FOLLOWING YOUR PASSIONS AND LETTING GO OF YOUR SHOULDS: PART THREE
In Luna's book, The Crossroads of Should and Must, three challenges are presented that can hold you back from following your dreams: money, time and fear.
Money can be the golden handcuffs that keep us from taking a risk and following your dream, especially in this profession. If you are supporting a family or have other responsibilities, then it can be even harder to make the jump.
How do you balance it? Sometimes, it is not the right or responsible thing to give up your day job. You are not failing or not being true to yourself if you continue to work at your job; you just need to find a way to fit it into a schedule. Easier said than done, I know, but the payoffs will be huge and do you want to live your life not knowing? Some people are perfectly happy working at a job that they don't love or are not passionate about because they go home after work and work on their true passions - their family, friends or hobbies. If that is you than by all means, continue on your path, but if you have a twinge in your heart telling you to follow a dream, take steps forward to accomplishing it.
I am all about security. I've never quit a job without having another job lined up. Paying off student loans and saving for the future were some of my early motivators; now I am a little more established and have the luxury about being choosy when it comes to assignments and where I spend my time. But, even in those early years, I was able to find a little time here and there to do what I loved. I wasn't officially working towards my long term goals at that time, but looking back, I was taking the steps toward the right path.
Finding your calling doesn't necessarily mean that you need to quit your day job and start from scratch. Usually, it requires small amounts of time in the morning or evening until your passion project takes off and you can make a living off it. Or maybe you can't make a living off of it, but you enjoy doing it so much that you still make it a priority.
We have all heard the stories of the makeup artist or designer that started their business in their kitchen. I think Tory Burch tells the story of how she worked very long hours out of her home for a couple of years until her brand really took off. She juggled motherhood and other roles while pursuing her dream.
You will never have enough time. You just have to prioritize where you put your time and energy. Obviously, family obligations should come first, but after that, are you able to squeeze in an hour here and there to sketch out a plan for yourself? There are no shortcuts to your dreams - you are going to have to find the time and dedication if your dream is something that you really want to come true.
What excites you? There is a difference between what you are qualified to do and what you feel compelled to do. Look for opportunities that excite you and motivate you to accomplish your goals. Maybe you haven't found it yet? That's okay; keep being open to ideas and opportunities. I had to go back to some of my roots - what types of things did I enjoy doing in high school and college. What things are you doing when time seems to fly by? And yes, your passion and dreams should be fun for you - the work (most of it) is enjoyable because you know you are working towards something you love.
There is sacrifice involved in any dream. It wouldn't mean as much if it came easy, right? The key is to figure out what makes sense for you. We all have responsibilities and things that we need to prioritize - families, children, our spouse, etc....the goal here is to motivate yourself to make the time to pursue what you really love. You may have to wake up earlier a few times a week or put in some late nights. Pushing out of your comfort zone means different things to different people because we all are starting from different platforms.
Elliot Kay said, "Fear is an emotion you control, not the other way around. We control fear when we let it go". How true. Everyone is fearful of something. Many of our fears stem from a security issue we had in our upbringing. The key is to recognize fear for what it is and move forward. I am talking about your fear to move forward out of your comfort zone and to take a step towards your dream, whatever that may be. It may be as simple as waking up an hour earlier each day to work out. Are you afraid to lose the sleep or that you may miss a few days and feel like a failure? Fail seven times, get up eight!
Of course, some fears are healthy. How will the bills get paid? Is there a lion coming towards me - run! But, some fears are just holding us back. If we take a chance we may fail...and we may succeed! Success is still change and it is still scary. Self-reflect and identify your fears and then you can develop the plan to overcome them.