This past week I officially started my YouTube channel. I had been postponing starting it for almost three months and, thanks to some hard work and convincing that I do not need high quality equipment to start, I decided to use the old camera I have to shoot a few videos and upload them onto my channel.
I have so far managed to only shoot two videos for the channel, and I’m already planning to shoot more over the course of the following couple of weeks.
The reason I’m writing this is because, during this period of postponing and procrastinating, I realized just how hard it was to start something, especially if that thing is something you regard as important. We make excuses about the equipment we have (or the lack of equipment we have), about how we are not ready, or about how we don’t think people would enjoy our work. In the end, all that this does is keep us from starting and, eventually, reaching our dreams.
Without knowing it, for many of us who have plans to start something, the biggest obstacles we have to face when trying to reach our goals is our own selves. We are our own biggest enemies, and we need to learn how to overcome this dangerous practice before it suffocates our dreams and leaves us wondering what would have happened had we started.
For the past three months, the biggest thing that stopped me from starting my channel wasn’t the fact that I didn’t have the right equipment or that my content wasn’t ready for consumption: it was me. I was my own biggest obstacle and I needed to learn how to stop doubting myself and how to stop making a lot of excuses if I wanted to achieve what I was planning to achieve.
Yes, the quality of the videos I will be producing will not be the kind I wanted to produce in the first place, but that is not what is important. What is important is the fact that I’m doing it. That I am working towards making my dream a reality.
It is only when we learn how to overcome the doubting, when we learn to ignore the excuses that float in our heads, that we are able to get to where we want to go. We need to learn to take the first step, because it is only after taking that step that we will realise that the excuses we have been making and the doubts we have been having mean nothing. Once the first step has been taken, the road towards success starts looking easier, and taking the next step becomes easier too.
I’ve found that the best way to overcome the fears and the doubts we have is to surround yourself with people who aren’t afraid to work towards their dreams. You need to surround yourself with bold people who are not afraid of facing their fears, and only then will you also be able to do the same.
For instance, I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by very bold people in Bloemfontein, and that has helped me a lot. Two friends of mine have always wanted to own a publication in which they will write about the changing art landscape in Bloemfontein. Without waiting for anyone to help them, and without worrying about whether or not they will succeed, they started their online publication, and now it is seen as the fastest growing art publication in the province.
I know that I’m making it sound easier than it is, but nothing worth doing is ever easy. If you want something, if you really want it, you’re going to have to learn to overcome the fears that come with dreaming about a better future for yourself. It’s only the things that we care about that bring us fear, so if you fear doing something, know that it’s because you really care about it; and, because you care about it, you’re going to have to take the first step and do it.
In the end, there’s only one thing you have to do if you want to be successful: that is to get up and do it. And what is nice about just doing it is that after some time, you will find yourself living the dream you’ve always had for yourself. I know it’s cliché to say, but only the brave win. So to win, you need to be brave. SO DO IT!
Tell us: what ‘first step’ have you made, or are planning to make?