9 Reasons Your Dreams Are Failing
– A motivational slap in the face to help you reach your full potential –
We’ve all got them – dreams. Aspirations. Ambitions. Goals. It doesn’t matter what you call them, they’re all similar in definition. Most of us have a reasonable, attainable idea of our dream – something tangibly realistic is always good. Our dreams and goals are constantly changing whether they be short or long term. But it’s not until you dig deeper into the specific foundations of that dream that you begin to realise why you’re gunning for it or even how to attain it. Moreover, what to do once you actually reach it. I’ve been trying to overcome this very hurdle myself in recent months. Not just in my day-to-day goals, but also in a much more specific, and long term perspective. Of course, I’m alluding to the goals and aspirations within the travel blogging and social media scenes in which I currently identify myself with. Lets dive straight into 9 reasons your dreams are failing.
I’m going to specifically focus on points and topics within this article surrounding the world of travel, social media and blogging. I’ll explain a few reasons why you’re more than likely not reaching your potential and how to ensure that you are putting the correct plans in place to achieve the results you desire – more importantly, the things you’ll need to carry out to be successful and at the very least, productive. Essentially, this post is designed to kick you in the arse and get you moving! A somewhat motivator if you will to remind us all to keep pushing forward and to reach a little further. I decided to touch base on this topic to not only provide some ideas and motivation to others, but to also hold myself accountable as of today in hopes (certainty) that I’ll also be ensuring I’m making progress and giving myself some scope on the direction in which I’m headed. This article comes to you as a caffeine fuelled, time sensitive and sleep-deprived writing extravaganza – all of which I’m hoping will give the following points just that little bit more merit. So buckle up readers – let’s get into the specifics on why your dreams are failing. It’s time to reassert the need to hold yourself accountable in order to reach those milestones sooner and fulfil that potential.
- Your dream is just a dream.
I’ve often said this in many articles I’ve been interviewed for, advice I’ve given to others starting out or to other business minded and entrepreneurial souls like myself – if you aren’t making steps already to help better serve your aspirations and support them, you may as well not bother. Put simply – make a start today or get left behind. My advice – start now, think later.
This advice doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. Sometimes it’s easier said than done – I understand that. I’ve learnt from that and I also wish I’d taken more of my own advice that incessantly runs through the back of my mind, day in and day out. We all hear it, that little voice telling us to go for it. For whatever reason, you’ve been ignoring it – well don’t! Start today and begin putting in small plans and steps to get your idea and dream off the ground. If you don’t start it today, when will you? Tomorrow? Next week? I call bullshit! Get hopping and get planning today. Hell, start planning it while you’re at work. I did! I was in the exact position you were before I decided I wanted to set off in a career in writing and travelling. It could be something as simple as starting a blog or exploring somewhere new – there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t start that endeavour today.
This simple kick in the arse is what put me in the position I am today. It’s allowed me to travel to some of the most amazing places in the world, work with incredible travel companies, and write about the destinations I visit, all while pursuing a love for marketing and travel. In the beginning, I had NO friggin’ idea what I was doing. And for the most part, neither should you. You’ll learn as you go, just as I did – just as others have done. You’ll learn many things along the way that will help shape the way you want to run your business, life, company etc. What I’ve managed to learn in the last two and a half years has been phenomenal. It never would have happened if I didn’t make a start.
Just start somewhere.
2. You’re full of excuses. Too tired/busy/lazy. Probably the latter.
This is a big one and ties in directly with point one – and every other point in this article for that matter. The excuses you make to start with will undoubtedly be the pitfalls in which your dreams will suffer. Despite that grim representation, it’s only normal to start out with these excuses. It’s a creative burden, but it’s natural. A lot of this comes down to self-doubt and reassurance in most people. We’ve all heard the quote by Susy Kassem: ‘Self-doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will’ – such a true declaration. You can fail a hundred times, but on the one hundred and first attempt, you never know what might happen. Here we’re faced with the underlying theme of never giving up on something you really want. Excuses will always be lingering, but don’t let those excuses inhibit your ability to make a start and begin making some ground work. Most of us work ‘regular’ jobs – so therefore, are often too tired or busy at the end of each day to pursue anything further. That’s a part of life. Here’s where I believe a little hard work can go a long way.
