This illustration is a great one. It shows “you” in the lower left-hand corner, carrying your dreams and goals (paper). You are moving along in the direction of your dreams and there are all sorts of things by the roadside, waiting to waylay you.
Perhaps well-meaning relatives or friends don’t want to see you get hurt, so they try to persuade you not to forge ahead. It may be that one of them tried something similar to what you want to do, but they failed, so they assume that you will probably fail, too. Maybe they are worried about what others will think of you, and by association, what people will think of them! Maybe they’re just pessimistic by nature. For whatever reason, they try to get you to give up your aspirations. That’s often only the first hurdle.
Our own feelings of guilt and fear, as well as a lack of self-confidence can present a roadblock to the realization of our dreams. Fear makes us too cautious, unable to take risks. Sometimes we fear failure, but sometimes actually fear success! That’s because we feel that we don’t deserve it – and that’s where the guilt comes in. How dare we succeed when we are not good enough to deserve it? Besides, we probably won’t be able to work hard enough, and we don’t know enough to succeed. And if we do succeed, someone will find out that we are actually a fraud, that we aren’t what they think we are.
Society itself can be against us. Think about the women who wanted to be able to vote. These women were not only laughed at and mocked, but also shamed, and in some instances, physically mistreated, bullied or abused. It’s amazing, in fact, what they suffered because of their “novel” idea that women’s opinions were just as important as men’s. It’s all the more incredible, when you realize that some of thees women who fought so hard for the vote never did get to vote themselves. Still, they fought on, in the hope that their daughters and granddaughters would be able to participate in the political process.
Inventors are no strangers to the derision of society. There’s always someone – often a person who is considered an “expert,” who is willing to say that this or that new idea will never succeed. How many people laughed at the Robert Fulton’s idea of a boat powered by a steam engine? Fulton didn’t invent steam engines, but he was the first to make steamboats commercially viable. Fulton’s Folly, they called it. Until it worked. I’m sure the Wright brothers had the same sort of detractors. I can just hear them now: “If God had meant human beings to fly, He would have given them wings.”
So… what’s your dream? Write it down. Think big. What would you like to happen if there were no obstacles to your success?
Now…. what’s stopping you? List the reasons why you think it might not happen. Look carefully at this list. How many of these roadblocks have you manufactured for yourself? These are things you can deal with yourself. Cross them off the list. Then look at the obstacles that are left – ones provided by other people. What’s the worst-case scenario? Could you live through it? Probably, unless your dream is to do something so dangerous that it might kill you if it doesn’t work out. And even if it does kill you – you won’t die. Only your body will.
And what if you actually succeed? 🙂