Don’t listen to the people that say you can’t.

Creating the life of your dreams is possibly the hardest thing you will ever do. You will have to work day after day knowing there is a chance of never reaching your aim. People may tell you that there is no way you’re going to reach your goals. They may laugh at you and criticize you behind your back. Even worse, you might believe them when you hit a rough patch and things don’t look good. The problem is, if you want to reach your goal as much as you claim to, you can’t believe them.

You may have heard it said that the only way to fail is to quit. You need to hold that as close to your heart as possible because I can assure you that most people want to quit at one moment or another. Instead, you need to march on with the belief that you will succeed because you will never stop. Even when everything seems to be crumbling, you’re going to take a step forward. It will be a tortoise’s step, slow and short, but it will be a step nonetheless. The momentum is on your side.

I sit here at my computer every day wondering when the big break is going to come. I find myself hovering over the refresh button on the stats page wondering if today will be the day things start to take off. I have to remind myself to focus on the things I can control. I can’t control how the stats turn out, but I can write another story.

As much as I wish success was something I could will into existence, life seems to point in the opposite direction at every turn. I still hold onto the hope that this article or the next one gets thousands of views on my website and on medium. The hope is there and maybe they will. No one can say for sure. If, however, this breakthrough I picture in my mind is another 200 articles away, I will still be here pounding away at the keys. I decided a few months ago that I was going to write consistently, regardless of the challenges that may show up. I made the promise to stick with it because good things often require you to stick with it for longer than you think you need to. With every poor performing article, I see a glimmer of hope. I create new sentences that I’m proud of. I have an idea that I believe will help at least a few people. I see potential and I see others that have created my dream life. I remind myself that they were once in the same position as I now find myself.

Many of the most successful writers started out under similar circumstances as you and I. They weren’t the best writers in their respective areas. They probably didn’t know how to effectively market an article to reach a large audience. I’m sure they were riddled with their own worries and insecurities. Making it in writing doesn’t require any superpowers. Those that have made it to the top are the same as you and I, they’ve just gone through all the trials, failures, and rejection. They learned as they went and one day, people started to recognize their work.

Being your own number one fan isn’t about telling others how great you are. It’s about balancing compassion for yourself with the drive to keep going when things look like they won’t work. Being your own best friend means working through your doubts and the doubts others try to create for you.

We live in an age where science is king and it is heavily praised, as it should be, but the truth is we still have no idea what human potential is. There are simply too many unknowns. This is all the permission you need to reach for your dreams and create a plan to achieve something others might call impossible. We all may have limits but those limits, if they exist, are much further than many people believe. Just a few months ago, the first sub-2-hour marathon was completed. The record for a marathon 100 years ago was more than 30 minutes slower. That would have been unimaginable at the time. Yet we stand here today and it has happened because a group of people got together and decided they were going to make it happen. Amazing things happen when you dream big, make a plan, and believe you can reach your goal. Every day, there is a new story of someone who made their dream come true. Is it that unrealistic to think you can be one of them? Some may say so, but I don’t think it is.

Your path to your dreams may be the most grueling path you have ever taken, but the rewards at the end are within your reach. You just have to believe in yourself, be your own best friend no matter what happens, and refuse to quit.

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