As many of you know I love twitter. Lately, however, it has been a love-hate relationship. I get very frustrated reading over and over again how people say "I keep dreaming" "I am thinking positive" "I keep praying for my dream to come true" "No one will help me" etc., followed up by the universal "and nothing is happening", "There is no hope", or "it's not working". Positive thoughts are excellent and I believe everyone should have a dream or a goal. Without ACTION behind it, however, you will go nowhere. Yes following a dream is scary. Yes most of us feal fear. Yes it is hard. The hard way is usually the right way.
As my years as a university student come to the last year I have had to face many of my own fears. I have always been good with coming up with dreams, turning them in to goals, and taking action. My personal struggle is with fear. For me, fear of failure, usually makes me fail. I didn't realise how big this personal fear was until I started college. Until I went back to school I honestly believed that if I worked hard enough, I could do anything. That was great until I failed my first exam, then an entire class! The more I failed the more fear I felt and the harder everything got. People telling me it was ok because it was a hard class, or even worse those that refused to believe I was actually failing, didn't make me feel better. The fear was there and it still is.
Most professors assume your grade is a reflection of the work you put in; this is usually true, but not always.
It has taken many years of ups and down to re-train my mind to think productively. Instead of saying "Chemistry is my worst subject" I am now saying "OK, a challenge to conquer!" instead of giving up when I fail, I keep putting in the work as if I'm an A+ student. The fear is still there but I am not letting it win. Not This Time. This semester I failed my Organic Chemistry class. It was dissapointing and frustrating, especially when the Professor gave up on me, you could see in his face he didn't think I was putting in the work. The truth is I just have a really hard time getting Chemistry. I eventually do get it, it just takes me longer than others. Thankfully I am a Zoology major and good at that. This summer I will be retaking Organic Chemistry, Defeating my fear of failure and accomplishing the goal to pass.
I thought I'd share with you some tips I have learned and a story to help you fight your fears, dream big, and work hard to make them come true.
Here's for everyone who keeps saying "I pray and pray and nothing's happening",
The story my Dad used to tell me, not a new one but very relatable to most things in life:
'God Will Save Me' (This story applies to any religion, even the non-religious like me)
A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.
A faithful man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust if I am
in danger, then God will send a miracle to save me.”
The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”
As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”
The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A
police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”
The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.
A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, "Grab my hand and I will pull you up!" But the man still refused, “No thank you! God will save me!”
Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.
When the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?” God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”
The moral of the story is you can't expect others to do it all for you. You have to help yourself.
People see me now as a strong, self-sufficient, capable women, with everything anyone could possibly want. What most people don't know is what I went through and fought my way out of to get here. Don't ever assume someone is "Lucky"; those lucky people probably work a lot harder than others and deserve what they have acheived.
Here are some tips I use that can help you follow your dreams and fight through even the toughest times:
First, Believe You Can Do Anything! You Can! I Believe In You!
Know It Will Not Be Easy. It Will Be Rewarding.
It's OK To Change Your Dream And Take A New Path.
Ask For Help. If you need help, ask. Just remember to use it as guidance not for someone to do it for you.
Make A Plan! Set a big Goal then figure out what the small goals are to achieve it, and tackle those one at a time.
Failure Happens. It just means you need to try a different approach. It does not mean that you should give up.
Change Your Thinking!
Turn "I hope", into "I will", and "I can", Turn "Dream" into "Act", "Try" into "Do" you get the picture. You can train your brain to believe in yourself.
No One Is Perfect. No One.
Find And Use Inspiration. I use music, quotes, workouts and a heavyweight punching bag.
Reward yourself for small and large victories. Reward yourself for coming through failures.
You CAN Do Anything!
Here is how the above works for me:
I believe I can do anything and plan on saving wildlife and helping our planet. I know it will not be easy but I will not quit.
This is my newest of many paths. I used to be a Soldier, an Actor, and now I am on the path to Conservation Zoologist.
When the going gets rough I ask for help. Tutors or professors help me when my mind is just not grasping something at school. My friends listen when I need to vent. I ask for hugs when I need one. Some days I just allow myself one day of a good cry as long as I make sure to pick myself up the next day.
My Big Goal Is To Save The Worlds Wildlife. I want a job that does this. To get there I must finish my college degree. To get my college degree I must pass individual classes (see how this works) etc.
I know fear and failure but I use them to try new approaches and defeat being defeated.
I accept I am not perfect. (I don't like it but I accept it)
I sing or listen to music when I need a pick-me-up, I find inspirational quotes when I fear failure, I work-out or punch my boxing bag when I'm frustrated, I meditate when I need calm.
I reward myself with small things for the small victories. My big reward when I graduate is a trip to Australia that has been planned for and saved for since I started school. My biggest reward will be saving wildlife.
We Can Make A Difference In Our Lives, Others Lives, and Our Planet. You Can Change The World!
A Few More Of My Favorite Quotes:
"I am not discouraged because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward." ~Thomas A. Edison
"Show me a man who never failed, and I'll show you a man who never tried." ~Teddy Roosevelt
"Nothing will work unless you do." ~ Maya Angelou
"Do what you fear and fear disappears." ~David Joseph Schwartz
"There is no substitute for hard WORK and no success comes without struggle." ~Dwayne Johnson 'The Rock'
Now Is The Time! Have A Dream. Make A Plan. Fight Your Fears. Put In The Work.
All The Best! Rebecca