At some point, we all find ourselves struck by a moment of inspiration and that ever-dangerous devil on the shoulder that is ambition, sneaks in. It usually happens in the shower, or at 3am when you really just want to go to sleep. The ideas come at the most annoying times, but they stick to you like honey and you can’t quite shake them.
It’s exciting, it’s hopeful, but most importantly it’s terrifying. Fear matters.
The reason so many people don’t follow through with their ambitions is that they focus on the wrong emotion. Yes, it is about being excited and being passionate but it’s also about the fear and how you approach it.
The fear is the most important element of ambition.
It’s like when you imagine quitting your job to travel the world, or ending one relationship to be with someone else or even changing your supermarket. It’s a fact of change, and it’s a fact of risking losing something in order to gain something even better. By focusing solely on your excitement and passion, you demonize the fear, you push it away, you underestimate its benefit.
That fear is the reason you’re doing this; that fear tells you this could be lifechanging.
So, what do you do with it? Utilize it. Understand why it is there, and then use it as a reason to show that it had nothing to worry about. Also use it to realize that, generally speaking, if you are being ambitious there is always a chance that you can crash and burn. So, yes, it does help to have some sort of a backup. Yes, be logistical. Yes, make a plan. Yes, be cautious. But then just do it. Because if you have the basics, you have all you need, you just need the push.
The fear is that push. It is there to motivate you, it is there as your friendly enemy.
For instance: You have a comfortable salary. You have an ‘ok’ job with nice people, but it doesn’t fulfill you. You want to paint for a living; specifically, you want to freelance and create portraits for families. It’s a great dream, but it means dropping the salary, probably suffering a huge pay cut. It means being slightly lonelier and entering an industry that isn’t as used to you.
You’re scared because you don’t know if it will work out, you don’t know what will happen when you let go of that routine.
But that’s precisely why the fear is so crucial because it reminds you that you have absolutely NO clue whether it could work out, you have NO idea what’s going to happen. You have an overwhelming sheet of uncertainty. It is truly terrifying but with it comes the flip side. You have no clue whether you might actually rise to success quicker than expected. You have no idea how incredible it might feel when you realize you’ve “made it”.
There are a thousand examples just the same, but the most universal thing to remember is that if you are scared it means your heart is beating. If your heart is beating then you have a life to live for and living is not wondering, it is simply doing.
Featured Image Credit: TONL