on how good your work it, what a talent you have, that you could sell this/show this/be a professional, and you thank them and turn your attention to other things and don't think of it again. But this kind of thing happens a lot, and you spend a little time thinking about it sometimes. You give the idea a little bit of attention, but then you have a lot of what seem like really good reasons to not do it, and you go back to not dreaming.
What do you do if you realize you've been keeping a secret dream from yourself? Maybe nothing (you weren't expecting that, were you?). Try to pay attention to when the idea crops up and how you feel about it. Spend some time just observing the idea and how you feel about it.
If you decide you want to go for it, go! But start small. (You know I love small steps!) You've probably had this dream for awhile. You don't need to make it happen right this very minute. Do one small thing toward it. Do your best not to think of the other steps that need to happen. One at a time, and give yourself as much time as you need. This is your dream, it deserves time, and you deserve to enjoy it, not stress out about it!
Here's the breakdown I've made for myself so far. Hopefully these steps will help you with your dreams, too:
Figure out if you have a dream you're not acknowledging or pursuing
Decide if you want to follow this dream
Look for a first small step to take (make it smaller than you think is small enough!)
When you've taken a small step, celebrate it
Choose another small step and take that one
Take your time and enjoy the journey!
I hope your dreams are feeling one step closer now. Drop me a note here or on social media and tell me about your dreams and your small steps, and we'll celebrate together.