I’ve received such heart-warming messages from readers recently to say I’ve inspired them or sparked something special. Firstly, thank you! All I ever wanted was to create little ripple effects of positive change through travel. Secondly, my sense of fulfilment and happiness through Tales of Ardour didn’t come naturally. Like everyone else I struggled with self-confidence/awareness but have grown as a young woman to get to where I am today. I want to share with you what has taken some years for me to realise and understand: the mentality you need to do whatever the hell you want.
Of course, I’m talking about your goals and ambitions. That thing in the back of your head that you’ve been wanting to do for so long but were afraid to go for it. You kind of pushed it away, thinking you’re perfectly fine (and safe) right where you are and couldn’t be bothered for the risks your big ol’ dream imposes. The thing I ended up chasing because I got sick of hearing my own inner voice that has now led to my – personally – exciting life.
Here’s 12 points on how you can do the same!
1. Detach yourself from whatever you’re doing. You, as a human, are so much more than what you produce. Most people are afraid of feeling shame after failure, “what will people think of me?” or “my work is lousy so I must be pathetic”. Even if you’re proud of your work (by all means, have some healthy pride), it’s dangerous to think your work is a 100% reflection of you. You and I both know there’s more to your heart and soul.
2. You don’t need to ‘get it’ all right now. Just go for it and correct course along the way. If you keep waiting to be a better [insert field], you’ll never take the first leap. There’s never 100% certainty of the future, what matters is that you start and are on the right track. If you work smart, the only direction is up, and slow progress is still progress. How wonderful that you are a better you at every passing moment. It’s charming to watch someone evolve!
3. There’s no such thing as competition, there is enough room for everybody. If I think about the exact number of writers and bloggers out there doing the same thing as me, wanting to all work with the same brands, I would give up in a heartbeat. But that’s not the point. Instead, I stick to my guns, believe in what I do, remain positive, patient and persistent. Feel inspired by “competition” and know you have your own strengths. We’re all unique gifts of the universe.
4. You don’t need to know the answer to “what do you want to do in life?”, just do whatever interests you right now. That question brings WAY too much pressure. I didn’t wake up one morning and suddenly decide to be a writer/blogger – no, the epiphany came about slowly. While working in tourism public relations, on the side I enrolled into a photography course because I appreciate the visual art, I adore travel writing and wondered how I could also paint a picture through words on paper so I participated in workshops, I was curious about blogging so I attended a session on that. Only then, it occurred to me that I could combine my interests and BAM, here lies Tales of Ardour. Pick up some hobbies, learn something new, just go out and create yourself.
5. If you have a true lust for life, you’d know all your eggs aren’t in one basket. If somehow I find writing/blogging isn’t for me in the future (although I can’t imagine why!), I’d happily move onto being a life coach, freelance masseuse, charity campaign leader, a house DJ, manage a boutique hotel or cocktail bar, or run a B&B on a farm. And yes, these are my real fall-backs – I think I’d love it all equally! I am simply in love with all the world’s offerings and by doing the same you’ll never feel “my life is over”.
6. Have no shame in trying for something, stepping back and saying “hey, this isn’t for me”, then trying for something else. Good on you, this is time well spent. Don’t be miserable if you see yourself becoming miserable. Sometimes things aren’t what you expected, sometimes it’s you who’s changed passions and perspectives. Embrace the entire journey to understand that really, no time is wasted if you wanted to be there at a certain point and have taken something from that experience.
7. You can’t see it yet but once you become “vulnerable” and open yourself up, you’ll be introduced to a whole world of love and support. You suddenly find people who are on similar paths to you, who have the same dreams or fears. Reach out and connect, and don’t be scared to ask for help. Drop your pride, accept that you can’t do it alone and instead feel empowered through unity in people.
8. You are the star of your own movie and you get to tell the next chapter of your life. Is anybody else out there just excited as me with the liberating feeling of you making your own decisions? The simplest connection between mind and body to create action: I want to sit down on this couch – so I do it; I want to pick up this cup and drink water – so I do that; I want to go for a walk in the park – so I do this! I have control of my being. Whatever life has thrown at you so far, choose what you’ll do next. Will your script be a great story? Or one that’s of mere existence? Annnnnd, action.
9. It’s not too late if you’re 25, 40 or even 50. As I watch women and men around me grow older and do amazing things even with families to take care of, I can tell you this: there’s no such thing as settling down. Can we scrap the terms “settling down” all together? I also dislike “prime years”. Life isn’t more exciting in your teen years or twenties – life should flourish at every moment. Be realistic. You can’t be a professional basketball player at 60 or become a rocket scientist in a year and fly to the moon (or can you…). But for most things, age is just a number and life gives you so much time.
10. It’s great to receive feedback but remember: no one will have the exact same vision as you. I’ve heard it all before. People quitting because their own friends and family shut them down. Be stubborn enough to believe in what you’re doing. There’s a hand-written post-it note on my bedroom wall stating “BECAUSE I’M CRAZY ENOUGH TO THINK I CAN”. Frankly, these crazy days will be the best days of your life.
11. Simply afraid? Well join the club. Sometimes it feels like I’m on a tightrope where going back and going forth is just as scary so the only thing I can do is accept the fear, keep my head high, not look down and just power through to reach the other side. It’s fun, sometimes painful, uncomfortably exciting, but most importantly, fulfilling. Here, take my hand.
12. YOLO. Enough said.
Go get ‘em.
Light and love,
What other powerful thinking habits help you achieve what you want? Write me a comment below.
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