WHAT’S THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE KEEPING YOU FROM LIVING YOUR PASSION?
I think of obstacles as hurdles. They’re in your way, but they’re not insurmountable. In fact, you really don’t even have to go over them in all cases. Sometimes you can simply knock them down or go around them. Now brick walls are a different story. Those need to be scaled or demolished, which is a similar concept, but on a much grander scale.
Fortunately for me, I don’t have any brick walls in my way. To me, the brick walls in life are things like substance abuse issues, lack of a basic education, mental or physical illness, poverty, fear from living in an abusive situation, and loneliness. Some of those may be overcome with tools, support, and determination, but others may not. I’m thankful that none of those situations apply to my life at this time. If I’m fortunate, they never will.
2. being uninformed
4. fear of change
Let’s examine these one at a time. Indecision is probably the biggest issue for me. I’m indecisive about what living my passion means or looks like. I’m not sure how to achieve a goal that I have yet to firmly define. I am passionate about writing, and would love to take my writing beyond my beloved blog, but I’m not certain in what direction I wish to go. I don’t have a Harry Potter or a Fifty Shades of Grey series in me, this I know. I have to figure out exactly what it is that I DO have in me.
The second issue is that I’m uninformed about how exactly this whole writing/publishing thing works. This is entirely my own fault. I know authors, I’m part of writing groups, and I have resources. I need to spend more time learning and less time making excuses, which brings me to the next point, inertia.
It is far easier to do what you already know than to change things up. I’ve lived this too many times to count. I’ve spent years in jobs that took life out of me, and I’ve given far too much of myself to relationships that gave me little in return. Why? Inertia. Change is difficult. It’s physics, really. Newton’s law. A body at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. Something like that. I can’t spend the rest of my life waiting for outside forces to intervene, though. If it’s to be, I have to make it happen, whatever “IT” happens to ends up being.
It’s all well and good to put out the rallying cry, but in the end I think the main reason for emotional inertia, Newton aside, is fear. After all, I’m only human. I know what I know and I know how to navigate the life I currently lead. I’m happy. I enjoy my work and my students and colleagues. I feel happy and productive and content that I’m making a contribution to the greater good. I’m generally satisfied with the compensation I receive for that work. Overall, things are pretty good. So why mess with a good thing?
I’m not afraid of failure. I’m not jumping off a cliff. Failure in a writing or publishing endeavor won’t leave me crumpled on a canyon floor. It won’t take food off my family’s table or turn us out into the street. It’s not failure that concerns me, it’s, dare I say it, success. What would that look like? What would that feel like? Would I leave my current situation? Would I be a pretender? Would I fool the general public, or at least a tiny slice of it, into believing whatever it is I’m selling? Because as an author, you really are selling. You’re selling your story and your point of view and your voice. Am I up to that task? I just don’t know yet. And I’m just not sure how I ought to proceed. Damn, there’s that indecision again.