Something strange happened a year and eight months ago.
I was a writer, a travel writer to be exact. I loved creating a world for my reader and pulling them in with 500 words.
I was a wizard who could make you believe in a story, who could show you the world, through words.
To be honest, some of my posts were amazing. Some were dumb. Buy hey, I was following my passion. Then something odd happened to me.
I wrote an article that was read 2000 times and shared 408 times. For me, that was new.
You see, when your previous articles were mostly read by family and friends, then all of a sudden, you have readers from 4 continents, something changes in you.
After that article, the sky was the limit. I was on the verge of a breakthrough. My articles were reaching new audiences. This was everything I had hoped for.
And then it stopped.
One day, I sat in front of my laptop, and nothing happened. I couldn’t write. My writing bug had crumpled to dust. There was a silence in me that I couldn’t fill with words.
The magic was gone.
So, I forced myself to publish a few more articles. Then I quit writing and got a job in the bank.
But every now and then, I couldn’t help but wonder…what changed?
Why is it that on the verge of success, it all just stopped? How come that at a point when things were looking up, the silence became loud?
I asked myself this question for a year and seven months. And I recently got my answer.
You see, there is a thin line between success and failure. And that line is usually in form of two things.
Fear. For the unknown. For what follows. When we hit a landmark, we ask ourselves the question we should have asked long before. What next? And with that question, we open ourselves up to self-doubt and the subsequent fear.
We realize that we never actively planned to succeed. In fact, most people plan for failure more than they plan for success.
We ask ourselves more often, what will I do if this doesn’t work out. Yet the more relevant question is, what will I do next when this works out. And then create a plan for that, so that we are prepared.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that 2000 views are not many. But in my narrow mindedness, I had pictured 100 views as many views. I had never envisioned having more than that.
So, when I exceeded the limit I had set for myself, I was hit by incredible fear. One of these two things happen when we are afraid. Either, we hold onto the thing that scares us with the tightest grip or we let it go completely.
Noise. This is every voice around you saying that it can’t be done. Usually, before you listen to people’s opinions about your life decisions, you are doing well. Great, actually.
You know your vision and follow it. And then suddenly, that’s not enough. You think someone might know something you don’t. So, you start listening to everyone but your instincts.
You forget that the people whose opinion you long for only know half of your story. They don’t share your vision, so how can you trust that they will make the best decisions for you?
Getting 2000 reads was huge to me. It was a new high for me. But to the many people I asked, it was too low, and what was the purpose anyway? But the question that I should have been asking myself is, what can I do to build on it?
But I didn’t. And the noise grew louder, crushing the little voice inside my head that said, you can do it. That little voice wasn’t too loud. It’s never loud. You have to listen closely. And if you pay attention, you will realize what you knew all along. You’ve got this.
Fear and noise have powerful impacts on dreams. At one point or another, you will have to face them and how you react will determine your success or failure.
So, protect your dream with everything you’ve got. Guard it close because no one will ever believe in that idea, in that dream the way you do. It is good to consult from experienced people, but it is better to trust your instincts.
Today, when I look back at the decision I made to quit writing, I am filled with regret. Sometimes I ask, what if I hadn’t stopped. What if I had pushed through the fear and the noise. What if….
But you and I know that such questions are silly, if not useless. It’s never too late, right? I am writing again, aren’t I? Instead, I am going to ask you a more relevant question.
What are you going to do about your forgotten dreams?
I want you to think through that question. And before you answer, remember this. If you ever decide to give up on your dream, run.
Run as fast as you can from it. And don’t stop. Because if you ever stop for a second to wonder what if… you will be filled with such an unimaginable regret that will tear you apart and leave you feeling empty and broken.
So, I ask again.
What are you going to do about your dream?
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About the author
Hi, I am Angelica.
I started this blog to write about what I love to do...travel.
Since then, I have developed an intense interest in motivational writing and other lifestyle topics.
In fact, I have changed the website name from afripastravel.com to afripaslife.com
But of course, travel articles will be featured here occasionally.
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