What exactly is stopping you from following your dreams? It's time to seize the day and throw caution to the wind.
For many of us, our lives are littered with regrets over unfulfilled ambitions. We wish we had played in a band, driven across America, made a million, sailed the world. For every person who takes action and does whatever it is he or she wants to do, there are many more of us who keep on dreaming but do nothing. So what is it that stops us from reaching out and grabbing hold of our ambitions? Fear, usually—and the little voice in our head that says we may not be any good. We may not even like it. It’s easier not to try.
I know that voice. By the age of six, I’d told myself I was never going to be good enough to join the circus. I turned my sights to farming, but, after a school project that involved digging up potatoes in the rain, I wondered quite seriously if that was going to make me happy. Ice skating was my next ambition, but the nearest rink was 60 kilometres away and I only got to go once—as a treat for my ninth birthday.
Finally, by the age of 12, I decided on my vocation: I would be an actress. I didn’t really know what an actress was. We didn’t have a TV and I barely ever went to the theatre, so, with no contradictory evidence to undermine me, I sustained my dream. I worked ferociously to achieve it, travelling to London to see plays and forcing my class to do The Taming of the Shrew so that I could play the lead. Through sheer determination, I got into drama school and worked—often for little to no money—on the fringe in repertory theatres and, occasionally, when luck came my way, in mainstream theatres or on TV.