The biggest mistake you can make is to wait until you believe in your dream before you start to go after it. If you do that, you’ll still be waiting when you take your last breath.
I suspect you have to be a little crazy to go after your dream. It’s risky and not everyone will share your enthusiasm.
In fact, most people won’t. They have their own agendas, their well-worn ruts and comfort zones, and don’t want you rocking the boat with your silly dream. They may even have plans for your life that don’t include you following your heart.
But, your dream is in your heart for a reason. It might take you years to get there, maybe decades. Maybe you won’t get there at all. Maybe your dream is simply pointing you in the right direction for your life. Like the North Star guiding you home.
“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” – The Gospel of Thomas
Keep in mind, it’ll take a bit of magic to reach your dream. The mind can’t explain it. That’s why it can be so frightening. You have to trust the magic. For me, as a writer, the magic happens when I’m in the timeless zone and a story pours out of me. Hemingway called it “the dust on a butterfly’s wings.”
I don’t know where the magic comes from or if it’ll appear again when I need it. This is why I walk for hours before I sit down to write, I’m searching inside for the magic.
Apparently, self-doubt is part of the process. Recently, I was reading through some materials on copywriting when I found a quote from Michael Masterson, a highly successful copywriter.
“I believe you can have a mind full of doubts and worries, and still succeed. I believe it’s possible to achieve amazing things with a frightened heart and a terrified mind.
I know because I have always been full of doubts and fears. I was afraid of failing when I wrote my first promotion, which resulted in tens of millions of dollars in sales. I am still full of doubts and fears now…even with all the successes I’ve had over the past 25 years.” – Michael Masterson
It might be that some of us will always be filled with self-doubt and lack of confidence. Neurosis is part of the creative package for a lot of writers. It’s just the way we’re wired, but that doesn’t mean we can’t live our dream.
The truth is, you don’t have to believe in your dream, but you do have to make it a priority and go after it.
Remember that most of life is lived on a plateau. In any endeavor that requires skill, progress will be slow. A musician must practice finger placement for hours every day and for months at a time before improvement is noticeable.
It’s the same with writers, athletes and actors. And, it’s the same with your dream. Advances come in small increments spread across large expanses of time. Embrace the plateau. Keep working towards your dream even when there hasn’t been any success for ages.
So, to answer the question “How to Believe In Your Dream,” I say you don’t have to believe. You merely have to take action. Do something every day to make your dream a reality. Even when you don’t know what to do, do something. Expect to fail, learn from it and keeping moving.
For years, I carried the following quote in my wallet. When setbacks led to despair, I would read it and remember to keep trying.
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased.
[There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” – Martha Graham
Make your dream a priority and do something every day to make it happen. It may take years, but in time, your dream will become part of your identity. That’s when you become unstoppable.