It’s true that chasing your dreams isn’t something that comes with a workbook or a guide. You’re own there alone trying to navigate the waters with the hope that it all turns out right. That is doubly difficult if your pursuit isn’t one that most view as traditional. Setting your sights on career in law or medicine is seen as something to be praised while trying your hand at starting a business, especially if it’s creative may not be well received.
I can speak first hand to feeling as if what you want to do with your life isn’t career path that others understand. Be that as it may, you have to decide that your desires and happiness are much more important than what any one person will think. Seeking approval is the normal thing for us to do. We want others to approve our choices and give us the okay when we decide on a path to . Truthfully that rarely happens. No matter how much support you have there will be someone out there who thinks you aren’t making the right decision. For your life.
Give that some thought…
People will have feelings about what you’re choosing to do for your life. Does it make sense? No. Not in the least, but it happens more often than we like to admit. We do it to others and they do it to us. I recall when I was in the throws of underemployment. (I say this instead of unemployed because I did have an internship that was unpaid and also was working on my own projects sans payment.) What I experienced during this time was a myriad of people, those close to me, family and friends, who had a lot of feelings about my choices. I’ll say this, I understood their concern.
As a single mother I had a large responsibility to someone other than myself, thankfully I did have the help of those same people even in the midst of their confusion. The most valuable lesson I took away from that time was that I had to believe in myself in the absence of other people’s belief. Encouraging myself to succeed, to bear down with reckless abandon and go after what I wanted. That meant writing a novel no one had asked for, creating a clothing line that was on my heart, and ultimately listening to a friend to be a part of something very different at the time. That took guts.
Confidence exists in the marrow of some people naturally, then there are those of us who have to work on it. It took for me to overcome a blow to my spirit, when one boss told me that no one in the corporate world would ever care that I was a mother. She attacked my work ethic in the same breath as well. Turning my back on the part of me that wanted to cry and hide, I left that place with no other plan in motion. While I may have been short on confidence, I knew that I did havedrive and tenacity. Ever since I could answer the question of what I wanted to do with my life, it has always included being in charge of myself. When I wanted to be an attorney, I had plans of owning a firm. Being an author and illustrator meant I could write and draw on my own agenda. Desiring to be a household name meant I could what I wanted, however I saw fit.
No matter what I have faced, I have stared it down and marched forward. Confidence is not always putting on a strong face, but it is pushing forward when hope seems lost. It looks like continuing on, even the face of your naysayers; because in the end they’re still watching you. For me not knowing if people would watch a web series or two that I created, but finding out they would, was a confidence booster. So was launching the clothing line after multiple people told me the market for it didn’t exist. It was also starting to blog again.
What I want you to know is that the desire you have inside to make something happen, it isn’t there to lead you astray. It’s there to push you. Listen to that voice that says the project can work and block out the whispers saying it can’t. Give room to your goals to breathe, allow them space to shift and grow. That’s when your confidence begins to take root. When you allow yourself to take up space and seeing how the world responds. Like anything else you water, it will blossom and bloom becoming the beautiful garden you are indeed meant to be.
photography: RSee Photography
Confidence is inside you, it just needs the push to shine.