The 4 Fears That Stopped Me From Pursuing My Passion, and What Happened When I Actually Went For It
Alright ladies, I’m about to drop some serious self-discovery truth on you, you ready? I denied myself the pursuit of what sets my soul on fire for far too long. When I finally gave myself permission to pursue my passions, magic happened. Now, I’m passionate about seeing others go for their crazy dreams. I want to share with you why you should get out of your own way, and go for it. Ready?
I’m going to share with you the four lies and fears that stopped me, the four truths I discovered, and my action steps for turning your dream into reality. Let’s start with the fears…
#1 “Art is so impractical, aren’t you worried about being financially stable?”
I know that expressing creativity makes me feel alive, and I’m sure the rest will come together if I work hard.
This was always my response to the skepticism of others, but the unfortunate part? Over time, their words sunk into my thinking, and I truly began to cling to the idea of “stability.”
#2 “You have to be REALLY good to make it in that industry, so few people actually do”
I NEED YOU ALL TO HEAR THIS: sure, you can be born with talent, but for the most part, skill has to be honed. People aren’t born prima ballerinas. It takes commitment and perseverance above anything else. I made the huge mistake of listening to the comparison thief, and I gave up on practicing.
Alyssa is a Michigan lifestyle photographer and blogger.
On her blog, Aly May, she writes encouragement for homemakers, and about how to make daily life an adventure.
She loves to travel with her husband, John.
Though, she sure doesn’t mind nights at home snuggling their German Shepherd puppy, Summer.
#3 “You’re really talented, that is such a cool hobby”
At first, I was insulted by how casually people treated my dreams. Eventually, though, I let the fear of not making it professionally stop me. I started working office jobs and full-time nanny jobs for the sake of making a comfortable income. I told myself I would do theatre and photography in my spare time.
Here’s the thing about spending your time doing something you aren’t passionate about, though: it burns you out. I was way to exhausted to spend any time at all on growing my artistic skills.
#4 “I would love to get back to photography, but cameras are so expensive, I just can’t afford it right now”
This is a lie I told myself. After all that appreciation for financial stability was driven into me, I sure wasn’t going to throw my hard-nannied-for cash into a “hobby” that might not pan out.
Finances were an excuse for me to bail on taking a scary leap into something that I could possibly fail at.
Truth #1 passionate on purpose
We are built with passions in us which are meant to be pursued. I truly believe that each of our lives has a purpose, and that our talents and passions are a huge channel for living out our purpose.
Truth #2 leave a greater legacy
My husband and I are starting to think about growing our family. In my post My Calling to Stay Home, you can read about my passion for family. I recently realized that I’ve never let myself truly explore my passions. We want our children to know that their parents don’t give up on their dreams. I want them to zealously pursue their own passions, and how can I ever teach them that, if I’ve given up on mine?
Truth #3 find your cheerleader and stick by them
All this self-realization led to me telling my husband that I believed I could succeed as a photographer, and would he be on board with me saving up for a camera? His response was a very simple, “I believe in you.”
Friends, this is HUGE. Surround yourself with people, or at least a person, who completely believes in you.
Truth #4 the practicals follow the commitment
Once I decided that I was finally going to go for it, the rest of the pieces seriously fell into place. It was crazy. A photographer friend gave me a camera for a crazy low price. Another friend had an iMac computer collecting dust, and offered to indefinitely loan it to me.
I refer to these as “God things,” in that I believe that God works things out for our benefit when we pay attention to His calling on our lives. You might believe in the universe smiling on you. You don’t have to believe what I do, though, to see that things DID work out once I committed to pursuing my dreams.
It wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t decided to shoot down the lies and negativity I’d been carrying with me. To be successful, you first have to take a leap. To really condense all of this, here are my action steps for putting your passion to work:
#1 Announce it
Tell yourself, and someone you trust what dream you are going to pursue.
#2 Put it out there, and allow others to help you on your journey
I told all of my friends that I was pursuing my love of photography and planned to launch a business. I asked photographer friends for equipment advice, which is how I got my camera so I could actually start.
#3 Identify with it
When people asked “what do you do?” I started responding “I’m a lifestyle photographer.” I felt like a fraud at first, but I gradually said it with more confidence, and that is how I got my first clients!
#4 Treat it professionally
I set up a website, a business email account, and social media pages. If there’s a podcast or online article about being a successful photographer or blogger, I soak it in. I treat it like my main job, and you know what? Nobody has called it a “hobby.”
So what is your scary-big, awesome dream? I challenge you to kick the fears and lies from your brain, and lead from your heart. It does take some fake-it-till-you-make-it confidence, and a lot of hard work, but you’ve got this.
Note from Kate: Aly is incredibly lovable person. I have met her in one FB group and then we became Instagram friends. It was my pleasure to follow her journey she’s describing in this post! BTW look at her GORGEOUS photos!
If you like there real-life stories, check out some other ones from our Team Efforts Category.