Following your passion: a quest as daunting as it is rewarding

Finding your passion in life, let alone following it, is no easy task. There’s plenty of societal pressure to go around for those who haven’t yet found their ‘one-true passion’. You may have been the sibling with a million and one hobbies, or the one who just couldn’t settle on anything that seemed worth your while–either way, attempting to follow your passion can be as scary as it is fulfilling, but don’t let that fear affect your motivation.

Following your passion is definitely not always as simple as it sounds.“You love it?Go do it!” No matter how many times you hear it (or say it to yourself in a motivational mirror speech), a massive misconception surrounding our ‘passions’ is that they are something we’re supposed to just miraculously find, whereas the reality is passions are developed over time and often face knock-backs.

It can be difficult if your passion is something that’s not necessarily your strong suit. Especially if people have actually told you to your face that you really aren’t any good at it (like all the brutal rejections people have to face time and time again on talent shows). One of the most daunting things about trying to  follow your passion is if what you’re passionate about doesn’t come across as something “aspirational enough” in the eyes of others. We all care about how other people perceive us, it’s simply human nature–so how can we curb that fear of rejection and judgement with regards to, what we believe to be, our passion?

It might be that your passion is something you already know you want to pursue, but feel too intimidated to fully throw yourself into. Fear of failure is something we all face in everyday life; it can be a number of things too, whether that’s moving to a new country, taking a year abroad, joining a new society or chasing your dream career. It gets to the point where you have to ask yourself: “but, what if?”

Set backs are pretty much inevitable in this context. It may be that you begin to pursue one passion, before realising,“what on earth was I thinking?” and coming to the conclusion that maybe it’s not your thing after all. Damage control is going to be necessary Be prepared for the obstacles and recognise when they might become somewhat inevitable. Potential holdups?How about the all too familiar ghosting from companies which you’ve applied for an internship or grad scheme for? Try not to dwell on it.

Luckily, there are plenty of fish (and jobs) in the sea. You’ve started a YouTube channel and received your first negative comment?There is always going to be an obstacle to overcome, and this negativity is an inevitable part of going after what you want. Just remember, don’t let people hold you back from pursuing your passion simply because they never had the courage you have that they blatantly lack. Overcoming set backs as well as mentally preparing yourself for the them in advance will help to keep you on track with pursuing your passion  and chasing the goals. Also, font feel disheartened if you find yourself avidly avoiding challenges and obstacle en route to your dreams of success as this is exactly what psychologists call “emotional intelligence” we humans need assurance that following our passion is worth the trouble, otherwise why on earth would we even bother?In a podcast interview with Mike Rowe, he gave an interesting insight into this topic when saying, “never follow your passion, but always bring it with you…passion isn’t the enemy here, but it’s also not the thing you want pulling the train”.

It’s almost hard to hear this because we do put our passions at the front and centre of our minds, and may be even pursue them somewhat blindly. The key idea to take away from this is to let your passions steer you in different directions until you find an opportunity in which your skillset and mentality will thrive. That’s not to say that your dreams should be dulled, but that playing to your strengths will make this process a hell of a lot easier. No matter how big or small your aspirations may seem, fulfilling them will always be intimidating, but when you’ve achieved them, the rewards are endless!

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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The Student Newspaper 2016