When I first started making a living online, I had never even used a computer before. At the time, I had just gone to work for the Spanish Ranch on the northern Nevada range. Ira Wines the Cow Boss kept me busy from early morning till late at night as his Chuck Wagon cook, but while the boys were out when I wasn’t chopping wood and carrying water, I was on the computer in the back kitchen that we used to communicate by satellite to the ranch house. I didn’t even know how to copy and paste, but it was so interesting to me I persevered. After a long life of moving from one job to another, I had never secured what a person needs to live when they get old. Not only did I often move between jobs, but I also played a lot of hooky. I liked fishing and camping and traveling way too much to buckle down and toe the line.
When I was just a child, it was a big deal to decide what I wanted to do with my life. My answer to the question is complicated by the fact that I have always wanted to do and be everything at the same time, and I still do. At one time, I wanted to be an artist, and then it was a soldier, a teacher, a traveler, and even a nurse and an acupuncture clinic owner. I did all of those things and more. I had a lot of time to think out on the range. It was 12 years ago, back in 2009, and I was feeling my years. I loved the job, but a thousand a month plus room and board on the Chuckwagon was not going to cut it for me long term. The idea of writing for a living came along as I was starting to build a website and doing some blogging from the back of the Chuckwagon. I just couldn’t or wouldnt let it go after I had my very first successes attempting to make some money online. I was hooked. I knew this is what I had to do. To me, it was like pulling money from the sky, and I decided then it was the only way for me, since my new dream is to be a photographer and an adventure traveler. I also want to be able to afford the good things I have never enjoyed. It had become my “must” to procure my freedom from the toil of jobs and wage-earning.
I had my “what if” moments. You know the ones—the “what if I fail and embarrass myself” moments. The moments when you begin to wonder if your dreams of freedom dream everybody seems to think is a scam is no more than a total waste of your time and energy. The good news is, all of us have times like these. The bad news is that even the slightest thought that our dreams aren’t worth going after is very hard to overcome. The great news? You can still do it. If I did, you can. Just don’t quit, that’s all.
Why is it so many people come to believe their dreams don’t matter or they cant do it?
- The people they trust tell them, for one thing.
- They haven’t quite learned how to turn dreams into goals.
- Many don’t believe they have the capability of attaining their potential.
There are plenty of reasons like this, all of them specific to each individual who may be reading this. My point is, we tend to doubt our dreams — and ourselves — because we are human beings, and we aren’t always good at being optimistic. It’s a lot easier to believe we will never get where we want to be and quit, than it is to believe we will get there someday and then work harder to make sure it happens for us. When we hear things from our friends and family like “writing is an impossible field to break into,” we often believe it rather than just doing it. Every time we fail or when we get feedback that suggests we may be on the edge of failing, it simply solidifies this idea of our dreams or ideas being “impossible.” Every single bit of this is in our heads. You know that. It’s time to learn what you can do about it!
When you wonder if your blogging dreams are still worth going after, there’s typically a lot of negative feelings that go along with it and it doesn’t have to be like that — we’ll talk about that later — but for the most part, something like an article rejection from a publisher or bad performance review at your day job will trigger feelings that will make you want to quit and never again try to write another word as long as you live.
This has very little to do with our skills or experience as a blogger. It’s much more with how we judge and feel about ourselves. It’s how much of our worth we have invested in our work and future successes. For some bloggers or writers — I include myself in this group — work satisfaction is too often tied to our success rate. If our work is performing, we are happy with it, and if it isn’t, we aren’t. Another feeling that could derail us is allowing any failures and a few bad reviews to get you down.
Just hang onto this. If you are not having any failures or bad reviews, you aren’t doing anything. All of us fail many times at things before we ultimately prevail. It’s just the quitters who never follow through.
