The Grit Behind the Glamour: Personal Challenges on the Path to Pursuing Dreams

Here’s the truth about my personal quest to pursue my dreams: more often than you know, I am utterly and completely terrified.

To be more specific, I am referring to debilitating, anxiety-inducing fear that prompts an overconsumption of pastry goods and a domino-effect freak out that suddenly turns one problem into 99- (like Jay-Z memes after Lemonade dropped).

If you are familiar with my motivational, positive approach to life, this might come as a surprise to you. While I mean all of the words I say, it doesn’t mean I am immune to self-doubt or insecurity- most of the time, the encouragement I share serve as reminders for myself to keep going, and to reinforce my faith when I can’t see what’s ahead.

 Because behind all the glamour (of creating the life I want), is a whole lot of grit.

In my own effort to shake off my fears, I decided to start this week off by reflecting on a few observations I’ve noticed about myself when I go through my ‘freak out’ moments. If you can relate to any of these, or have valuable approaches that you’d like to share, please do. Support, in any form, is incredibly necessary in this process, and I am humbly inviting you to join me as we continue to strengthen ourselves as we march forward to claim our milestones.

Observation #1: I am an overachiever, and I am really, really hard on myself.

As an overachiever, I constantly struggle with thoughts of, ‘am I doing enough?’. I am mercilessly hard on myself, and often feel guilty each time I take a break because I always feel like I should be doing more. Though my ambition is one of the things I love most about myself, it has also served as a reason for me to neglect caring for the things that truly matter. 

Fortunately, since moving to Paris, this has improved tremendously (the lifestyle here encourages l’art de vivre, after all), but even still, I find it hard to stay present because I feel the urgency to keep thinking about moves I need to be making tomorrow.

One thing I’ve realized is that I MUST be kinder to myself. I have to make a bigger effort to acknowledge and appreciate all the efforts I’ve made, and to remind myself that I am doing the best that I can. Every effort, however small, matters, so long as I am taking a step forward in the direction I want to go. Even when things feel scary, I have to do my best, and that is enough. And God forbid, if I need to take a break, I will take it. In the wise words of Deepak Chopra, “Sometimes doing less, accomplishes more.” I hereby give myself more permission to stop and enjoy life, guilt-free.  

Observation #2: My physical health/fitness is connected to my mental + spiritual + emotional health.

 Regrettably, I admit that my fitness regimen has dipped for quite some time now, and I’ve noticed that my level of motivation has dipped along with it! I recognize that my physical activity is connected to my overall health (physical+ mental+ emotional + spiritual), and it is imperative to move our bodies to spark all the energies living inside us. So today, I invite you to join me in re-committing to our fitness. Who’s in?

Observation #3: Even when I feel like giving up, my inner intuition always, always tells me to keep going.

When things get a little challenging and you want to give up, remind yourself why you’re doing it all in the first place. And then ask, “If I stopped trying, will I regret it ten years from now?” If the answer is a resounding ‘yes!’ then you’ve found a reason to keep working.

The journey is filled with obstacles, adversity, and uncertainty. Going after what you want is a constant test of perseverance, courage, and resilience. But as Thoreau has once said, “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals”.

Pursuing my dreams has granted me with a wealth of life experience, and the richness of exploring and seeing parts of the world I’ve never imagined. Pushing myself has allowed me to study several languages in my lifetime, has allowed me to gain intellectual & cultural knowledge, and best of all, it’s given me the ability to gain a special emotional sensitivity that makes it easier for me to forge authentic human connections. Who I have become in this journey is a woman I can truly LOVE and be proud of.

With that being said, I want to turn it over to you and ask, what are you most proud of at this very moment? What can you do to be kinder to yourself today? What action will you make to take care of yourself?

I would love to hear your reflections and form a collective force field that pulls us all together to create a positive surge of energy to start this week.

And PS > if you’ve got a good song or playlist to share, please do! Here's one of mine.