When you were growing up, someone probably gave you the advice at some point to “go after what you want.” But chances are that when you tried to take this advice, you experienced some kind of pushback, either external or internal. Really going after what you want in your career (or any area) requires you to resist these pressures and be confident in your convictions and abilities.
"You can have the life you want if you think carefully about the individual experiences that make you happy, design behaviors to fit, and repeat the behaviors every day until they’re wired into your brain,” Loretta Graziano Breuning, Ph.D., founder of the Inner Mammal Institute, tells Bustle. “It’s hard to repeat a new behavior so commit your time and energy to this priority."
Obstacles are bound to come up along the way, though. If you encounter any of them, remind yourself that you and you alone get to decide what trajectory your life will take — and that magical things happen when you follow your heart despite all the noise trying to drown it out. Here are some things that shouldn’t stop you from going after what you want, because the only way to get what you want is to push past them.
Other People’s Failures
If you’re in a field where a lot of people don’t make it, people may warn you about your low odds. But if everyone took these warnings, nobody would succeed in competitive fields! Yes, it’s possible you’ll fail, but you’ll never find out if you don’t try. And if you don’t succeed, the attempt itself will be a learning experience that may propel you toward your life’s next pursuit.
Your Own Failures
Failing — and learning to do it gracefully — is a step on the pathway toward success. So, rather than view failure as a sign that you’re not accomplishing your dreams, view it as a learning opportunity that will bring you even closer to them. Use the failure as motivation to over-correct for your mistakes and do even better next time.
If your dream is to do something that’s considered socially undesirable, you may be afraid of upsetting people or tarnishing your reputation. But it’s the people who push the boundaries of what’s acceptable who make the biggest impact on the world. If you get backlash, remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing, and surround yourself with supporters who can help you tune out the haters.
Unfortunately, some women with big dreams end up with partners who expect them to take care of the kids or the household, which leads them to put their dreams on the backburner. Your partner should be the opposite: the biggest supporter of your goals. Don’t let them stop you, and if they try, reconsider whether the relationship is healthy.
It’s OK to feel unprepared or nervous when you’re trying to accomplish an ambitious goal. You don’t need to wait for these feelings to pass before you go after what you want. The insecurities may never go away, but you can repeatedly prove them wrong.
Of course, you need to think about your finances, but as long as you’re able to support yourself, money shouldn’t dictate your career choices. You’ll be much happier doing something you love and making just enough money to be comfortable than doing something you don’t love just for the money.
In short, nothing should stop you from going after what you want, and pushing through all these obstacles will make the experience of following your dreams even more rewarding.