For everyone not yet doing what they love...

my desk, today

For Everyone Not Yet Doing What They Love (Alternative title: A Tough Love Letter)

I have friends, too many friends, who are talented at something they enjoy. So talented that they could make money doing the thing they enjoy. Are they doing it? No. Have they been talking about doing it for months/years/since we've met? Yup. 

So then what is the hold up? The hold up is that they always have a reason why they aren't doing that thing yet. They aren't ready. They need to do more work on it first. This isn't the right time. Maybe next fall... 

Believe me, I totally get it. I'm the biggest perfectionist you'll ever meet. I want full creative control over every aspect of my life at all times and I hate putting something out there before I feel that it's 100% how I want it. But in life, you've got to sometimes roll with it. And that means sacrificing your perceived ideas of perfection in order to GET SOMETHING OUT THERE. Just start. For the love of God, put something together and start. Make it happen. 

You can hide all your life coming up with excuses as to why you aren't ready. Hiding is passive. It's the easy way out. You can play the role of the victim in life and talk about all the circumstances that have gotten in your way of making this thing, this dream, happen. You can lament forever about why this isn't a good time, why you should just push your launch date back till next spring...

Here's the thing, next spring you are going to wish you had started now. Did you hear me? NEXT SPRING YOU ARE GOING TO WISH YOU HAD STARTED TODAY. And, let's just take a moment to all be really honest here, next spring you're probably going to come up with a reason why you need to push back your launch date till summer. Tough love, because I love you- promise. See what I'm saying friends?

What is really stopping you from moving forward toward your dream life? 

If you're truly not good enough yet (like you keep saying as an excuse) to be doing this thing that you want to do so badly, then stop talking about how you're not good enough and do something about it. Take a class. Find a mentor. Start an internship. Practice, every week. How badly do you really want to be doing the thing that you love? Life doesn't just plop down successful stories in the laps of lazy people. Every big success story came at the high price of late nights, failures, lots of "no's", blood, sweat, a good amount of tears, and then finally a big YES. 

Are you afraid? Good. It's scary to put yourself out there. Nothing worth doing is ever completely free of fear and of risk. But you know what's even scarier? The thought of waking up 5 years from now, still not doing the thing you love, still coming up with reasons why you aren't ready or why you can't, and wasting you life away in a passive way. Take action. What is the absolute worst thing that could happen? Play it out in your mind. How will you handle it? Is it really that bad? So what if you fail? So what if nothing happens? You will be forced some days to make the decision, "Do I want to continue pushing forward, putting myself out there, growing and becoming better, or do I want to go back to a 9-5 life that is easier but not my dream?" So round up your resolve and do something. 

You are in the driver's seat. Where do you want to go? 
(And if you don't now your destination, forward is always a good direction to start moving in.)


**EDITED TO ADD: This post is not directed at anyone in particular. Sorry for any confusion due to timing. This is something I'd been working on writing for a week or so now after many conversations with friends frustrated by their fear of putting themselves out there. It kind of piggy backs on my post earlier this week on fear. Sorry if anyone was offended in any way. I only ever want to inspire. Thanks, B

16 Said Something:

  1. I truly hope you aren't directing this my way, because if you are, then we should have a talk.

  2. Oh, thank you!

    The timing of reading this could not have been better. We all could use a huge kick-in-the-pants at times. I could use a couple. I agree that bravery is a necessity. I'm about to have a birthday, and I'm insisting that I embrace risking (and trusting) a whole lot more in the upcoming year. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. I love this post. If you want something bad enough you'll put in the work to get it. And if you don't want to put in the work, then you didn't really want it. I have a friend who is so so so incredibly talented and she needs to raise her rates, quit her receptionist job and go for it. Drives me bananas to see her only photographing part time!

  4. Becka, what an awesome post (long-time reader, first-time commenter here). I'm someone who hates her cubicle and recently took this kind of advice to heart; now I'm taking photo classes on the weekend, experimenting with medium format film, and signing up for a scary-but-awesome photo workshop. This is the kind of tough love I need when I start to doubt myself! So thanks for writing this.

  5. Loved this post. Sometimes you need a kick in the pants and I think referring to this post in those times when all I want to do is take the safe road is just the right medicine.

  6. Just found your blog. Great post! I'm going to go check out some more posts now!

  7. I love the way you write. Always truthful and honest and practical advice. I always seem to take the safe road in life. Argh! Help!


  8. @Panic Room Nope, not toward you
    @Laura Happy almost Birthday! Here's to a year kicking ass like you never imagined!
    @Sarah I agree 100%
    @Maddie Hello new friend! I can't wait to see what you do!
    @Wonderland We all need a good kick in the rear sometimes
    @Rosa Nice to meet you! Hope you like what you read
    @Angela Thanks :) We all have a tendency to do that, baby steps toward your dreams and all of a sudden you'll realize you've gone a mile.

  9. I really enjoyed reading this and I will forward it to someone I know that I think needs to read something like this.
    I teared up when I saw your announcement with your baby... it was really cute! Even my baby kicked when I was listening to the song and the phrase It's a boy!

  10. Love your heart in this. Put my acting career on hold in February & 6 months later just launched my personal styling site 24 hours ago. ( With humility I can say that I am SO proud of myself for taking the leap to follow an additional dream & it feels INCREDIBLE to have launched. Do. It.

  11. Becka,

    THANK YOU so much for writing this I seriously am printing it off and am going to try and read it every morning while I am getting ready to go and work for someone else. THANK YOU for the ass kicking and inspiration.


  12. this blog is perfection Becka. but seriously, how do you do it ALL!?!???/

  13. thank you for such a wonderful post!! this majorly hit home and shed so much light in my life! xo

  14. So glad I stumbled upon your blog and this series. This post especially hit home, so thanks. :) xo

  15. Just popped in to view your blog from Balanced Brit and found this Tough Love Letter. May I say that even I feel the love emanating from your wise words. I too have been afflicted with the "Not Good Enough Yet" illness and the "Too Busy at the Moment" disease. But someone once said to me that no matter what I believed, I would never get better until I DID. Doing, improves everything in our lives and the more we do what we love the more time we will find. Great letter and I hope so many others have the opportunity to read it. Thankyou

  16. I wish I had been following your blog when you posted this, but I'm incredibly glad to be finding it now as well. You're right. We have no reason to wait to begin crafting our happiness! Thank you for that.


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