There are so many obstacles that can spring up when you set your mind on a goal. Some of them can be crippling enough to throw you off of your game. I have been very lucky to have received so much positive support from all of my friends and family when I disclosed that I had been writing a novel and expressed my hopes of getting it published. I want to take this moment to thank them, they have truly made this process so much more enjoyable! As I continue to work on the second draft, one thing that I notice is that I have to repeatedly find ways to ignite the fire that got me going in the first place.
Hurdles vary for everyone; more often than not we probably create them ourselves by getting in our own way of success with insecurities. If you’ve been put down in the past and carry that negativity with you it could cause you to quit before you give yourself the chance to really get it going. If you start to find yourself getting negative or you start losing focus, then you have to search for motivation wherever and however you can.
One approach that worked for me was reading up on the experiences of other folks that had been in my shoes. Obviously it is more helpful if they are in a similar field but it doesn’t have to be. Even if the basis of your mental battle is similar to theirs but the end game differs, that’s ok. The point is to be inspired by someone else’s journey and their ability to overcome adversity.
This can be done the traditional way of searching for an inspiring biography like, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot. (With the title alone I know I don’t have to go into detail about the subject of the book.) Or, there is also the more modern approach of using social media as a means to connect with others facing similar challenges and finding inspiration through their attestations. I recently opened my twitter account, @ineslozanolit, to begin networking in my area of interest. The added – and unexpected – benefit came when this twitter account turned into a new source for inspiring stories. I use this account primarily to post links to this blog but when I began following other people in the literary field, I ended up coming across some truly influential testimonies. Freelance editor C.S. Blocher (@RiteLikeRowling) is one of the inspiring folks that I am referring to. Posting her experiences and expertise is encouragement in itself, but she also took the time out to offer me some sweet words of confidence regarding my journey. From time to time we may hit a plateau or maybe doubt finds its sneaky way of creeping in and making you teeter with the idea of giving up. Well, don’t! On more than one occasion my motivation was spurred by a post or tweet.
Another obstacle that often hinders dreamers from taking a chance is the fear of rejection. Its a valid fear, one that I believe most if not all dreamers share. But it cannot be allowed to over throw your aspirations. There are different ways of trouncing this hinderance. It could be faith, as it was with me. Or, as I noted previously, it could also be finding motivation through another persons experiences. If you have read any of my previous posts, you will likely be expecting me to insert some information about J.K. Rowling right here and you’d be dead right! Had Rowling given into the multiple rejections that she received, the world would have lost out on the gift of The Harry Potter series. Further, we would have been devoid of the intriguing Cormoran Strike series. When she tweeted pictures of a few rejection letters that she had received from a few publishers, I thought it was such a great way to pay it forward. It certainly helped me rid myself of some of that fear of being rejected by publishers. There are gifts that we all have to offer the world. In the end the ones who reject your talent could end up being the ones who miss out on being an integral part of that journey.
Sometimes your goal never gains legs because of how overwhelming the work seems. This occurred with me – I couldn’t figure out how to make it from point A to point B. I had to ingrain in my mind the notion that there is no such thing as instant success. Even when a success story seems instant, more often than not it isn’t. The hard and long road is where you gain your experience, where I expect my skin to get thicker. If success were instantaneous, what kind of legs would it be standing on? I had to tell myself to take the time to enjoy the process and remind myself to become a sponge and absorb everything that I learn and the people that I meet. Much like one of my favorite authors, Mitch Albom, I have a passion for sports. In my opinion, sports and athletes are another excellent source of inspiration. Two ideals that some of the greatest athletes in the world hold in common are: to be successful you must have a strong work ethic and the understanding that a championship is won one game at at time. Take the 2016 NBA Finals for example. The Cleveland Cavaliers were facing a feat that had never before been accomplished – coming back from a 3-1 deficit (near elimination) to win it all. They made NBA history by understanding and respecting the mountain before them. They knew that there was no chance of getting over it if they allowed themselves to get carried away with the grandness of the task. During post game interviews the top two players on the team, Lebron James and Kyrie Irving, both stated that they focused on one game at a time.
A goal is made up of pieces that together make up its entirety, but if broken up can be taken on individually. To use another sports analogy, in baseball it works the same; if a team is down by ten runs, one swing isn’t going to get the losing team caught up. The team that is behind must chip away at the lead to close the gap. The reason that I find it so easy to correlate sports with inspiration is that it physically proves that no matter how much adversity you face, it does not mean that you have to be counted out.
Thank you for following my journey!