Creatively inspiring you to follow your dreams.

Tag: Pursuing your passion

Gratitude for the Naysayers

Gratitude for the Naysayers

Tweet I never in a million years thought I’d write this. Because I’ve spent most of my time warding off the side effects of a killjoy, I didn’t have any energy to see their purpose in my life. Until now. Recently, I was speaking to […]

Why You Should Never Give Up

Why You Should Never Give Up

Tweet We often hold back from our true potential out of fear. There is a small, but demanding voice that screeches at us and says, “No one cares about what you do. You’ll never be good enough. ” Like a mosquito, it buzzes in our […]

Watch Out for Those Dream Killers!

Watch Out for Those Dream Killers!

{flickr photo Andrew Magill}

I had a disturbing dream the other night. A loud, abrasive woman (who resembled me on PMS) said, “You need to watch out and guard your inspiration and your passion!” or something to that effect.

That poor, harried lady who scared the hell out of me was trying her hardest to warn me of what scares me the most-dream killers. While they exist everywhere, they are particularly rampant and concentrated in certain areas (especially if you grew up with them).

In fact, I have grown up with a lot of them. And because of it, I’ve attracted and invited a few into my life. While it’s never pleasant to hear how I “haven’t really made it yet” or why any writing job I get will never be as grand as my third uncle from a second marriage’s impressive career, I do have to say this:

If life was a school, they’d be my biggest teachers.

How to Outsmart Smarty Pants People

The only way to negate negative people is to:

  1. Minimize your time with them. {I talk a little more about that and about the people you should avoid if you’re in a particularly bad mood on my Beliefnet blog here.}
  2. Pretend you’ve got headphones on and you can’t read lips.
  3. Suck it all in, run far away from them and then scream, exercise and vent in journal or to a supportive friend.
  4. Smile and say, “Thanks for sharing” and try not to do it with sarcasm.

The one thing you should NOT do is to reply with anger, in the heat of the moment and say things you’ll regret.

The thing about us creative types is that we’re extra sensitive people. And the funny thing about that is we often grow up in communities and families that are less than sensitive to our feelings.

—>If I’ve learned anything it’s that the worst thing you can do is attack someone who you feel is attacking you. It might feel tempting to point out your friend’s hypocritical criticism especially when he/she has yet to take a risk and follow their own dreams. Or to laugh at a relative who makes a nasty comment about your creative endeavors when they haven’t done anything creative or risky themselves. But that’s the point.

When it comes down to it:

The best thing you can do is to put on an invisible shield and let those words bounce right off of you. Realize that no matter how much it stings, most of what they say has nothing to do with you.<—

Remember you don’t have anything to prove to anyone.  You are on your own path and they are on theirs. Remember that as long as you’re continuing to follow your dreams, you are not the loser, coward, failure they say you are. In fact, you are a survivor, someone who simply deserves everything you ever wanted in life because you are here and made it this far.

*I took a much needed Creative Friday break. The last one really wore me out, which you can read about here and here. I hope to be back to my regular schedule next week. Have you been busy crafting while I’ve been away on vacation? Tell me please! I need the motivation.

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Find the Clues to Your Future in the Crumbs of Your Past

Find the Clues to Your Future in the Crumbs of Your Past

Tweet   An old friend recently contacted me. {If you’re reading dear friend, thanks for connecting.} He asked me if I remembered telling him 7 years ago that he needed to be more present, more mindful of this moment. I laughed when I heard that. […]

Signs You’re Not Living Your Purpose

Signs You’re Not Living Your Purpose

Tweet I know someone who’s been doing the same job for almost 20 years, but recently told me he’s never felt like he was on the right track. Hopefully, that’s not you. Hopefully, you don’t have to spend two decades walking in one direction before […]

The Truth About Fear

The Truth About Fear

{flickr photo by: stuant63}

The Scary Truth About Fear

I have to confess something…

You may try to hide from it, avoid it and do nothing so that it wouldn’t find you. But no matter what you or don’t do…

Fear never goes away.

In fact, the more you really live your life, the more you reach out there into the unknown, the more you will feel the fear.

But here’s the honest to goodness truth.

As Ms. Martha Stewart would say, “It’s a good thing!”

Facing Your Fears

Yesterday, I did something that to be honest scared me poopless. I created a group where one person asks a question and everyone responds with answers. I had the idea and was excited about it. But on more than one occasion, I broke out in a cold sweat wondering if anyone would come.

It felt like the lonely desert. I could almost hear the sound of tumbleweeds tumbling across the sand.

Thankfully this brave soul garnered the courage to ask an insightful question and a few others brought up reflective, thoughtful questions in response! (Thanks you guys!)

But it was scary!

To be honest, every day I hit return to release a Tweet or write an update on Facebook, I take a deep breath and cross my fingers. Every day that I interview someone for a story, or send out a query or a job application, I do a little mini prayer. I know it’s silly, but it’s how I deal with the fear.

Because I know that the more successful I become, the more fears I will have to overcome.

In fact, it’s a requirement.

Here’s another truth about fear.

Every successful person you admire and want to emulate has and is currently dealing with fear. They have just learned how to deal with the little ones so that they can attack the BIG ones.

How to Deal With Fear

  1. You remind yourself that failure isn’t the big F word. Failure is the little f word. It is your friend. Fail and get up fast and you will become successful. Learn from it. Ask it what it’s trying to tell you. Failure is never “The End” unless you quit. Failure is the beginning of the journey to success.

  2. Think about what your life would have been like if you hadn’t taken that big risk (quit your job, present a new scary idea to your group, follow your calling). Think about what your life will be like if you don’t do whatever it is that is scaring you right now.

  3. Be kind to yourself. If you are reading this, I can bet you are an overachiever. I imagine that you are a perfectionist, someone who strives to be great. And the one thing holding you back? Yourself. Why? Because negative thoughts, self-sabotage and self-criticisms are beating you up from the inside out. All that talk is adding to your fears. Calm the raging monkey by meditating, journal writing, talking with a positive supportive friend. Talk back to it by saying, “So what if I didn’t get that job?! I will get the next one.”

Life isn’t supposed to be easy. Sometimes fear is a sign that you are on the right path. So what are you waiting for?

P.S.Thank you Cathy Miller for reminding me that my original font was too light for human eyes! Will be using a darker one from now on. =)

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