If you work the regular 9-5, you’ve still got multiple hours in the day to smash your goals and get cracking on your business, lifestyle, idea or whatever really… I often see similar quotes along the lines of ‘Why waste your time and hours working on someone else’s dream when you could be building your own?’ Valid point! Your downtime is your time to build yourself up and work on improving you. No one wants to spend hours in a day working for someone else – no one. Yes, we all do it, but use it merely as a stepping-stone to bigger and better things. Use your available time to hustle and make improvements on your own life and steer yourself in a direction that you’re proud of. I get it; we all have to work to live. But I can guarantee if you spend your extra time working on yourself – improving yourself – many good things will come of it. You just have to hustle and put the effort in. No laziness. This then brings us to the next point.
- You don’t hustle.
You may have heard this term quite often (too often already within this article). ‘Hustle’. It is what it is, and if you’re not hustling, there’s a good chance your aspirations, existing plans and long term future goals will disappear just as quickly as those excuses that reared their ugly heads back at point number two.
The hard work only begins once you’ve got yourself established. Hustling your way to the top is the only way forward from here on in. If something isn’t working for you, take a step back (a real big step in some instances) and re-assess. Take a break and hit the refresh button. You’ll soon be able to re-evaluate your situation and continue your hustle. Failure isn’t an option if your hard work is consistent and well planned. In most cases, your work ethic speaks volumes about you as an individual. I’ve had jobs arise in the travel industry purely based on my work ethic that someone else valued in a prior job. One of the biggest motivators in building your own lifestyle is by working hard on a consistent basis. Trust me on this one – people notice and it’s inspiring to others starting out. Set a good example for your audience and for yourself. You never know who is watching.
- You’re too focused on what everyone else is doing.
In recent times, this is one of the points I’ve struggled with most. So instead of giving my advice, perhaps I’ll leave you with some thoughts and ideas I’ve had on combatting this in the past – even to this day, I still struggle with overcoming the barrier of what everyone else is doing, achieving, creating, thinking and progressing on. Over time, I think I’ve pinpointed this particular issue for me to be a combination of FOMO and a genuine interest in bettering myself. So, here’s what I’ve learnt along the way, and how to best tackle it.
If you’ve decided to plan a career and forge a livelihood within the creative industries, good chance is you’ve stumbled, fallen or knocked yourself out cold on this hurdle. It’s a bitch! There’s no denying it. Focusing too much on what others around you are doing and not on your own endeavours is a sure-fire way to distract yourself from pushing forward, create self-doubt and unravel all of your motivation. It’s a killer and probably the number one distraction and reason (other than #1) why the above points are keeping you from achieving the goals you’ve set out to accomplish.
We live in a world where visual media is the undeniable king of consumerism and marketing. We are consuming visual streams of media more than ever before and if you’re anything like me, sometimes it can honestly be too much. It’s everywhere and almost inescapable. I spent the last month out of the game as far as most social media is concerned due to a knee injury, and it’s been a good way to pull back from the chaos and switch off occasionally. It also reminded me why I started down this path and what I had initially set out to achieve. It put a lot of things back in perspective for me.
I found that during this time off, I was focusing far too much on what everyone else was doing, achieving and succeeding at. I began to question myself and where I was at in my career, and why my level of success wasn’t the same as others within the industry. I’d begun comparing myself to others – And yes, as I’m sure you are aware, I’d broken all the rules set out in the points above. I stopped hustling, created self-doubt, and got lazy – regardless of the injury at the time or not. I’m here to tell you it will happen at one point or another along the journey. Social media (any industry for that matter) will do this to you – the illusion of second guessing yourself, particularly when you’re heavily involved in the industry and are trying to carve your own pathway through will have a way of making you second guess EVERYTHING.
