In January I decided to start writing. I made a goal to write twice a week, journal thoughts, and develop a blog that this time “I would DEFINITELY keep up with”. I quit a month ago. I know, I lasted longer than I thought I would.
I wrote a post a few weeks ago (on a Tuesday) about something that was on my heart for a while (you don’t have to scroll far to check out what it was). It was well received by many of my friends and even people I didn’t know. I had not prepared anything for Thursday, so I decided to hold off until the following week so I could write something worth reading again. That week turned into week[s] and before I knew it, I had began an intense relationship with the backspace bar on my keyboard. I would write, and delete. And then write something that sounded great in my head. Then delete it. I had excuses upon excuses for why I wasn’t writing, but the truth is that I was believing a lot of lies.
I think we tend to quit, or fail to pursue our dreams because of things that get inside our head. While I have been busy and there were legitimate reasons I couldn’t write, nothing was as loud as the words “quit now” in my head.
Today, while I was driving I began wrestling with why I had given up. Here are 5 lies that I believed, and I think we all tend to believe when we want to give up:
1. I am not good enough.
I think sometimes we don’t pursue opportunities because we don’t think we can. In my case, I quit writing because I didn’t think anything that I would write would be worth reading. If we don’t believe in ourselves, it’s going to be really hard for other people to believe in us. It takes confidence to accomplish great things and if we want to pursue the things we love, we need to believe we are good enough to do so. It’s true that we can always get better at whatever we are trying to accomplish, but we won’t get there if we don’t believe we are good enough to even start.
2. I do not have enough…
Whether it’s time or money, we declare we don’t have enough of it. And a lot of times those are the two main things we need to pursue our dreams. Writing is cheap, but time isn’t. So in my case, I just didn’t have the time to sit down and think of the things I wanted to write about. The truth is, we have time for the things we make time for. I know, that’s revolutionary. Go ahead, write it down. Make a fancy pinterest design of it in artsy typography. Kidding, it’s the simplest idea and I get that, but we are lying to ourselves and believing that same lie when we say we don’t have time. If your dream, or what you love is important to you, you will make time when you’re ready.
3. What if…
What if I fail? What if I write something people don’t agree with? What if I think something is awesome and other people hate it? What if I forget to use the right “your”? You’re? Ugh. Whatever…I quit.
If you have the superpower of mind reading and we’ve ever been in the same room, then you have already heard this argument in my head. We live into these ideas when we give up. The “what if”s of failure and judgement are themes that we tend to embrace often. We become paralyzed by the chance of risk and drop out before we even have the chance to see whether or not these things come true. No one likes to fail and the easiest way to avoid that risk is to not even try. And when we don’t try, no one can judge us. So really it’s a win, win. But is it? Are we really winning if we are never taking risks? Probably not. If we can silence the “what if”s, then we can conquer our fears. And if we fail? It’s not the end of the world. Our failures will not be as risky as not even trying.
4. I have too many anxieties.
Sometimes I allow myself to become a product of anxiety and when I do, the “what if”s I mentioned above begin to creep inside my head and takeover my thoughts. I allow my questions become absolutes and assume the worst. Anxieties suck and they don’t belong in our lives. Kick them to the curb. If we can live into the peace we are given for free, than we won’t have to pay for our stresses. Don’t let anxiety be the reason you give up on your dreams, it’s not worth it.
5. I just don’t want to anymore.
This is a lie, and it’s not. It’s really for you decide. Sometimes we start projects that we are incredibly passionate about. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started a new blog saying “it’s different this time” or a diet, only to shove a slice of pizza in my mouth (it’s an art, how fast I can eat) on Day 2. We can believe in our dreams and goals, but if we don’t have the motivation and ambition to follow through, than we won’t. We need to remember why we want it. So when I sat there and said “I just don’t want to write anymore” I had to decide if that was true or if I was lying to myself to feel better about quitting. The truth is, I want to live into my dreams, whether it’s writing, playing music, or something else I’m passionate about, but sometimes I just need to quiet my soul and remember why I started. If we can remember why we want to achieve our goals than it will be harder for us to quit.
I want to keep writing. And I will. So many of my friends have been affirming and gentle with me as I have begun to share my heart and thoughts and I’m really grateful for that. Giving up is easy. Quitting is full of fear, though. Don’t take the easy way out. Stick it out when your dreams are hard and let the struggle refine you.