Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together. –Ray Bradbury
We all live with self-doubt. Some days it eats away at us until it feels like there’s nothing left of our confidence. Once in awhile, we get a little blip of hope or joy that lifts our spirits, but for some reason that never seems to last. On the other hand, feelings of failure and doubt linger for days on end, convincing us that the best option is to simply quit. Give up the dream, forsake all aspiration. It’s not worth pursuing.
But you see, it is worth pursuing. As long as we love what we do, it is always worth doing. So when we find ourselves at a low point, certain the only higher ground can be found by giving up and moving on, we need to stop for a moment and breathe. Never make hasty decisions while upset, as it will only lead to wrong decisions. Always step back and remember that everyone goes through the hard times. Everyone suffers under the weight of harsh criticism and the loss of hope. But the best ones rise above it. The ones who win, who succeed, lick their wounds and push forward, better for the battle scars they’ve received. They don’t forget the pain, but they don’t let it consume them, either.
Consider this. Most of the successful people you know in life have been miserable failures at one point or another. J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter was rejected by twelve publishers and she was virtually penniless for many years. Walt Disney went bankrupt, was fired as a news editor for “lacking imagination,” and was turned down over three hundred times on financing for Disney World. The Beatles were rejected by several record labels, and were told “the Beatles have no future in show business.” Abraham Lincoln was defeated in eight elections in his lifetime. Lucille Ball was dismissed from drama school because they said she was too shy.
Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. He went on to say: “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Thomas Edison is famous for stating: “If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”
Apply this to your own life, your own dreams. Do you find yourself constantly weighed down by the criticism of others? Of the failure to make that winning shot? Don’t worry. It isn’t the end of the world, and it certainly isn’t the end of you.
We are blessed to live in an age where the sky literally is the limit. If you have the fortitude to withstand the storms, then you can emerge victorious. Only those who give up, step down, and let go are the ones who find themselves filled with regret. At least if you keep trying, keep pushing, you won’t feel any regret.
The joy of life is found in the risks we take, not in the passes. Even if we don’t get it right the first time, the beauty of it is that we can always try again. We are not limited to one success in life. We can have many successes, just as we can have many failures. Keep trying harder, because in the end, all we have is what we reach out and take. Success is not given, but earned. It’s not easily obtained, but comes to those who do their best to make it happen. Sitting on the couch and dreaming isn’t enough, we have to go out and do.
As an author, I’ve known my fair share of ups and downs. My day can easily be shattered to pieces by a bad review left on Amazon. There have been several times when I’ve seriously considered giving up writing and receding out of the public spotlight because it’s “easier” than dealing with the harshness of the real world. But the feeling always passes, and my confidence comes roaring back. It comes back because I remind myself that I can always make the next book better. Next time, I’ll hit that home run. And the blessing of it is that I love writing, so it never gets boring. It never gets old. Every word I write is a new challenge, a new opportunity.
I look forward to following my dream and pursuing success for many years to come. And you should too!
You fail only if you stop writing. -Ray Bradbury
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International bestselling Author Katie Jennings is the author of six full length novels, including the popular fantasy series The Dryad Quartet as well as the bestselling family drama series The Vasser Legacy.
She lives in sunny Southern California with her husband and cat, who both think she’s the biggest nerd ever. She’s a firm believer in happy endings and loves nothing more than a great romance novel.
You can find out more about Katie on her official website, www.katieajennings.com.