WHAT IT FEELS LIKE JUST BEFORE THE DAWN

in #story4 years ago (edited)


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!

(Gifs sourced from Giphy.com)


Have you heard of Project: Pay It Forward for the Holidays? If not click here to learn more about a simple way that you can make a real difference.

To follow my unfolding story please visit my website here to sign up for my author newsletter.


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Very inspirational!!! I've been in a rut for a while now. Thank you for this post. Upvoted and resteemed!

Thank you! I'm so glad it helped.

UV for you!

Good post. I like how you have those 3 point plans you ask yourself. I am struggling with some things - so I can appreciate this for sure

Thanks for the post.

Thank you @barrydutton. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Great post, and thank you! As @riosparada said, very inspirational.

i was very encouraged by this, and found alot of it very very relatable . steem on my friend , stuff like this is powerful

So glad to be of help! Thank you, @soundlegion!

eric vance walton,
scribe, philosopher, mentor,
long may he be here.

Wow, what a great haiku! : ) Thank you, @kiwideb!

LOVE - and so true!

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.

Another wonderful read. My favorite part: The mind is quite good at self-sabotage. There is so much truth there. It is a struggle if you are perceptible to it. Like the work that you do or the success that you have is not good enough, not earned enough, not deserved enough. Even though you worked hard for it. But any failure feels deserved.

Four years ago I decided to turn my life around. I got healthier, stopped smoking, started to workout. Put more time in my business and decided to become more outgoing. This last part saved me more than anything and I learned and experienced so many great new things. Four years ago I would have never gone to STEEMFEST or hell even write a blog! Just look at what I potentially could have missed. Wow!

My mind still wants to sabotage me from time to time (I don't know if I ever will get it so far it will just say GO FOR IT! That would be great) but it is indeed possible to turn your life around if you can overcome your mind.

Thanks, @exyle! I struggled with self-sabotage so much so much when I was younger, still occasionally it rears its head in the form of fear. Meditation has been a huge help in that department, more than anything it makes you pay more attention to the inner dialogue of the primitive parts of our brains. Almost never have I stood up to a fear and regretted it, courage has almost always paid great dividends. This makes it easier as well once this is realized. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment!

You and I share very similar experiences in the recent past, Eric. Going forward I think my direction may take a different turn than yours does, as far as writing goes. What you've written here has inspired me and made me think. Thanks.

Hey @vegascomic. You're very welcome! I'm glad it resonated with you!

This was SOOO well played. It's true--it IS a test from the universe. Whenever I take on a new idea, the universe hits back. Every time. Likewise, whenever I have kind of a dark and dreary spell, almost every time there's some kind of gem waiting on the other side. But I think they are one in the same--it's a kind of molting, if you will. You know, growing out of your "soul" even if by just a few centimeters.

Whenever a soul stretch happens, then all of the things that fit into its previous construct start showing up more apparently, and literally. And then POOF! New level of operating. It's like getting a new angle on life. And a new shot at it from that angle.

Or, it's like getting an upgrade. You have to shut down the computer and purge it first.

Thank you! I love the molting analogy, that's it exactly! And the OS upgrade...spot on! We grow so much stronger through these tests, don't we?

Very inspiring read. You have a way with words!

Thank you so much for being open and honest Eric. This article is exactly what I needed tonight. May you continue to press on no matter the obstacle before you.

You're welcome, @lydon.sipe! As long as I have breath I'll continue to press on. I wish you the best of luck and I'm glad you enjoyed this piece.

wonderful post thanks for sharing :-) x

You're welcome! Thank you for reading!

Awesome post, glad to see that you are getting votes because that was a great post. Totally new here, it`s inspiring to see how you guys are doing and the quality of the content :) Steem on

Welcome, @tortalks and thanks for the kind words! We have an amazing community here.

Wise words @ericvancewalton...

Well expressed, interesting and helpful!

@kus-knee (The Old Dog)

Thank you very much!

Learning to control your own thoughts is powerful. I can relate to so many things you say. I have to work very had to not let my mind go into self sabotage mode every day.

It sure is, @cathynsons. It's a constant struggle but worth every effort!

@ericvancewalton, I love this post and it comes at just the right time for me. I am awake in the wee hours mulling over things and reading the following sentence allowed me to breathe more fully:

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 have been feeling like so many parts of my life are shifting and simultaneously I seem to be wierdly stuck and am not sure how to shift things and myself. This post was just the encouragement I needed right now, thank you!

You are so welcome @natureofbeing! I'm glad the post helped you in some way. This is exactly how it always happens for me. I'm going through just such a period now, a little more than halfway done with my second novel but I don't have time to work on it because I'm also still having to work a full time job. It can be frustrating but I know the answer will come when I least expect it. I wish you well and I hope you get unstuck soon!

#manifestation

Excellent - keep it up! Thank you for your encouraging words!

You're welcome! Thank you for your kind words!

This was that pure bright shining rainbow glitter wonderfulness poop from the magical unicorn of CanDo that everyone keeps talking about and EXACTLY what I needed to hear right now. Actually I sort of need to hear it ever day. I have been tested continuiously, and that's not a small throw away comment, I mean real shit testing, and I've gotten stuck in the I can't do this phase. THANK YOU. I needed that reminder that it's not just that I've been tested, it's the fact that I've survived that I need to focus on and use to make stairs to climb higher. Perfect post.

"This was that pure bright shining rainbow glitter wonderfulness poop from the magical unicorn of CanDo..." wonderful! Lol. I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

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