The Dark Side of Following Your Dreams: And What You'll Need to Find the Light

Choosing to chase your dreams is hard work. I’ll be the first to admit it. It’s not hard in the sense that I have to drag myself out of my bed every morning; when I wake up to create my dream life, I practically jump out of bed. 

No, the hard work I’m talking about is deeper. 

When you finally get tired of the bullshit and say a valiant “YES!” to your dream life and career, you’re saying yes to your soul. Your calling. The thing that makes you unique and gives you magical superpowers. 

Which is awesome, and totally my jam, and if you’re ready to go for your dream, we should talk. But I digress…

The thing about saying “Yes” to your dream, is that you’re simultaneously saying “No” to the stuff that you’ve been telling yourself is good enough. The stuff that has been keeping you safely in your comfort zone. (i.e. the job that sucks your soul down the drain).

Think about why you haven’t truly pursued your big dreams yet. You can probably think of a lot of reasons, right? Things like “I don’t have enough money,” and “I don’t have time right now” are big ones. 

These are valid concerns, but let’s go a little deeper.

Usually, there’s a lot of fear involved in considering chasing that dream. Let’s say you want to be a singer. But every time you let your mind wander about being on stage in front of thousands of adoring fans, you think, “But I’ve never done that. I don’t even know if I’m any good. What if I make a fool of myself?”

When this fear comes up, it’s easier to say “I don’t have enough money,” or “I don’t have enough time.” These are statements that can be backed up by facts really easily - bank statements and weekly planners. “See?” this inner voice says, “Guess you shouldn’t do it.”

And thus, our thoughts protect us from making a fool of ourselves, or from failing, or from feeling afraid. Our brains, our internal systems, are trying to keep us safe and free from harm - that’s one of the things they do best.

When we choose to go after our dreams, we’re basically busting through those layers of protection, and saying, “Despite the fear, despite the probable failures, despite the possibility of making a fool of myself… I’m doing it.”

Chasing our dreams means continuously looking at our deepest fears in the face. It’s walking into situations that scare the shit out of us. It’s welcoming all of our greatest insecurities to the table, and still choosing to say "yes."

Being faced with your deepest fear every day is a lot to handle - I get that. And I totally understand why giving up, or putting your dreams on hold for a while, seems easier.

*Side note for clarity: by "giving up," I mean abandoning a dream that lights up your soul for a situation that's safe, reasonable, or in your comfort zone. There are plenty of other great reasons to "give up" on a dream; for instance, a bigger, better, more aligned dream.

Here’s the secret, though: yes, you will have fear. But you’ll also have your vision. Your calling comes from your soul, and your soul’s vision is stronger than any fear-based thought that your brain can conjure up. 

Your vision is like a back-up generator when the fear turns off the lights.

So which would you rather have? The discomfort of feeling stuck in your current situation that doesn’t really serve you? Or the discomfort of feeling vulnerable and scared and challenged on the way to the life you deserve?

Just because the path is dark, doesn't mean it won't be worth it. Fear, insecurity, and doubt live in this dark place, but part of the journey is realizing that they don't call the shots - you do.

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.
— Joseph Campbell

If fear is standing in the way of your desire to really go for it, join my Notes on Growth mailing list; you'll receive weekly inspiration to awaken your creative potential so that you can bravely move through fear.