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There is no denying that we have the tendency to get a little crazy when we submerge ourselves in the process of pursuing what we are passionate about.
It can be pretty easy to lose our bearing along the way, but there are a few thoughts and habits we can cultivate to help keep us focused while in deep waters.
1. Everything you need to succeed is within you.
Yes, you can take classes. Yes, you can have an amazing mentor. Yes, you can work for the best in your field, read every book possible, and find yourself in the middle of everything you ever dreamed of—but without you saying yes, it is all irrelevant.
You are the key to your success. You are the captain of your ship, the driving force behind everything that you have within you. You do not create situations, but you do unlock the potential in every opportunity by offering yourself to them when they are in the direction of your pursuits. Every bit of creativity and potential you have within you waits for your release.
Say yes, and take flight.
2. Another person’s success is not your failure.
Unless you’re Spencer Hastings (“Pretty Little Liars” shout-out simply because I am addicted)—odds are you aren’t though, and in that case, we are all in this together.
Okay, but seriously. It is so easy to come down on ourselves when our friends (or those we are less inclined to call friends) begin to succeed. But watching someone else land that manager, publisher, agent, or position in your field and how you respond to their success is a defining moment in who you choose to be. Will you celebrate them? Or waste your energy envying them?
Comparison is to creativity as George R.R. Martin and his quill are to any character of his imagination, ever. It’s an absolute slaughter-fest. Comparison takes no prisoners and honors no plea of parley. So tell that ugly soul-sucker to go to hell and cut yourself some slack.
So long as you are actively working toward your passions, dreams, and goals, you are doing great and are leagues and leagues away from whatever your idea of failure is.
Big victories, small steps, and everything in between deserves celebration. Whether that is a full-blown launch party or a well-deserved pat on the back for meeting your daily goal, taking time to celebrate your progress toward the ultimate dream is crucial to staying immersed and excited about your progress. And it is progress.
4. Believe in yourself enough to stick it out.
Let me preface with the idea of “sticking it out” may not be as simple to figure out as I want it to be for us all. This may mean locationally and this may not. This may mean in a particular workplace, or this may not. Stay open but always keep your goals and dreams as the lens in which you view your opportunity and your current space.
If you hear nothing else in this entire article, hear this: more important than the logistics of your pursuit is the understanding that you can do this. You are gifted. You are important and you are unique.
You are set apart.
Belief is your most powerful tool.
Now own it.
I want to personally flat-hand smack all those assholes who say, “You are just another fish.” Even offering that idea to someone else is enough to get you sucker-punched in the mouth. The truth is so far from that statement (just take it as an opportunity for you to exercise your ability to choose who dictates who you are).
I once convinced myself I had mad cow disease. I was puking with cold sweats for three days because I had read about it online and at the time I had a complex about thinking there was something perpetually, medically wrong with me. But I believed it and my body and mind responded to the power of that in me.
Either way, you will believe something about yourself, whether that is, “I can’t” (or “not me,” or “but,” or “later”) or “Hell yea I can! Here we go, baby!” Why waste that energy? What do you gain from self-doubt? Rhetorical, but seriously. You gain nothing.
Belief is your true superpower.
If you think you can, you certainly can.