Five Ways To Completely Sabotage Your Dreams
1. Tell yourself that there are already tons of people doing something similar to what you want to do, so why bother trying to compete?
I’ve done this with just about every idea I’ve ever had, be it in relation to blog content or a business idea. Someone is always doing something similar to *insert idea here* and they are rocking it! It may even be that my idea sparked from seeing what someone else is already doing. Even if I think about ways to put my own twist on something I tend to get really hung up on feeling like it’s an unoriginal idea or that I could never do it as well as so & so, so why bother? Major eye-roll.
We can all bring something unique to the table. If you’re passionate about pursuing something, you’ll find a way to make it your own. I mean really, there’s a lot of room in this big ol’ world (even your city!) for more than one fantastic coffee shop, funky boutique, web design business, etc! If you feel directly inspired by someone, go ahead and give credit where credit is due! But don’t let the fact that someone else is already doing something you want to do stop you from moving forward. There are a lot of like-minded people out there and those people, already doing the thing that you want to do, may become your support system instead of your competition!
2. Ignore all of the signs.
If you’re good at something it’s pretty likely that someone has mentioned it to you before and maybe they’ve even requested your help with it. I have friends who send me photos of their outfits and ask me what works/doesn’t work. I always feel like I’m unqualified to help them, but why? Clearly they ask me because they think I have an eye for it! I’ve had people tell me that I take great photos – I always thank them but then reassure them that I’m no photographer. Well, why the hell not?! I get asked for tips on blogging, using photoshop, registering a domain, setting up a self hosted WordPress blog, building templates, etc. I have a decent amount of knowledge on those subjects but they feel like simple hobbies to me so I never think of myself as someone qualified to give advice on them.
I’m not saying to just run out and start a business with very little knowledge on a subject just because a few people think you’re good at something but it may be a good way to recognize something that you are naturally good at, that with some effort and perseverance could be something that you could become great at!
3. Let your ‘self taught’ status make you feel inadequate.
This directly relates to number 2. When someone compliments me on something that I just kind of have a knack for – I tell them all of the reasons why I’m so not good at that. Why do I think that? Because I haven’t had any formal training. I am very wired to believe that if I don’t have a piece of paper to prove that I am indeed good at ‘X’ – then there’s no way I could possibly be qualified to take your money and perform a service for you. I feel another eye-roll coming on. If you’re a phenomenal graphic designer – then you are! You just are! Your work will show that, not a piece of paper. So practice and perfect some of those self taught skills and use ’em!
4. Make a list of unattainable goals.
I wanted to be a photographer for a long time and I squelched that dream by feeding myself many of the above lies but above all – I killed my dream with a list of unattainable goals. My thought process went a lot like this: I want to be a photographer, there are so many photographers, it’s hard to make a living as a photographer, I’ll need to be a wedding photographer to make any money, I don’t want to be a wedding photographer, the end. Uh, really?
Looking at that thought piece by piece is pretty eye-opening to how ridiculous it sounds. I decided that I couldn’t be a photographer, at all, because of one unattainable goal that I felt was critical to the sequence. It’s not critical. If you’ve created a mental road block in front of what you want to accomplish, it’s probably your lack of confidence trying to convince you that you have a solid reason to quit before you start. I don’t have to be a wedding photographer to be a photographer.
5. Put all of your eggs in one basket.
A lot of my aimless wandering has come from trying to make one decision on what it is that I want to do. What is the ONE thing I want to pour my heart into, educate myself on, and ultimately make all of my living from? Photography, styling, graphic design, web-design? As a creative person it’s really hard to slow my brain down long enough to choose one thing to focus on. I can be pretty scatterbrained and in my quest to do everything sometimes I get overwhelmed and do literally nothing. I change my mind a lot. It can all be very counterproductive.
I’ve realized that while I shouldn’t be trying to do everything, I also shouldn’t be trying to focus on one thing. I need to find a balance that works for me. It may be that my perfect creative job combines several of my interests. I may not be an expert on all of the elements that make up any one of my interests but that’s ok! I can work within my knowledge and focus on that parts that I’m good at! If the full picture looks too difficult, break it down in to little pieces!
SO – are YOU sabotaging your own dreams? What is one way you can change your behavior immediately? I personally made a New Years resolution to wish less and do MORE. Less standing around wishing for good things to just land in my lap and more breaking it all down into small do-able pieces! We can do this, friends!