Stepping back however, also made me think… I’m involved in a creative field, but there’s very little fucking creativity anymore. I didn’t feel like I had the creative energy anymore. It had become somewhat stagnant. Focusing on what everyone else around me was doing ultimately started eating away at my own mindset and began weakening my own focus and lines of judgement. I’m referring to the things we see all over Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook etc. in case any of you were wondering what it was specifically. On a side note, Sera Melotti wrote an unbelievably honest and truthful article on this same matter just a few weeks ago (Titled ‘INSTAGRAM CREATED A MONSTER’). Take a read of it here to better understand what I’m referring to.
After being heaved downward into a rut of despair and thought provoking self-judgement, I had to take a step back and revaluate where I was headed with this whole ‘thing’ – the entire travel, lifestyle and marketing pursuit. Think I’m crazy? Think again. I can guarantee almost every creative soul out there has encountered exactly what I’m speaking about at least once in their lifetime – a crippling and debilitating form of writers block so to speak.
Despite what I’ve just written, and without referring too much to my own personal situation, try to focus on you and you only. Particularly when it comes to your work and creativity, but by all means, ask for help when you need it (there’s absolutely no shame in that). It’s a time to be selfish and block out whatever else is happening in the realms of creativity and social media. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s fantastic to be inspired and to also draw on the inspiration from others around you, but don’t over focus and become too fixated on what’s happening on your screen. It’s dangerous and ultimately acts as a distraction in providing you with an ability to succeed.
As I said earlier, almost everyone is guilty of this one. Take some time off to revaluate and refocus your energy. You’ll thank yourself for it later. Wow, I rambled a lot in this section. Apologies.
- You suffer from a severe lack of motivation.
Enough said on this one. Refer back to point number two should you need to. We all have lapses in motivation. That’s a given. To avoid it, try something new. Expand your horizons by photographing something new. Write an entirely new article (much like this one), get personal, stay healthy, get outside and get some fresh air, look at things from a different perspective and get back to being motivated. Mix things up a bit to keep you focused. Variety is key to tackling this one. It will be key to your future success. We got straight to the point on #5. Stay with me.
- You fail to network.
Hands up all you socially awkward people out there! Yup, the ones who chose the creative industry and outlets as their way of expressing ideas and emotions. Yes, you!! I don’t know about you, but I do actually plan on being a real life cat lady (man) when I grow up. No joke! Well, actually I’m more of a dog guy to be honest. When it comes to furthering any signs of potential success, creating new friends in the industry or collaborating in general, networking will become your number one tool. It’s time to get out there, socialise, network and get ready to mingle like a single pringle.
There are SO many benefits to collaborating as a creative entrepreneur such as making new friends, bringing ideas to fruition and discovering more about the industry you chose along the way. Collectively, it’s a great way to showcase your own creative flair among other peers that are also similarly interested. You never know whom you’ll meet once you get networking, not to mention word of mouth. Do you have a crazy cool idea that’s been eating away at you but not sure how to showcase it? Consider collaborating and networking with others to bring that idea to life. Good chance is, their creativity and ideas will be just as crazy as yours.
Set aside a couple of nights/days of the year to attend events. I happen to be heading to the Travel Massive event in Brisbane for the first time this week which I’m super nervous about – also super excited. Usually I chat on camera through the form of vlogs, so I’m looking forward to putting myself out there again in a totally new way via a networking event. I’d encourage you to do the same. Thank me later.
