Don’t be realistic when it comes to the size of your dream. But be realistic about how fast you can get there, about the necessary steps along the way.  

You’ve found someone who has done what you wanna do, who’s living your dream. You stand in awe as to what they have created, feeling inspired and empowered as you see proof that it’s possible, that they have succeeded. Then you turn around and look at your current reality and you notice the massively wide gap between where you are and what you aspire to achieve. It’s disheartening. 

You have such a big, beautiful vision of the future that you almost can’t bare to look at what you’ve created so far. You hate how it shows with brutal honesty how much still needs to happen before you’ll even get close to your goal.

The thing is, you want that vision. And you want it now. You don’t wanna deal with the fumbling around that is the beginning; you’d much rather turn pro and be a success right away.

You wanna skip the fucking journey, and arrive at the destination already. 

I get it. I’ve been there (like, yesterday).

That’s what happened to me over the course of this summer. I have a big vision for where I want this blog and business to go, what it would feel like, and what I’d be able to do with it once I’ve reached “the destination”.

Whenever I had a look at my current situation, I just couldn’t help but be turned off. “This is not what I want”, I thought “I want it to be more like that (insert business of superhero chica)”. Now what would have been the better thing to do in that moment? It would have been to take an honest look at the gap between our vision and our reality, and start taking action to close that gap. 

Instead, I put down my head in shame, embarrassed as to why my business wasn’t as awesome as superhero chica’s biz. I hated being a beginner and I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. So I procrastinated, and ignored the fact that I had a blog with readers who were expecting new posts.

One summer night my boyfriend and I were having dinner in a tiny hotel restaurant. I fumbled around with my wine glass and looked down at the table while I opened up and shared my frustrations about my business with him. He looked at me with a raised eyebrow and said, “So you want it all, and you want it now. It’s like you’re aiming to be at level 50 when you’re only at level 5. How about you start being okay with where you are and just focus on getting to the next level?”.

Truthbomb, gently dropped. He was right.

So, here’s the lesson:

We can’t expect ourselves to zoom straight to success right from the beginning. If we look at our role models, it took time for them to get to where they’re at now. Instead of being intimidated by their success, we can look to them for inspiration as to how we can move into our own vision, step-by-step. 

It doesn’t make sense to stay in that place of doubt and procrastination, and to resist our current situation. We’ll never get to level 50 if we’re not comfortable looking at our current status at level 5. We just have to figure out how to get to the next level. And then the next. That’s how they’ve done it, too. So trust that you’re right where you need to be, and move forward with courage, celebrating every level along the way.

That’s what I’ll be doing from now on.

To my readers, the old and the new: My apologies for not taking better care of you. I’m so grateful that you’re still hanging out with me. Here’s to climbing to the next level together (that’s gonna involve weekly blog posts again -hooray!).
- Iris

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12 Responses to You can’t skip the fucking journey (& why I haven’t been blogging as much)

  1. MJS says:

    Being stuck is part of the process. Without the pause and challenge, innovation is much more difficult. It sounds like the truthbomb hurt a bit, which I think is really pride stinging a bit, which

  2. Lara says:

    Dear Iris, You don’t know this but I started following you because of your superhero Chica success! You are out there writing the words, many folks are following you and you say it in an engaging and understandable way that speaks to us. (Oh and my corporate leader type black and grey clothing boyfriend DOES wear those amazing socks!) We women can be ridiculously hard on ourselves and those people you are emulating do it too. Thank you for having the guts to tell us about it.

    Take a look at a book called “The Slight Edge”. That really helped me put into perspective the need to do that journey.

    Looking forward to more!

    Lara

  3. Bridget says:

    Hi Iris wow! I just fingered you were busy not having a tug-of-war! I have surrounded myself with people who seek my path…I joined live your legend with Scott Dinsmore…then I started liking blogs and writing to their writers to keep building my supporters. I am only at crawling stage…remember the psychologist Erickson and his stages go growth…well I combine that with Chris Guilleabeau and Tim Ferris ideas and the positive stays longer…be kind to yourself…you have so many great passions and I have your sock manifesto printed in my 15year old daughters room…you are inspiring her as an artist and writer. Sincerely Bridget.

  4. Christina says:

    OMG this is fantastic! I have a feel that you’re going to start taking those stairs 2 at a time. Way to be transparent! Loved it!

  5. Annika S says:

    Hi Iris, welcome back!
    I can totally identify with your experience, every few months or so I have a breakdown because I’m so frustrated by my lack off progress, especially with all the uber-successful ppl around me. In times like this its so good to have someone that can tell you your truth. It will take time, and that’s OK.
    My most recent approach to ending frustration is this: every day I write out my goals, what I want to achieve. And (almost) every day I take action towards that goal. But I never set a time limit fotr any of the goals, not anymore. I simply trust that so long as i do the work, the results will follow. This approach allows for a lot more peace of mind, don’t you think?

  6. Lindy says:

    Thank you boyfriend for the gently dropped truthbomb and thank you Iris for sharing… I know, but it’s too f*cking difficult to stay stuck in a situation where you know you it can be done (others did it too, right?) and you know you have or are capable of obtaining the skills to create that too (you’re smart, right?), it’s just nowhere near here yet (and you deserve it as you’ve worked so damn hard for it, right?). Right?
    Good luck with your new-found spirit, because you will totally get there if you keep aiming for it. I’ll join you :-)

  7. Nick says:

    Iris,

    There’s a favourite saying by my favourite author, Haruki Murakami, who’s also a marathon runner: “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.”

    I guess we all go through these phases – running/driving through our own journeys with bumpy road, often not having any reason to keep going on… But I guess it’s as you said in this article – how do we get to the next level, and trust that we’re doing alright with the path we’ve chosen.

    All the best and keep blogging! ;)
    Nick

  8. sheryloc says:

    I’ve just started to read your blog this summer and liked it enough to bookmark it. I never bookmark anything which tells you that you’ve connected with another reader. Just today I started reading a book by Brené Brown, DARING GREATLY, that encourages us to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly and courageously. Learn to love yourself at level 5 and through all the levels toward level 50 and beyond.

  9. Ashley Hook says:

    Oh I love this so very much. I too have felt that I wanted to fast-forward through the lessons and the journey to arrive at the sparkly, pretty, everything-I’ver-ever-wanted destination. But *sigh* these things take time…and dedication.

    I’m excited to see where you are in 2, 3, 5 years!

    You go girl.

    xo Ashley

  10. Gayle says:

    I like to think of those “stuck” moments as a chance to look at what I’ve done so far and how to move forward. My mom called this “growing pains”. :) You are going to be a huge success and yes, I would also like to see where you are in 2,3 5byrs time. Keep at it and stay strong!

  11. You have written a great post here. It is difficult to feel what it is like to achieve the end result because we have not been through the steps in between that have created first of all the vision and which secondly makes the next step and the end goal more believable and achievable.

    These goals will take time and effort. It is like playing an instrument. You cannot start playing the piano today and expect to be playing in a concert the next day. But you will gradually get better and better with practice and eventually achieve your goal.

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