99 Reasons to Kill Your Dream? Accept the 1

You’re never going to be original, but that doesn’t matter anyway.

Source: Unsplash

Do you ever find yourself pondering the possibilities? Asking, “what if I did this?” or “what if I tried that?” Of course you have. You’re an ambitious person. I know you’ve got big ideas.


Hypotheticals race through my head on the reg. One small detail can send my mind off into a quintessential daydream.

I’m often preoccupied with the edges of my own knowledge; I always feel this need to push further.

I think we all do.

People are inherently progressive—well, in the sense we need to gradually develop overtime and challenge ourselves. You and I share this yearning to improve. It just comes in different forms: to get smarter, healthier, wealthier, and so on.

How do we improve? Change. To grow, you have to be willing to try new things.

But you can’t just jump in and “try something” all haphazardly. No, no, no, that would be irrational! We are wired to be logical, calculated creatures.

This is where we run into trouble.

Smoke and mirrors

Where’s the first place you can find someone who’s thinking about trying something new? If you guessed “typing away in a search bar,” you’re correct.

The Internet wins again.

It’s the quickest, most comprehensive method to gather information. It has suddenly become the abiding “first step” towards any kind of change.

“How to start a cooking class”

“Workout plan to lose 30 pounds”

“What do I need to travel openly for 3 months”

While the Internet is a great place to uncover information and learn, it leaves you susceptible to misguided, melodramatic advice and opinions.

What exactly do I mean by that? Take this for example.

About a year ago, I thought building and maintaining my own website was super special and difficult to do. I was really proud of this aspiration of mine. I thought I’d set myself apart and become undoubtedly unique by creating this online space.

I started in a Google search bar (where we all seem to start). I buoyantly typed out “How to start a blog.

Within the first week of research, I found every reason to never start a blog in my entire life.

Turns out, starting a website is not that hard at all. And these so-called experts spit out their opinions about how starting a blog is the grandest waste of time:

“You’ll never make money from a blog.”

“150,000 websites are started everyday.”

“It’s way too much work to maintain a successful website.”

“10 million people are already way ahead of you. Stop now. Turn around and run!”

It’s this kind of commentary I advise you to be wary of. It’s great to know the facts; by all means, you should seek out accurate, helpful information. But those voices of doubt? You’ve got to block those out.

It’s rarely a clear-cut, perfect path.

You’re going to run into naysayers and negative narratives. You’re going to come across daunting stats. But you can’t hang on to outlooks of people who may not even know what they are talking about.

And so what if they do know?

F*ck ‘em.

Go for it anyway. Action is better than no action.

“I have to be original”

No, you don’t. This is a common misconception amongst creatives and aspiring entrepreneurs.

The idea that you need to be the ONLY one creating a specific product or service is ludicrous. Yes, you need to differentiate yourself, but you don’t need to be an anomaly amongst a market.

“There’s already people doing it” can be one of the greatest limiting factors to your power-hungry mindset. You’re never going to be (entirely) original. The internet proves this almost everyday. Someone, somewhere shares your same idea and is pursuing it right now.

And who cares if someone is doing it too? Figure out how to do it better.

You’ve got to get comfortable with competition.

Never easy

You can’t halt all of your motivation and intent at the first instance of difficulty. If what you’re pursuing matters, it will take time, persistence, and determination. Seriously. If you can’t accept challenges and you’re not willing to put in work, just stop.

There’s no way around it! Struggle is the precursor to all things great.

Try things for yourself. Block out negativity. Learn by doing.

Try this for a change:

This might sound weird, but conjure up all your doubts and fears for a moment. Think of the things that scare you or interfere with reaching a certain goal you have.

Go on. I’ll wait.

You’re afraid to live on your own. You’re afraid to tell someone how you truly feel. You’re afraid to cut off certain friends. You’re afraid to drop what you’re doing and chase what you love.

Here’s the catch. Instead of accepting your natural reaction to fear (which is to ignore, hide, and retreat), try doing the exact opposite.

Run full speed at what scares you, tackle it, then beat the shit out of it.

What worries or intimidates you is often a great indication of what you should go for.

Play offense, not defense.

Just do it (or try)

Look, I don’t know exactly what the hell you want to do. Maybe your idea sucks. Maybe your goal is overzealous. You may not even realize what you’re holding yourself back from.

But I bet there’s something—something you’ve wanted to do or try… yet you’ve justified reasons to not take action.

At any given moment, you can move closer to your personal vision. You have to be willing to try.

Even in this information-driven world, you decide the narrative to live by. You can get lost in the noise or move to your own beat.

Ignore the 99 reasons “not to.”

It’s time to accept that 1.

- AZ

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 295,232+ people.

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