I have been receiving emailed encouragement and challenges about pursuing dreams from author, blogger and speaker Jon Acuff for the last year or so. He has created an online group to help people take steps toward achieving their dreams and encourage one another along the way. It’s pretty amazing to see the wide variety of goals and amounts of success people are achieving through small, consistent steps and large amounts of perseverance. Jon has a saying from one of his books, Start, that is kind of a mantra among the group. “Punch fear in the face.”
As many of us are aware, fear is the biggest reason we hold back from pursuing our dreams – fear of failure, fear of rejection or criticism, fear of not having a valuable or worthy contribution, fear of not having what it takes to see it through, even fear of success. Fear can paralyze us and keep us from ever taking a step toward our goals. I know that I cycle through several of these fears when thinking about my dream of being paid to write.
|Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Yes, that is my dream. I have finally said it out loud to a public audience. I struggle a lot with feeling that I don’t have anything new or valuable to contribute. I feel silly for thinking that I could be paid to share my thoughts. I have doubt that anyone would care to read what I might choose to say. I fear that if and when I do write, I will be rejected or criticized. Truth is, I know that these things will probably happen. People have differing opinions and not everyone will agree with my thoughts or find them useful or beneficial.
I can either allow these things to discourage me and keep me from writing or I can take this desire to write and continue to put myself out there hopeful that at least one person will be encouraged by my words. I have been writing for self-expression since I was in elementary school. It is part of who I am and choosing to squash it due to a bunch of “what-ifs” seems quite silly.
I took a step today that required punching my fears in the face. I submitted an article for consideration for publication. I don’t have confidence that it will be chosen but I am proud of myself for trying and putting myself out there for an honest review of my work. I am hoping for feedback that will help me in my writing and help me seek more opportunities like this.
Do you have a dream you are working on? What steps have you been taking toward it?