Have you ever feared your dreams were too large? Maybe you’ve always desired to exceed what others thought was possible?
That’s the dichotomy of life: a search for fulfillment in spite of the contradictions of how you feel one moment and what you truly want.
If you’ve struggled with this, you’re not alone.
I have big dreams … and at the same time they’re still dreams. I am open about what I want, but sometimes I have this lingering fear about going after it.
I often think to myself, “I need to make something of myself in this life. I need to mold a future that is worth my effort and pays tribute to the effort put in by those who came before me. I need create something that will last in hearts and minds of others when I am gone.”
I want to be an entrepreneur.
I yearn to leave something behind that cannot be forgotten.
I crave to create something so unique that it cannot easily be replaced.
I want to stand for something better than what I stand for right now, but I can’t stand here honestly without sharing the anxiety that surrounds pursuing my passion.
The dichotomy of life
I also want to be the type of person who doesn’t care what people say, but at the end of the day conformity seems safer. Thanks to the internet we are empowered in so many ways, but we are also prone to more potential criticism (and I’m not entirely sure that’s something I can manage).
There’s another part of me that wants to be whimsically naïve and throw money at my dreams. But I’ve worked so hard for the lifestyle I’ve created and letting go seems careless.
Could I convince people to believe in me and financially back my dreams? I think so, but the fear of failing them keeps me from pondering the notion.
And then there’s that part of me that wishes I had broadened my horizons in college and learned more about starting a business and creating a brand. There are so many things I still don’t know! But I do know the most important thing: Have the will to try.
When you’re subconsciously afraid of success
I don’t have it all figured out, but I do have that “will” and it’s something I’m not shy about and you shouldn’t be either! There are many things you can fear when it comes to traveling the road less taken.
There are many questions (both, internal and external) when you embark upon a new way of doing something. I’m starting to realize that:
There are many things to be scared about, but none of those things is the true reason we’re afraid in the first place.
This fear that I feel — that you feel — it’s because we care enough about something … enough to be afraid. We know we actually have a chance to succeed and that might be the scariest part of it all.
Many of us are subconsciously afraid of success. “You want to be successful, right? […] But in our success-oriented culture, we don’t give much thought to the fact that success can be downright scary. We’re used to seeing fear as the enemy, so we do our best to ignore it and soldier on.”
“… success is more complex than failure. On some level, it’s more comfortable to stay in a familiar situation, even if it doesn’t feel great on the surface. But achieving success (however you define it) means you are entering uncharted territory. You are putting yourself out there to be scrutinized and criticized, and exposing yourself to new pressures and demands. It’s only human to wonder whether you’ll be up to the challenge.”
That fear can be a driving factor that will make you push harder or it can break your very will to meet the challenge head on.
Dream on, dreamer
Have you ever dreamed so hard that your heart raced at the very thought of it coming true? Have you ever been so convinced of something that it wouldn’t let you sleep because you needed to see it through? The thought of it literally sets your soul ablaze.
If so, we are the fortunate ones.
We are the naïve dreamers that want to be entrepreneurs, approaching our business plans with trepidation. We are scared, but we’re anything but cowards. We’re going to go after it in spite of our fears and doubts.
We’re the fanciful ones and we’re going to make it! And yeah, that’s the scariest part. Let us live in spite of this fear because it’s what wakes us up from the deep sleep of an ordinary life … it keeps us awake so that we have not choice but to chase our dreams.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Sonya Matejko, creator of Single Strides — a blog for hopeless romantics and wanderlusts, is a blogger and freelance writer who is vibrantly falling in love with life in Miami and around the world. Her writing is featured on a variety of high-profile platforms and niche blogs. Her most popular article has been shared over half a million times on Facebook alone. Sonya writes about the dating world as well as traveling the world. Connect with @singlestrides on Twitter.
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