Living in your passion is what many of us strive to achieve in this life. When you decide to take that first step into doing what you love, it can be the most liberating feeling ever. However doing something out of your comfort zone and playing bigger than ever before can evoke unintended feelings of inadequacy. You find that the very thing you’re passion about is shared among other people. You find yourself competing among people who are very established in your industry and appear to have it all figured out.
I’ve had my fair share of negative experiences when trying to finally show myself to the world and step into my passion/s (politics, blogging). One instance that stuck with me was going to a networking event which turned out to be more like a popularity contest. If you didn’t dress a certain way or have a social media following, you were quite frankly overlooked and ignored. As someone who had just started putting myself out there I quickly felt like I didn’t belong and started believing that I lacked the ability to be successful. This experience in particular made me scared to put myself out there in fear of rejection. But by suppressing what I loved I missed out on some good opportunities that could have been beneficial to my personal growth and development.
At the beginning of the year I decided that I wasn’t going to hide away any longer just because I’m new to an industry/space. Even if I’m only recognised by a few I told myself I would produce unapologetically. This gave birth my blogging journey which I put off for a few years. I was adamant not to let anyone make me feel like I don’t belong. To test this new mantra I started going to a few events/talks that I’m passionate about so that I could better my craft. My highlight so far this year was going to my first my bloggers event called #blackbloggersuk where I met some amazing, genuine people.
These are a few words of advice I am interchangeably learning from others and through my own experiences:
1. We all start from somewhere- Whether you’re trying to grow a business, a blog or break into a particular industry, we all start from somewhere. A lot of people who you perceive as successful have been doing the work for many years and built their way up. You can’t compare the beginning or interim part of your journey to someone who’s been in the game longer than you. And yes there will be people who receive their lucky break overnight or at a quicker pace than you through connections or by chance. However just because someone’s got their quicker than you, it doesn’t mean you won’t either. Our journeys aren’t meant to look the same. Trust that your journey will lead you to somewhere profound.
2. There’s room for all of us to win- Don’t let anyone make you feel like you don’t belong. Conflated egos and huge personalities can sometimes makes us feel inferior and as though we are playing where we don’t compete. Remember that just by virtue of being your true self, you have something special to add to any space you’re entering!
3. Feel the fear and do it anyways- It can be super scary getting out of your comfort zone. You might have to start talking to people you never imagined, or go to that networking event and finally promote that business you’ve been planning for years. The fear of failure can force us into convincing ourselves that it’s not worth stepping into our passion or stalling for the ‘right time’. But remember that any loss you take you can rise back from. You have to believe that no failure is big enough to stop you from living your potential. You don’t want to live your life constantly regretting your inaction so just what you love anyways and have faith that things will eventually figure itself out.
4. Every mistake is a lesson- Your blog layout isn’t the best (coming for myself lol) or you’re unsure whether your mixtape bangs. But who said you’re going to figure out everything overnight? Don’t be afraid to try different things and see what works for you. All the mistakes/ misjudgments you make will be a lessons that can be used to your benefit. Instead of striving for perfection, just experiment. Remember this is a learning process so don’t be harsh on yourself!