So You Want to “Follow your Dreams”?

When someone tells you to follow your dreams, don’t listen. This sh!t is HARD!

Even with your above average technical expertise and utmost passion, it’s the most difficult journey you’ll ever embark on. There’s rejection at every corner, and the inevitable shift from money-focused to goal-oriented. That means, your reward isn’t in a paycheck, and your productivity isn’t affirmed by an accolade. Validation will become less sought after because you will have to build your own narrative to live by, one not hinged on others’ approval. You’ll be misunderstood and your vision will be constantly challenged. People will tell you you’re a dreamer, and even call you irresponsible when you refuse to give up. As you evolve, you may lose support from those you love and respect. With tunnel vision and laser focus, you may lose track of your social life, and won’t be as available to loved ones as you used to. Some will understand, and some will not. And don’t get me started on failure. It will start nudging you from the periphery, and when you let it, it’ll stand before you and convince you in detail, why you never should have tried. You’ll be tempted to give up every single day for a long time, and will be stripped of the things you employed to mask your status anxiety. You will fall out of favor with those who used to value you for your said status, and may have to find a new way to value yourself.

Following your dreams, cultivating your passion, stepping out on faith…

They sound amazing, but when executed, it will be the most teaching moment of your life. It has been for me. When I first started out as an entrepreneur, the best advise I got from an experienced businesswoman was, ‘you can’t prepare for this, but know that you’ll be tested in so many ways, that you’ll often lose sight of why you started”. Great advise notwithstanding, this has been the longest period of discomfort I have ever experienced. So much so that I have become comfortable with the pain and struggle it takes to start over and build a career from scratch.

However, validation will come from understanding that you can walk, crawl or be dragged through this tough period with the same LIT torch you started out with. If you’re crazy enough to keep going, you will wake up every single day with gratitude that you get to do exactly what you love. You will create where there isn’t, and make do with just faith and belief in yourself. You’ll get to see yourself for who you really are, and will appreciate the little things you didn’t before. You’ll be stirred up and shaken awake to your endless potential.

If you’re lucky, you will face almost ALL your fears, and free yourself as you move forward.You will feel successful with nothing to show for it. You will find yourself happy with nothing. And it will stun you.

But don’t take my word for it.

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