- You’re Overwhelmed
While it proves quite the opposite of point number two, becoming overwhelmed brings with it a whole new set of challenges you’ll have to face. So, you’ve managed to keep hustling and it’s brought you to this problem (if being overwhelmed by awesome creative work is considered to be a problem). It can be if you don’t manage it correctly. If you’ve made it to this stage in your career – congratulations. It means you’ve worked your arse off and successfully navigated through the hurdles presented in the above-mentioned points. Laziness wasn’t an issue for you, nor was a lack of crippling motivation. The feeling of being overwhelmed might appear daunting when your time management is out of whack – more explicitly, when you’re not prioritising certain tasks or creative jobs over others. It’s by this stage that you should be honing your skills and really focusing on a select niche and audience. If you do this successfully, you should be able to pick and choose what projects best suit you and your time. I’ll admit I’m still fine-tuning this step and the specific niche I’m targeting. So watch this space.
Don’t overstretch yourself and think that tackling every job thrown your way is going to make you look best to your clients. It won’t. In fact, for the most part, they won’t give a shit about other projects you have going on. They selected you for a particular service, so it’s then up to you to accept and deliver. If you’re at this exact point with your business, dream or ambition in life, you either need to be charging higher costs for your services, so in turn you’re getting the select clientele who can afford your creative service, or simply dial back on the number of jobs you are agreeing to undertake. It’s essentially that simple.
- You’re afraid to stand out and put yourself out there.
My number one thought when I first started my YouTube channel was ‘What the hell is everyone going to think?’ Yup! And that goes for about 90% of people who start vlogging in my opinion. But you know what, kudos to those who actually give it a go. It’s a billion times more difficult than you could imagine. Holding a camera up to your face and talking to it in public is definitely not a natural habit and it certainly doesn’t appeal to everyone. It looks weird, you feel weird but for some strange reason, I love it. I’ve encouraged a few friends to give vlogging a go to add another dimension to their creative arsenal. Personally, it lets me showcase a destination in a different way, expand my creative repertoire and allows me to be more personal with my target audience. You have to be willing to do things that others won’t to better your success. It’s a saying that gets thrown around a lot, but it couldn’t be any more true.
Similar principles apply with your dreams and aspirations. All I have to say on this one is, ‘Put yourself out there!’ Embrace what’s next to come and I can assure you that with a little bit of hard work, you’ll do just fine.
- You fail because you’re too afraid to take what you want.
– Or believe you don’t deserve it.
This topic might relate to some on a more personal level than others. I know it definitely does for me. I grew up being told by many that you get what you’re given. Haha. But I told myself as I grew older, ‘You get what you want by working hard for it – by dedicating yourself to the cause.’ My parents also instilled this value in me from a young age. No one in this life will ever hand you anything unless you’re willing to shed blood, sweat and tears over it. The only exception being a juicy burger from Grill’d. I don’t work hard for that shit. I’ll simply order it like twice a week and not think twice about ordering a third. Burgers are life! #notsponsored
Aside from the delectable burger(s) I didn’t have to work hard for, you should be proud to take what it is you want and own it. If you’ve worked hard in the lead up to pitching a business model or creative idea, whether it be a print you’ve photographed or a tourism board you’ve worked hard to be a part of as a content creator, you deserve it. Don’t let a little fear creep in and ruin this for you. Admittedly, I’ve done this in the past because in some cases, I never thought I was ready to tackle certain projects. Don’t be me (the old me) in this situation – be you and run at it head on. Seriously, what’s the worst that could happen? Have fun, and enjoy the journey. You’re here to learn and experience.
I plan to use some of these tips over the course of the next couple of weeks as I venture to a new country – New Zealand. While I don’t usually tackle colder climates, I’m keen to shake things up a bit and learn a few new photographic skills, write more often and explore a new world of wild landscapes and opportunity. New Zealand seemed like the perfect location to push my boundaries, create new content and get back to enjoying creating video for YouTube. I hope this article was of some help to a few of you out there who may also be struggling to find a way to start working towards a dream of your own. Keep at it and work hard.
Happy and safe travels.
If you liked this post, please feel free to comment below and leave me any of your tips on reaching your potential.