"Comparison is the death of joy."- Mark Twain
Most of us are familiar with the driving term "stay in your line". It simply means when driving stay in the lane that is most appropriate. For example, if you are on the highway driving 40 MPH in the fast lane, you clearly are not in the right lane. The people behind you, the ones driving the correct speed limit of 65 miles per hour, are going to blow their horns, flash their lights or drive really close behind your car to let you know you need to move over to the slow lane.
The same principle applies when it comes to pursuing your dreams. Staying in your lane when it comes to your dreams, means staying true to who you are and to your dream.
Before I hit publish on my first piece for wordsbytara.com, I knew nothing about blogging and social media. My learning curve was steep but I eventually taught myself what I needed to know in order to get started. I spent many hours researching and absorbing information from a variety of sources. There were times when I felt overwhelmed and confused by the amount of information I was consuming. The "experts" had different ideas about what to do and what not to do when trying to share your products and services online.
The "experts" also made it seem easy and glamorous. I am sure you are familiar with the Instagram pictures and the Facebook posts that talk about how they are earning thousands and thousands of dollars per year working 10 hours a week. The thing to remember about social media is that what we tend to see in the pictures are the end results. Rarely do we get to see everything that happened before the final picture was posted.
The pictures showing up in your social media feeds can easily make you believe your path has to look like someone else's in order to be successful. This could cause you to end up in the wrong lane with your God-inspired dream. I have learned that what the experts might not tell you is how long it took for him or her to make thousands of dollars each month or how difficult it was to follow their dreams, keep their faith and hope alive when everything was pointing in the direction of not working out.
How long were they driving in the slow lane before they could cross over to the middle lane and then to the fast one? Few people share these details. But I knew they all had a back story. For every glamorous picture, there was a story that went along with it. Sometimes the stories were wonderful and beautiful and other times the stories were filled with challenges, upsets, and failures.
The research I was conducting became overwhelming and so I decided to shut off the noise, anything that was outside of myself I silenced. This meant that for a period of time I stopped looking at blogs and social media posts. I stopped reading books about small business, following your dreams, success, and writing. I stopped listening to podcasts, watching U Tube videos and unsubscribed from newsletters. I did all of this so I could listen to myself again. I focused on what was most important to me, the type of writing I wanted to do, who I wanted to share my writing with and why.
When I decided to shut the noise out, I could hear my inner voice and the voice of my dream again. It became easier to make decisions for my writing and my site because I was making choices that were unique to me. No longer feeling overwhelmed, I was able to sift through the information and select what was best for me. I was staying in my lane.When I finally was on track with what I wanted for my site, I was able to implement some of the things I learned in ways that aligned with my dream. I eventually returned to some of the sites and newsletters I found helpful during my research. I also started viewing social media posts as a source of inspiration and not for comparison.
If you are in pursuit of your dream, but find yourself bogged down by all the messages coming at you, find a way to shut out the noise. Become quiet enough to hear what is in your heart and you will always be led in the right direction.
"Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray."-Rumi
And remember your lane is your lane. You cannot be anyone other than who you are. Your dream and your life will not look like anyone else’s and that is more than okay. Stay in your lane by remaining true to yourself and to the dreams God has given to you.
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Picture: Tara C. Pray
Picture: Tara C. Pray