Stop Trying to Be Successful at Anything (Do This Instead)
You’re Only Killing Your Desire to Create
As writer, entrepreneurs, and dreamers, we talk a lot about hunger and hustle.
Even if you have dreams that extend far beyond this world, we’re told by others that you need to want it bad enough if you’re ever going to succeed. That without that inner drive and ambition, you’ll never make much of anything. You’ll never make it in this cut-throat world of business.
If you’re not hustling every minute of every day, you might as well give up now.
But the second you design your actions to be successful, you allow expectation to be the killer of the reality you want to create.
Your discipline isn’t the problem. It’s not that you lack the talent or the know-how or the rigor. It’s not that you don’t want it bad enough or you’re not good enough to reach your dreams.
No, what you lack is the ability to separate your expectations of your desire to become famous or gain recognition to the act of doing anything at all, and it’s effectively killing your desire to create.
How to Develop the Patience to Succeed
Being patient isn’t easy. It’s painful and it hurts like hell.
If you’re a writer just starting out on Medium, it can be tempting to just throw up your hat and quit. Because maybe you’ve been doing this blogging thing for months — even years — and you’re still not seeing any tangible results on your business goals.
The thing is, though, when you set huge expectations on yourself to be successful (something you can’t control by the way), you’re only setting yourself up to fail.
Even if you got to that level of success you crave, it wouldn’t fulfill you because you’re expecting it to somehow completely change and transform your life into something not even resembling what it currently is.
Your desire to be successful is robbing you of your joy. It’s taking away from your enjoyment of the journey, and making you focus on the gold pot of honey at the end of a rainbow you can’t even see.
Instead of wanting to be successful, you need to learn to enjoy the process itself. Revel in the act of creation, accept good things will come if you do good work, and just breathe.
Because if you can embrace the creative process and accept where you are now in your journey is exactly where you need to be, you’ll be putting yourself miles ahead of others who are only doing it for the money, the fame, and the recognition (neither of which will sustain your motivation for long after you get them).
Enjoying the Journey Starts With Your Vision
What do you envision yourself creating with your business? What type of results do you imagine yourself creating with your art?
You need to be able to visualize the end result of all of your actions. This is important because it’ll give you something to work towards and aspire to, rather than allow yourself to hang back, wait, and expect for success to come to you as is.
Here’s the truth: success will never come to you out of the blue. That’s not how it works.
You need to put in the work and the sweat and the tears to get it. You need to give back to others selflessly for years to achieve that success, if you ever do.
And if you’re not ready for it in the first place, you won’t know what to do with it when you do get it. There’s a reason why most lottery winners blow their winnings within a year, after all, because they haven’t trained themselves to manage money, especially on that magnitude.
However, if you choose to embrace the process and accept where you are now is okay and you truly start enjoying your work, that’s when things will happen for you. Because the magic in your life will coincide when you figure out how to package your message to others, connect 1–on-1 with them, and enjoy getting the benefits out of that career you’ve always wished for.
Sure, there’s some aspect of luck to it all, but opportunities will come to you more freely if you can position yourself to seek them out and be ready for them when they come.
How to Move Past Dreaming Into Doing
You’re probably aware that dreaming isn’t enough — we all have big dreams, but not all of us see them through to fruition.
If you want something to happen, you need to take the steps every day to make them happen. Not just some of the time. Not just when you “feel” like it. But every single day.
If you’re not living and breathing your craft like it’s the oxygen you need to survive, you will stay exactly where you are forever. And that would be a waste of your talents indeed.
If you don’t take action on your dreams, they will remain a fantasy forever.
How do you embrace your talents? Well,
- You can start by reading every day, on paper or electronically (or ideally, both). Follow your wisps of curiosity and learn more what you’re interested in every single day. That’s how you’ll provide yourself with the knowledge and tools you need to develop and grow.
- Don’t just limit yourself to books. Listen to audiobooks and even podcasts to boost your knowledge base. Even Youtube can be a great source of inspiration when you need that extra kick-in-the-pants to be inspired or learn something new
- Set aside time to practice every day. I like short little 15-minute sessions to boost my creativity and find that flow state where I can ideally create and let the ideas flow out of me like water (you can read my ultimate guide to build a daily writing habit for more)
- Engage with your customers on a continual basis. Never forgo that 1-to-1 connection in favour of growing a larger base (if you engage in those deep conversations with your customers, you’ll find ways to grow your engagement guaranteed).
- Don’t make your message for everyone. Solve one problem for your audience and they’ll love you for it. Encourage them. Inspire them to become better in some way. Tailor your message as if you’re speaking to one person, because you are (without them, your message will only fall on deaf ears).
Most importantly, never stop dreaming. You are worth everything you dream yourself to be and more. Don’t forsake that because you don’t feel good enough to try.
Success Isn’t the Answer (Do This Instead)
For years, I strove to be a successful writer. But I failed and fell on my face time and time again because I didn’t have a clear vision and a powerful why.
The worst part is, I’d never defined what that success actually was. And because I didn’t know what it would take for me to be successful and fulfilled in my own life, I’d effectively stopped myself from reaching that level of attainment with my writing that I could only dream of in my mind (even though it seemed so far away at the time).
Without a clear path forward, you’ll only get lost in the tunnel when the light goes out. And it will go out.
Yet if you set a clear vision to be your light forward, you’ll never steer from your course because you’ll know that you’re exactly where you’re destined to be in this moment.
Getting clear on your talents comes with practice, because honing your base craft will make you better at anything you do. It’ll make you a better writer, creator, and businessman. It’ll help you find your voice and hone your message and really get clear on how to relay your message to your audience.
Without practice, you’ll never get better at anything. Yet with enough of it, the world you imagine building will start opening up to you piece by piece until it begins to form a clearer whole.
If you can really embrace that practice in your life and step into the beauty of the creative process, you will undoubtedly create magic in your life. Then it only becomes a matter of time before your vision becomes a reality and you create the results in your business you so desperately want to achieve.
Are You Ready to Create Your Dreams?
Creating things is supposed to be hard. So stop forgoing your dream of building a business because it feels so far away. Stop bemoaning how you should be successful because you’re a better writer than 95% of the writers out there.
Instead, just create. Put on your thinking cap and become the successful creator you imagine yourself to be.
With one step at a time, you’ll create the life you envision yourself in.
With a clear path forward, you’ll be able to smile because you’ll know exactly where you’re headed to be. That will be enough to set aside your expectations and just create. It has to be.
You might just find that over time, you’ll hit that success you always dreamed of. But not unless you first turn on your light and trust that your path forward is good and pure and just and worthy of your presence as a creator.
That will make you powerful and set you on the course you need to be. That will give you your power back. It will empower you. It will spurn you to create and flourish and grow.
With it, you will become the creative warrior of your dreams. But not until you trust that you’re enough as you are now and that you’re really, truly capable of creating the amazing life you want to live first.
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Blake is a writer, dreamer, and coffee fanatic based in Vancouver, Canada. He helps writers step into their potential and create their dream lives. If you’re looking for an extra push with your writing, you can download a FREE copy of “The Bulletproof Writer’s Handbook” to conquer the blank page today.