Why we’re afraid to begin, and why you should be afraid not to.
How many times have you sat idle while your mind goes off on a dreaming tangent, as you begin imagining life as someone you’ve..dare I say ‘dreamed’ of being. You get lost in this chain of thought, seeing yourself as this successful image; whatever that image is. Regardless of what it is you wish to become, your day dream is soon exhausted and you’re quickly greeted with the silence that reality so often gives us. Afterwards, you ponder:
“Damn. That would be so AWESOME if I could do that. It’ll never happen.”
You slowly return to your normal cognitive patterns. Dreading school, loathing work, and constantly fretting about that internship you haven’t got yet. Or maybe you’re still trying to just find a god damn degree program to stick with for one semester. Needless to say, your dream is just that. A “dream”. It isn’t your reality like school and work is, or that rent you need to pay. Therefore, it must be absolutely absurd to even fathom doing something you enjoyed and finding even a sliver of happiness in this lifetime, right? Because anytime you’ve expressed a desire to do something you’ve always wanted to do, always wanted to BE; a little voice in your head says “You can’t do that. Don’t kid yourself.”
I’ve never “blogged” before. In fact, this is my first awkward introductory post. I’ve been wanting to do this blogging thing for months now, I have a handful of inspirational people I know that do this. People that have encouraged me to go for it. Yet I hesitated each time. It was that damn voice in my head that said to me “You shouldn’t even bother, it won’t be good.” Okay invisible subconscious voice! You’re right, I’m going to forget about it and just continue to think about it doing it… That sounds sarcastic and pretty stupid, but sadly it’s exactly how it’s been. Not just with blogging, but with many things in my life.
NOT TONIGHT. No sir. Tonight I’m starting this damn blog and to break it in, I’m refreshing the attitude I need to keep for the rest of my life and sharing it with whoever is going to be reading it. And to be honest with you, this attitude I’m talking about needs to be refreshed quite often. Because if it isn’t, then my mind slumps back into a depressive and negative void; which is an absolute bitch to crawl out of. All of this ‘attitude’ business I’m getting at comes down to one thing: making a full effort start.
What do you mean “start”? You turn the water on to start your shower. You start your microwave to make your food. You twist your keys to start your car. You simply just DO these things, because that’s what you have to do to make them work. When’s the last time you questioned your ability to start your microwave? Probably (hopefully) never, but the point I’m making is that there are so many tasks in our lives that we have to actively do to make them work properly. Okay, so heating up your Ramen is 1000 times easier than beginning your artistic portfolio you’ve always wanted. However, there is one universal step that is shared between the two. ACTUALLY starting it.
So then, why is it every time you desire to begin something you wish to explore deeper, you seize up and doubt yourself? I’m not talking about the noodles anymore either, I’m talking about your life’s passion. I’m talking about whatever it is that’s giving you those small spurts of inspiration that makes your hair stand up in awe and appreciation. I’m talking about your DREAM!
We hesitate because we’re afraid. Afraid of rejection, failure, negative response, looking ‘stupid’, not being good enough… We’re slow to make that start because sometimes that means we have to go against what popular beliefs think or what “society” says. “Oh your majoring in Psychology? There’s no jobs in that. You’ll need a PHD if you want to be successful…You’re an Arts major? Oh cool, good luck!”. And just like that, your pumped up inspired feeling goes limp while the defeat fills your gut. You can only assume that what’s being said is true, so you put your true and genuine interests on the back burner where it slowly charrs and is neglected. Life becomes this perilous struggle where you’re always stressed and saddened, you can never look forward to anything because there’s nothing to look forward to. You threw your real interest behind you, remember?
Dang. That’s some sad talk, yeah? It’s true though, at least it was for me. And I know it’s true for a lot of people out there stuck in that depressive limbo, which is why I’m writing about it right now. I spent 3 years of my young college student life aimlessly wandering through programs, hating every single one of them. Not ONE of those was a program that I willingly went into. They were all programs I entered into, completely based on the fact that I heard they made “good money” and that my parents said “Oh you’d be great at that!”. Every night, I’d come home from work and class only to slouch myself onto my computer chair to brace for the cloud of depression that loomed over me. After another long day of no self-reason, there was one thing that I knew I could look forward to- music. Whether it was making a playlist or playing my guitar, I knew that I could turn to sound to make me feel like my life had a purpose here. And you can bet your grandmother I was CONSTANTLY dreaming of becoming a musician myself someday. But nah, I’d quickly remind myself that such a thought was completely insane and laughable at best. I did that for 3 years, until I finally snapped. I wasn’t seeing that ‘light’ in my life, so I just made it myself. Hey, no one said I couldn’t!
Fast forward to present day. I’ve STARTED my musical life. After a few years of telling myself “You’ll just suck at it, there’s no point”, I finally gained the confidence to just be able to believe I could make it happen. It took a lot of work to get to that point, as well as a lot of conversations with some fantastic people who started their dreams and are currently seeing success. It required me to look at my life and change things that weren’t helping me work towards the success that I demand. Even if it meant that people would look at me strangely, or doubt my chances of succeeding. It doesn’t matter anymore, because I absolutely refuse to go back to living a life that seems to have no reason, and so should you. It would be so easy to do that, rather than take on the challenges that I have ahead of me in my life journey. My life journey? Now it sounds like my life has some sort of reason! And that, is a whole hell of a lot better than not having a reason at all.
It takes making that initial start. Taking that first step, right over all of the self doubt and invisible fears. We’ve got to realize that there isn’t a single path in this life we live that will be “easy”. Mistakes will be made, and they will be what you build your life’s work off of. I struggle everyday with how my music doesn’t sound even close to my inspirations, but I keep reminding myself that this rough start is normal and essential. It’s a towering ladder that I look up to everyday, but it’s much more exciting and rewarding to climb than the ones I’ve been on before. One rung at a time, I’m going up and never down. You might get stuck, you might get nervous and second guess yourself, but it all weighs on how bad you want it. There’s something in you, there always has been. So don’t ignore it. We’ve got one life to live, and you don’t want to still be dreaming before you’re out for good. Make sure that you’re starting the right paths, and never give up on what that may be for you.
Well, there’s my first blog post. I was hesitating for awhile, fearing that it would “suck” or something dumb like that. Even if it does, I’m going to continue to write on here and share my thoughts as I move forward in my life journey to become the musician I want to be; sharing information and lessons that I find to be valuable, inspirational, or both. And someday I can look back at this to see how far I’ve gone. I surely hope that if you’ve read all this, that you’ve gained something to fuel your inspirations! Till next time.