In this series, we’ll explore small steps you can take to align your career and passions. It’s how Maven was born, and we’re never looking back. Join us on the journey to live a life you truly love.
You’ve made the leap to move your passion from an idea to a living, breathing thing in this world. Congratulations on taking the hardest step: the first one.
You’re carving out regular time in your schedule to devote to your passion. Even if the steps feel small, it’s a relief to take action towards your dream instead of letting the weeks roll by. But now, doubt might begin to settle in. The voice that asks, “Are you sure you want to be vulnerable and put your work out there? Do you really think it’s good enough?”
Before you know it, you’ve talked yourself into focusing on everything but your passion. It’s time to stop this cycle altogether, and if possible, get ahead of it before it begins.
The next part of chasing your daydream is simple: take yourself seriously.
Achieving this mindset means growing confidence in your craft and your decision to pursue it. It’s more complex than knocking out a to-do list, but there are a few easy shifts you can make to propel yourself forward.
First, address your internal self-talk. It’s cliché, but no one will take you seriously until you believe it yourself. If you’re spiraling with doubt and negative thoughts on why *you* are worthy enough to pursue this dream, stop right there. Remember why this is your passion, and simply keep creating. Be so busy actually doing the work that you don’t have time for “what-ifs.” A few handwritten affirmations on the wall near your desk are another way to gently remind yourself on a rough day.
Second, think about how you discuss your work with others. Get the words “just” and “only” out of your vocabulary. You’re not “just someone who likes taking pictures,” you are a photographer who is building a small business. You aren’t, “only posting on a personal blog,” you are building a portfolio of work to submit to large publications and eventually write a book. As women, we often minimize our achievements and avoid drawing attention to things we care about. It’s time to smash that habit. Get comfortable in these conversations even if you’ve got an internal case of impostor syndrome.
And third, ask for far-reaching opportunities. Submit your resume to your dream company, even though you may be a few years away from being qualified to work there. Make the introduction. Get used to the process of being rejected and recovering quickly. Make uncomfortable asks and send proposals to dream clients. Most of the time you’ll get a “no, but putting yourself out there regularly is valuable practice in understanding what works and what doesn’t. And hey, maybe your work is exactly what your dream client is looking for!
Here’s to making your daydreams a reality. How are you showing up for yourself this week?