When “Follow Your Dreams” Gets Tough

BY Per Bristow

“Follow your dreams”! You’ve heard that all your life. And you’ve done it. Maybe as an artist, athlete, or entrepreneur. But now with all the struggle… the challenges… it’s not so fun anymore… you’ve lost the joy…

It’s a common feeling for artists, athletes, and entrepreneurs.

Dominic Cincotta is an amazing singer. But he lost the joy he once had for singing. I had the pleasure of meeting him at my Live Event in Melbourne, where he was gracious to come up on stage. Watch this video first. Then we’ll talk about how to ignite that joy again.

Helping artists and entrepreneurs ignite that spark within, to reignite the joy, to make their lives and careers soar, is very much part of what I do as a coach.

It’s important in order to live fulfilled lives, but also in order to achieve what you actually want to achieve.

There are several aspect to this of course, but let’s here address the word Dominic mentioned:

Awareness

Awareness is a huge component. As anyone who has participated in any of my live or online training knows, developing greater awareness is key to be able to rapidly improve in any area. And that awareness is actually one of the cornerstones to reignite joy.

Here’s why:

The huge trap we tend to fall into is the search for future “results”. It’s understandable. We all want results. But the question is how to get them.

Often it is the driven, ambitious person who is the one who falls into the trap of becoming more and more results oriented. When time passes and you still haven’t achieved the result you want, more and more frustration sets in. With greater success, you feel greater expectations from the outside world (as well as from within). You feel more and more pressure.

When you become better, what you used to do is no longer good enough. And if time passes and you’re still not achieving the results you think you should, it becomes very easy to feel “I’m not good enough”.

What are your dreams?

There’s nothing wrong with having dreams and goals of course. But operating with a result oriented mind is something very different from having dreams and goals.

Part of my training is to lead you through processes to awaken your awareness. When we do so we become better at living in the moment, and become better at being engaged in exciting processes. Through this you also begin to recognize progress that you would otherwise not have done.

Yes, one big part is to learn the difference between...

Result-oriented vs. process oriented.

It is the process oriented individual who actually gets the results.

When you shift your awareness and mindset in this way, you experience the world differently. Practice becomes fun. It become exciting to get up Monday morning to explore and discover, rather than try and do something “right”, or live up to someone’s expectations.

Unfortunately, we’ve been conditioned to be result oriented from an early age, through school, and through a lot of “training”.

Let’s look at traditional singing training as an example:

No discipline I am aware of tends to use words such as “proper”, “correct”, and “right” vs. “wrong” as much as in the world of traditional classical singing training.

We should realize that effective sports trainers don’t use such nonsensical words. In the world of effective training, there is no such thing as “proper”. The only thing that matters is what is EFFECTIVE for that individual at their stage of development and depending on what they are working on to improve.

That futile search for “proper”, for “perfection”, for what I “should accomplish”, or to be “good enough”, is a surefire way to sap the joy out of you.

The day when you are doing it “right”, is a day that will never come. It’s a fantasy. In fact, most “results” people strive for are fantasies because they actually aren’t aware of what they really want.

The most common feedback you get.

The most common feedback we get in life is when someone points out what is wrong. Why? Because that’s easy. Avoid the spelling “mistake”, avoid the math “error”, avoid making a fool out of yourself, don’t “miss”, don’t do this and don’t do that.

The fear of making mistakes, the fear of being wrong, the discomfort of messing up, the feeling of not being good enough, etc., takes a toll. Artists always have to prove themselves. They have to audition. The more successful you become, the more critiqued you'll become on social media, for example.

Athletes compete all the time and are benched the day they don’t do well. Entrepreneurs have to constantly fail and reinvent themselves, and struggle all day long. And most people get into these fields with a deep desire to prove themselves. (This can be turned into beautiful fuel for the benefit of mankind:))

So it’s very easy to become caught up in the feeling that “I’m not good enough”, and that “I’m not doing enough”. And with that pressure, joy quickly becomes absent.

What is joy really?

Joy comes from engagement in the process. And once you become deeper engaged in processes and develop deeper and deeper awareness, you develop at far more rapid speed, and experiences greater success as a results from that.

Yes, “results” are actually a bi-product from how effectively you can engage in the process.

So here are questions for you… Do you judge yourself or others in terms of “correct” vs “incorrect”, or “right” vs “wrong”, or “good” vs “bad”? What and who’s expectations are you trying to live up to? Do you feel you are not good enough? Do you feel life “should” be different?

Yes, life could be very different when you become engaged in beautiful processes where you are engaged in exploration and discovery, and then experience rewarding progress from it.

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“Follow your dreams”! You’ve heard that all your life. And you’ve done it. Maybe as an artist, athlete, or entrepreneur. But now with all the struggle… the challenges… it’s not so fun anymore… you’ve lost the joy…

It’s a common feeling for artists, athletes, and entrepreneurs.

Dominic Cincotta is an amazing singer. But he lost the joy he once had for singing. I had the pleasure of meeting him at my Live Event in Melbourne, where he was gracious to come up on stage. Watch this video first. Then we’ll talk about how to ignite that joy again.

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