Few days from now, we will be bidding good bye to 2015. A new year is about to unfold, a new beginning, a clean slate, a new chance, a renewed hope to be better, to do greater, to aim higher. And as the new year begins, everyone is thinking about new goals and new year’s resolution. But let me tell you a secret to having an awesome year. It is not in the things that you’ll start doing but in the things that you SHOULD stop doing.
The greatest temptation in life is to be passive and not to take action, to treat life in a very laid back and easy-going fashion. Do you have dream hidden in the corners of your heart? Like starting a project, writing a book, starting a blog, getting that job that you are so passionate about, or taking that dream vacation your were putting off for years. You want to make a difference in your life, right? We all do.
But if you’re not careful, you can be be throwing months or even years of your life waiting for the things that may never happen. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines, watching the world pass you by as your dream wither on the vine. It’s easy to just let go and not to take control, to let the current and the wind take you. But sometimes, and more often than not, you end up in a wrong destination, way far beyond the place that you want to be.
So before you put more items in your New Year’s Resolution list and focus on how to stick on doing them, you should also consider to stop waiting for these four things that are holding your dreams hostage.
1. Stop waiting for the right time.
Have you ever had that moment in your life when you are in the edge of doing something but right at that very moment a voice at the back of your head just whisper it’s not the right time yet? Me, too. A lot of times. Moments when you just stare at you’re computer not knowing if it is the right time to send that business proposal or to book that flight to Santorini. Well, the thing is, life doesn’t work that way. You can never put life on hold just because you’re waiting for the right time because right now your just too preoccupied with other things, less important things.
There won’t probably be a time when you don’t feel busy, no one demands your attention, you have no responsibilities at work or church, and that life isn’t somehow messy.
Life demands to be lived at the moment no matter how busy or messy it may be. Stop putting life on hold just because you are too occupied with other things. If you want that dream to come alive in front of you, NOW is the perfect time to start doing it.
2. Stop waiting for everyone’s approval.
Maybe your dreams are a little crazy or “unrealistic.” Maybe it’s quite impossible to achieve for some. You are afraid to move forward because you don’t think a certain person (or a group of people) will approve it. You are burying your dreams in your drawer because you’re afraid that your friends might make fun of you or that your family will not support you.
Let me ask you this: Why is that person’s approval so important to you? Why are you so afraid to disappoint them?
I’m not saying that we should be reckless or not consider how our actions may affect others. I’m not saying that we should never listen to our family and friends. But sometimes, and far too often, we fail to do things that could bless others because it’s different than what the society expects. We are so caught up with doing things that pleases others that we often end up neglecting our innermost dreams and aspirations.
Here’s the thing: You will never have everyone’s approval. There will always be haters and bashers, negative comments and discouragements. But that’s okay because your Critics are not the one’s your trying to please anyway. And if at some point, your family and friends may be one of your critics, take it as a challenge. Prove to them that what you’re doing right now is something that they can be proud of someday.
3. Stop waiting until you can perfectly do it.
As an old saying goes, “Try and try until you succeed”and “Practice makes perfect.” So stop waiting until you can perfectly do it. There is nothing perfect in this world. Life is meant to be explored and failures and messed ups are expected along the way.
It might be setting up a blog, publishing a book on Kindle, or navigating the technical aspects of setting up a podcast, everything is a continuous learning. Life is a huge academy of success and failure, or falling down and getting up, of bruises and bandages and of scars and healed wounds. So never wait until you can do it perfectly. Keep trying even if you get all frustrated for failing every time. Same goes with love. They say “love until it hurts no more.” So if you’re dreaming for that happy ending, never close your door for love just because no one can love you perfectly as you want it to be. Breaking news: No one’s perfect!
But never let frustration have the upper hand. “The greatest quality that will make you successful in everything is the attitude that no matter what the obstacles are, you will figure out a way to get it done.”
4. Stop waiting until you feel brave.
Fear is something that we cannot eliminate. It is one of the reasons why we strive to live, it makes us feel alive. But sometimes, fear is so isolating that it makes us feel alone. And what’s worse, sometimes we’re so afraid to admit it to others. We keep it to ourselves and we end up with the feeling that we are fighting our demons all by ourselves.
I believe each of us have our own set of fears. I am afraid of blood and of being wounded. I dreaded the sight of blood from wounds. Sometimes, just the thought of it makes my palms sweat, makes my feet cold, and I feel like I would pass out. I also fear talking in front of a huge crowd, may it be giving a report in class or delivering a speech. I am scared of first meetings too, like the first day of school or going into a party with a crowd I barely knew. I could go on and on with a list of all my fears but I won’t do that. But what I’m trying to say is having fears is normal and will never make you less of a human being. Embrace your fears because that’s who you are and use them to your own advantage.
Anything that you put out there for the world to see, you are exposing yourself to ridicules, negative criticisms, and bad feedbacks. But remember that every time you go out of your safety net and take that risks of getting out of your comfort zone, you allow yourself the chance to combat your fears and to grow and become more courageous.
The truth of the matter isn’t about your feeling of being afraid. All of us at some point fear about some things. It is about mustering the courage to continue to pursue your dreams and aspirations with the belief that you can.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
― Winston S. Churchill
So instead of worrying about how things might turn out or if you will mess things up, use that time to pursue that dream you’ve been putting on hold. Worrying about the future will never take you any further. Do something today that will take you one step closer to the realization of your dreams.
Because you know what?
- There will never be a perfect time.
- There will always be someone who will not approve of your ideas.
- You will rarely do anything perfectly.
- Your fears will always try to get in the way.
As I am writing this, I feel like this is more like me talking to my inner self than the blogger who wants to share. This is for the person in me who is always waiting for the right time, who always seeks other people’s approval, who screams and wants perfection in a totally unique and imperfect world, and who cowers every time circumstances push her outside of her comfort zone.
I am still working on my dreams, too. And as the year draws to an end, let us look forward to this year that is about to come with renewed hope and vision, greater courage, and more success.
Happy New Year us you all!
Stay in love! Stay in God’s love!
This post originally appeared in a slightly different version in kentsanders.net
PHOTO CREDITS: adrex.com