One of the things that I have loved most about starting a blog is learning to be transparent. My struggles are as real as the next persons, even though you will never see them on social media and rarely hear them come out of my mouth. I’m too private to bare my soul to a bunch of people that in real life don’t care and too petty to give my doubters something to talk about over brunch with their friends.
As much as am I determined to fulfill my dreams, I have a habit of allowing life’s nuisances to come in and steal my focus. If you’re someone that I care about, your needs and happiness will often superceed mine, hence the reason I seem to lose more friends over their inability to be appreciative more than anything else. No one can ever question my loyalty or my friendship, so it always hurts and I will always walk when people take my time and efforts for granted.
I make chasing your dreams look effortless, but people don’t see the pep talks that go into making myself write, forcing myself to seek opportunities to further my goals, going out and purposely socializing even when I’m tired, and staying motivated even in a world where you will always get more “No’s” than “Yes’s.” My dreams are so big that sometimes they overwhelm me before I even get started. If people knew how many times I have talked myself out of things that eventually came into fruition…. Hell, it took me almost a decade to publish my first novel. The sacrifices that I make to remain “good”, to do for others as I would want them to do unto me are real, all while remaining focused on achieving my goals, and in the midst of it all, the Devil stays busy trying to steal my ambition and my belief that everything is working out for my good.
Over the years, my lack of focus and steadfastness have been a reoccurring issue. I dream big, create a routine, allow something to steal my focus, get discouraged, say fuck everything, and then wait for the cycle to start all over again. In 2016, I said I was coming for everything God said I could have, and today I sit realizing I’m on the verge of becoming discouraged. My routine was thrown off for a couple of weeks and now I’m having a hard time getting back in the swing of things. And I’m also torn and praying earnestly for discernment and clarity when it comes to the route to climb the ladder in my writing career.
It is times like this, when I have to take a deep breathe, remind myself of what really matters, and just focus. Below are some steps I use to help maintain my sanity when I catch myself trying to slip back into discouragement:
- Take a deep breathe and establish a to-do list. The breathe helps to calm my raging nerves and the to do list is the first stage to putting a plan in place.
- Devote time to complete each task. At the beginning of every week, you should have a rough idea of what days are minimally free. If not, it’s time to invest in a calendar or start putting your smart phone to use inputting important dates and events. Assign the items on your to-do list according to your schedule and make them non-negotiable. Look at your breakdown daily to make sure you are completing your tasks.
- Keep the main thing the main thing. When your goals and items on your to-do list are mapped out and visibile, you are more likely to think twice about meeting your friends at happy hour when you know you’re supposed to be working on making your goals come to fruition that night instead.
- Know when to take breaks and take care of your body. One of my favorite sermons by TD Jakes is titled, “Fit for the Fight.” Know when your body needs a break, and take that break accordingly. The better you take care of your body and sanity, the more your body can sustain the pressures and adversity you will face on this path to pursuing your dreams. Eat healthier, exercise, meditate, pray, rest well and stay fit for the fight.