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I’ve chased many dreams in my life. Some of them I caught and then let go, some I never even got close to, and some I held in the palm of my hand. Whether I caught the dream or not, it was never an easy task.
The thing is: dreams are more fulfilling when you have to fight to make them come true.
My Dreams; An Intro to the Struggle
I’ve been a professional writer since 2000. When I say professional, I mean paid. I didn’t get paid much, and you wouldn’t be able to call the work I did part-time; I was a freelance writer with a day job and a dream to be a writer for a living.
It took three years for me to get full-time work as a writer. I became editor of a local music magazine in Grand Rapids, MI. Two years later, the owner sold the magazine, I was replaced, and I had to find a job as something other than a writer.
Luckily, the internet was quickly becoming a great way to earn a living, and by 2010, I was working part-time as an online freelance writer while working the rest of my time at a hotel front desk. By October of 2010, I was to quit my day job to be a full-time freelance writer from home.
That sounds like a dream come true, and it is, but it’s never stopped being a struggle. I worked through a time when Google algorithms quickly shut down many lucrative online writing companies. I’ve gone from $2,000 to $3,000 a month paydays to $300 a month. It’s a life of feast or famine, but it’s my life, and I love it.
So, How Do You Keep Chasing Your Dreams When Giving Up Seems Easier?
I can’t say that there haven’t been moments where I just wanted to give up. Every single time I lost a great paying gig, no matter how stressful it was, I questioned why I was chasing such an unattainable dream. Mind you; it wasn’t unachievable. I’d just had it. It was harder when I lost gigs I loved (usually start-ups that ran out of funds before they started generating any). But, when I weighed the choices I had outside of freelance writer, I knew there was no other option.
The more years that go by with me working as a freelancer, the more time goes by where I don’t have experience in other types of work. That makes it hard to get gainful employment that is more than part-time or pays more than minimum wage.
So, how did I push myself to keep going? Here are your tips.
Weigh Your Pros and Cons (And Other List ideas)
Start a pros and cons list. This will help you look at your dreams and the alternatives to your dreams. This doesn’t have to be about jobs only. It could be about your dream home or your dream relationship.
What are the good things about your dream? Maybe you want a creative job that allows you freedom. Perhaps you’re looking for a guy who is marriage material. When it comes to searching for the right partner in your life, your pros and cons should include traits you’re looking for and ones you won’t settle on, as well as looking at where you’re meeting people. For jobs, consider the pros of what you want to do and the cons, as for the jobs that don’t fit your ideal career path.
If you’re doing things right (as in chasing the right dream and serious about what you’re looking to accomplish), your pros should always outweigh your cons. This imbalance toward your hopes and dreams is going to help motivate you to keep up your pursuit. If things fall the other way, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your life plan.
Make lists of the things that will help you fulfill your dreams and the things that will hinder your success. List what you’ve done already to work toward making your dreams come true. Looking back to all the work you’ve already put in is a sure way to keep you pushing forward.
Remember Why You Started This in the First Place
Even more important than lists, look back at what made you start this pursuit of your dreams in the first place. Why do you want to be a singer, actor, or writer? Why do you have certain relationship goals?
I wanted to be a writer because I enjoy writing, and people were always telling me I was a great writer. I’ve been writing poetry since first grade. As an avid reader, I always thought, “I could write this,” as I read some of my favorite books. Once I started getting paid to write, even when it was small amounts, I knew that this was a career I could enjoy, and it was a career that would fill my soul with joy.
The memories of my first gigs. The time I published my first book. How it feels to get up and sit in my own office each day without a boss looking over my shoulder. These are the things that keep me writing, even when I only have $300 a month and can barely pay my bills.
So, don’t give up. If you have a dream, there is a reason you’re pursuing it. Those dreams that we claw away at until they get under our skin, those are the things that make life worth living. Those are the careers, relationships, and personal successes that are part of your life purpose. If you give up now, you may be missing a chance to help someone else reach their goals, too!
If you need help chasing your goals and making your dreams come true, contact me. I have a Ph.D. in Holistic Life Coaching, and I am ready to help you find your path!