It is judgments from others and our own self-judgments that often bleed into our own thoughts about ourselves, where so many problems originate. When you can be satisfied with your daily work and are therefore happy, you naturally feel positive vibes about yourself and are now motivated to pursue even more goals and do some more good healthy things. But when you cant be satisfied with your work, and you aren’t happy. You are much more likely to see yourself as a “bad writer” and a “failure,” and you will have to suffer these feelings while struggling more to get your work done, pursuing your targets and objectives both large and small as a consequence.
The issue is too big to tackle in this post, or even in a blog post at all. I’m not a psychotherapist, and I’m not fully qualified to explain how to work on your self-esteem beyond the basic advice. what’s most important to know is that sometimes we doubt our abilities as writers because of how we doubt ourselves. Overcoming this self-doubt is a challenging yet very necessary process if you want to succeed in anything at all.
What you may need to hear at the moment is this: It’s perfectly OK to doubt ourselves and to wonder if we are heading in the right direction. But don’t let that stop you in your tracks from achieving your goals and dreams, or at least taking baby steps toward doing so.
The Importance of Our Dreams
If you need to remember how important your dreams actualy are, know that first and foremost, you are not by yourself in this. Your feelings are not abnormal at all, and you have a right to experience them. We all doubt ourselves at times. Everyone wonders if they should give in or forget it. We all question the point of our ambitions
I am not saying this to minimize the struggle. Your fears and doubts are just as big and important as mine and everyone else’s. This is only a reminder that you follow a path not unlike one many others have followed before, including me. You are in a state of questioning yourself and being faced with challenges making things happen.
The Challenge to Moving Forward
How you handle the challenge is what sets your personal story apart and makes it your own. Another thing to know is that just because it is normal for us to struggle does not mean you need to keep struggling. I’m not just talking about attitudes here, though finding the bright spots can help you get through even the worst spells of despair and doubt throughout your life as the most important creator of your destiny.
I’m also talking about actively tackling the parts of your goal setting and getting somewhere that is causing you the most agony. First comes the dream, then next the goal. Then you can begin to work toward making your goals happen.
Moving forward is the only way to avoid letting your negative emotions stop you from ever doing what you want to do with your life — in this case, write whatever it is you want to write. I am doing it right now. I know that sometimes it will feel like taking steps or a direction is one of the hardest things you have ever done. But I guarantee that when you accomplish even the tiniest thing after believing you couldn’t, you will feel not just feel better, but perhaps even motivated to do just another little thing. And then maybe another after that. This is all it takes.
Every writer deals with self-doubt. Sensitive, feeling people question our worth and our purposes because it’s the way we are. But it’s crucial to stop and ask ourselves why we do what we do and whether or not it aligns with our own particular “big picture.” It’s not healthy to worry ourselves dizzy over every writing decision we make, but sometimes when you face yourself in the mirror and ask, “Do I want to accept this job? Is it truly what I want to do?” You’re not on the verge of quitting on your dreams. You’re only checking in with yourself and making sure that the decisions you are making are the right ones for you.
Every once in a while, when you ask yourself if you’re traveling the “right” path and the result you come up with is “no,” that’s still not technically giving up. Giving up implies that you throw down the towel on your hopes and ambitions in the face of challenges. Changing our directions and growing inside as a person and as a creator online? That’s not called quitting. You are giving yourself the personal freedom to go after what will truly satisfy you in the end.
Whatever your dreams are, even if they happen to change every so often, don’t hesitate to go after them with all the strength and passion you have at hand. It’s going to be hard work. You’re going to have plenty of ups and downs along the way. You will meet people who don’t believe in you and who are better than you, people who think they’re better than you, and those who don’t want you to succeed even though you are fully capable of doing so. You will come across roadblocks. You will get rejected, and you will be given false hope. You will struggle.
But at some point along the way, as long as you keep showing up and doing your best and seeking to improve, you will encounter more success and reward than you can imagine.
It seldom turns out the way we dream it will. But good things will happen to you professionally in the right place at the right time when they are supposed to. You have to make sure you’re ready. You have to give yourself the chance to land the opportunities you deserve. And that chance will never come along if you don’t keep trying.
Never quit. Our dreams matter more to us than everything, and so do you.