D is for…Dreams

D is for….Dreams.

When I grow up, I want to be an author.
This was not my dream as a child. I loved to draw and wanted to be an artist. But dreams change as your life changes. And sometimes we get so caught up in the daily hustle and bustle, that we forget our dreams. We stop mid-ladder and get busy on the rung we’re on, forgetting that we can still climb higher. I’m guilty of this. When I had kids, life got so busy that I was stuck in the now, trying to get through each day that came. But it is very satisfying to set a goal, strive for it, and achieve it.

So what makes those dreams and aspirations so difficult to achieve? Are we setting the bar too high? Do we lack motivation? Have we been dealt the crap card in life?

In my opinion, the biggest barriers to achieving one’s dreams is self-doubt and fear.

When I first started out in the author world, a cousin of mine congratulated me on successfully becoming an author. She said “I would love to publish my poetry someday but I have to become a better poet first.” It was a classic example of self-doubt.
I quickly said, “Just do it. I did not wait for anyone to tell me I was good enough before publishing a book. Heck, I was a pharmacist and teacher before this…not a writer! Take the leap, see what happens.”
But how do you quiet the inner critic enough to let you bravely put it out there? 
For me, I wrote a story about a time in my life when our chips were down and people, strangers, came to our aid and were so generous. I did not write it to become a writer or be successful. I wrote it to pay homage to them. It’s a super short book that I self-published and it’s rough…but it tells the amazing story that people have loved hearing for all these years. BOOM! First book published. 
This was all I needed to introduce me to the literary world and the self-publishing process. So for me, the way around self-doubt, was to go in and not expect much. Think of it as more of a spontaneous road trip where you are game for anything VS a planned expensive vacation. The expectations for the road trip are low so every cool site you discover, every cool person you encounter, every experience feels like a win. While the expensive planned vacation may be truly wonderful, there is an expectation. If you shell out good money, you expect to have a good time. But if it doesn’t go as planned, there is potential for disappointment.
So where did bypassing my self-doubt leave me?
I now have 2 published books with Limitless Publishing. Here’s a pic of them:
But I still have to work at keeping the inner critic in check and probably always will. Have you successfully steered clear of your self-doubt and fear to achieve a dream?