“When You Give Up Your Dream, You Die”
I know I might be dating myself with this quote from the 1983 movie Flashdance, said by character Nick, in his attempts to persuade the pouty and stubborn Jennifer Beals to get over her fears and go for her dreams in dancing. “When you give up your dreams, you die”. It was the recollection of this quote that pulled me back from the ledge of self-deprecation last Friday night, as I was inches away from tossing myself and my book proposal over the side and into the depths of “forget about it”.
Prior to that point, I had been tirelessly working on my book proposal for a competition with Hay House Publishing, a book I want to birth and name Spiritually Successfully Single. It is the book I was born to write, my journey to self love and strength through the pain of a devastating divorce and other ‘losing in life’ setbacks. Writing is my passion and to make a full book would be an absolute dream.
There was a part of me that began to believe and feel in my heart that none of it mattered…my dreams, my passion…I needed to stay living in the “real world” with realistic expectations and not somewhere over the rainbow. But then I have to remember, no one who’s traveled over the rainbow does so without confronting their fears along the way. To try for anything that may seem close to impossible in the moment is not just scary, it’s down right nerve wracking. It brings up unpleasant feelings from the deepest and most vulnerable of places.
When feeling like the cowardly lion, decide to roar with fervor.
Start with a fresh perspective on how to maintain realistic expectations AND follow your dreams.
- Begin by asking yourself, “Is what I’m thinking really true”? We all have thoughts that seem truthful or factual in the moment, but do we really really know this for sure? Are you really a failure? Does everyone else really have it so much better than you? If you continue to make small steps of self advocacy, even if they feel teeny-weeny, eventually they’ll get you to a new place with more opportunities.
- It’s okay to fail. It takes years to become an overnight success. If you look at the definition of failure: the omission of expected or required action…all you have to do is keep making the required action. Keep writing, keep creating, keep dreaming….
- Keep going. It may hurt to feel setback or the sting of rejection, but no one ever dies from pain. Ever. Pain may be the sixth vital sign in physiologic assessments, but it does not kill. Pain lets us know what’s wrong and what needs healing, so if something hurts, heal the emotional wounds, breathe through it, love yourself anyway, and keep going.