WHAT IT FEELS LIKE JUST BEFORE THE DAWN
I’ve been writing longer than a large portion of Steemit users have been alive. Up until just a couple of years ago I didn’t even have a real plan, I was only a dreamer and my dream didn’t have teeth. I struggled to find the time to write, would have minor successes, my career would then go stagnant, and I would get depressed. This was a miserable cycle.
Just before I was introduced to Steemit in July, one of these bouts of depression descended on me. My book sales had hit a plateau; there were no new opportunities on the horizon to speak of. My day job and other responsibilities required so much of my time that I wasn’t able to find time to finish my next novel. This low point only lasted a few days but it was a gut-wrenching feeling that my first novel was the best I would do, the most I would amount to. My greatest fear above all others was sitting in my tiny beige cubicle, never being able to afford to travel, and living the very same day for the next twenty years of my working life.
Then I remembered that I’d felt this low a few times before and usually when I did a breakthrough lurked right on the other side of it. As they say it's always darkest just before the dawn. What I’ve found is the closer I get to achieving that next burst of exponential career growth the more seems to be working against me. I’ve learned from confiding in others who are trying to achieve a dream similar to mine that these challenges are common. It’s like a test from the universe.
The challenges can crop up from a variety of places - the news, other people, and, most dangerous of all, my own mind. All these challenges need to do to be successful in derailing you is to plant that seed of doubt and it will morph into a dream killing monster, like the Incredible Hulk.
But, you know what? None of that matters once your mind is truly made up and my mind was made up a couple of years ago. I am a writer. I will do this for a living while traveling the world with my wife, meeting new people, and experiencing different cultures. SteemFest was a potent glimpse of this new life I imagined and it exceeded every expectation I ever had about how wonderful it is.
I’ve found the most effective way of getting through the low points and onto the next plateau begins with deciding to focus only on what you personally have control over. One thing I’ve learned through decades of meditation is I have control over my mind. Most often I’ve learned getting out of this kind of slump requires a simple shift in mindset. Anything can seem difficult or even impossible if you’ve made your mind up that it is.
The secret is to convince yourself that your goal is attainable, not just attainable but easy to achieve. This isn’t fooling yourself, well maybe a little, but this Jedi-like mind trick fills you with such confidence and positive energy that I believe you become a magnet for situations and people who can help. The truth is most of us pursuing a larger life can’t do this alone and that’s okay.
Whenever I find myself feeling stuck I ask three simple questions:
What do I really want?
Why don’t I already have what I want?
What do I need to do to get what I want?
To answer these questions as honestly as you possibly can give your dream teeth. In my case, my most limiting factor is always inside my own head. The mind is quite good at self-sabotage by peppering your inner dialogue with negative statements like, “This is going to be too hard.” as well as countless other statements that begin with those two dreaded words, “I can’t…”. Negativity is pure poison and will keep you wandering, lost in delusion.
The approach above only works if you:
Take off your mask – the Universe can’t help or heal the person you pretend to be.
Take 100% full responsibility for your own life -- no blaming others, this slows you down.
Stay positive – surround yourself with people and things that fill you with positive energy. Eliminate people or things that routinely cause negativity or dysfunction in your life. I refer to this as removing the jokers out of the deck. Do a full sweep.
The truth is you CAN achieve your goals and create an incredible life and if you want it badly enough YOU WILL. The other option is to find yourself right where you are in ten years from now doing the same things in the same way.
We’re all lucky enough to have this wonderful community of amazing individuals called Steemit. Each of us can create a strategy, find our niche, and create content that’s too good to ignore. When you make it through to your next day’s dawn we will all be here to greet you. Maybe we can have a cold beer or a nice glass of Cabernet at SteemFest 2 and swap stories face-to-face.
In just a few short months I’ve gained a 400 trillion trillion watts of hope (thank you Google for enlightening me about how much energy the sun produces.) I also have many new and exciting irons in the fire that I will be sharing soon. I can tell you from experience these methods I speak of work and this sunrise is such a beautiful thing.
An enlightened culture allows us to endure, to survive, and to thrive. The more I learn about the enlightened culture that we are building here on Steemit, the more I realize that there is nothing else like it, it simply has no rival. Very soon the world will realize this too.
I'm flattered to be in the company of such extraordinary people. Good night all!
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