Back when I still worked at my 9-to-5 job, most of my free time was spent researching about how to become a freelancer and create a business of my own. I had this itch for trying to go out on my own, without any bosses looking over my shoulder.
My heart yearned for freedom, and I was going to do anything I could to make that happen.
During this time, I launched my first website, met a ton of other up and coming online entrepreneurs, and learned a ton of new skills. I felt I could do anything I wanted.
That empowering belief helped me to push through long nights working bit by bit to gain a small but loyal client base. It was hard work, but the people who surrounded me were cheering for me as much as I would cheer for them.
Every month I was able to see progress towards my goal, sometimes it was huge, and I would land a project, other times I would just stumble forward like a child still learning to walk, but it didn’t matter, I was moving forward.
As time passed, some of those connections started to drop off and pursue other ventures. They still remain good friends with me, but they are no longer freelancers or entrepreneurs, but they found their own path in life.
Fast forward some time, and now I was running a successful freelancing business, I moved into a new apartment and was doing ok. However, something had changed.
I was no longer surrounded by empowering people. This time I was surrounded by people who were afraid of working for what they wanted to achieve. At some point along the way, I grew complacent of my connections and the people who were around me.
Whenever I was talking about a new venture or idea, I would meet resistance or destructive criticism towards my skills or my business. Instead of empowered I felt afraid.
And believe me when I say, you don’t want to make decisions based on fear. You will only regret them as I did.
My business tanked, I missed a ton of opportunities, and I started to downvalue my work. I was stressed about money and trying to make ends meet. It was a dark time for me.
If you have read any of my previous articles, you know that I exploded and decided to go on my own and I kinda became a hermit for some time. I needed time to put my life back together.
One day, staring at the ceiling while trying to sleep, my mind started to remember those days back when I began my freelancing career, and a question popped into my mind: If once I was brave and took so many risks, why I was so afraid now? What changed?
I was afraid to accept it myself that so many of the people who were around me, were only fueling my fear and my inner naysayer.
Don’t get me wrong, they are not evil, and they had good intentions trying to prevent harm from coming my way. But at the same time, I regarded their opinion so high that I was allowing their words to destroy my own confidence.
I was sinking down because I allowed such toxic environment around me. But in the end, it was my fault.
Now, I want to think about the people that surround you. I’m not saying they may be tangling you down, but sometimes, we love people so much that we allow their opinions to become our own.
You, my dear friend, are capable of doing anything you want. You can achieve any goal.
But, you need to keep your mind in the game, you need to remove any toxic thoughts that may be slowing you down. And sometimes, it’s hard to look around us and discover that, some of our closest connections may be feeding your inner naysayer.
And I’m not saying that you should take the same approach I did. I’m known for my extreme measures when I want to achieve something, but perhaps, it may be time to strengthen the walls in your mind to keep those ideas away.
It may be time to gather those who support your cause around you and start walking towards your goals. Because, when things turn hard, sometimes what you need is a friendly voice telling you that you can do it.