If you have discovered your passion and have chosen to have faith in yourself and follow it’s path then I encourage you to also learn how to let go! This step in particular is one of the most difficult ones for me personally. I am a perfectionist, grew up in a church that my great grandfather built, have extremely successful parents and friends, attended Northwestern University and graduated with close to straight A’s and carry around with me almost everywhere that I go a sense of “should be and should do.” I feel sometimes that I should do something more practical, should be making more money, or should be doing this kind of music or that kind of music. The list is endless…but I’m slowing learning that it is nearly impossible to follow your passion unless you can LET GO of the word “should!”
Should! It seems like such a harmless little word. But this one word can kill creativity and passion faster than you can say it. Why is that? Well, it’s because following your passion is almost never the path of least resistance. It involves more risk than most people are willing to accept, which is why very few people have the courage to truly follow their passion. I risked everything when I decided to follow my dream to be a musician. I risked having a 3 figure a year salary, risked having years of work experience right out of college, risked my parents and friends thinking that I was foolish, risked many people thinking that because I was waiting tables at 25 years old, that I wasn’t intelligent or capable of doing something else and the biggest thing that I risked was security, embracing instead the possibility of actually failing at something that I loved. All of these things weigh on your heart and slowly suffocate creativity and joy if you let it.
“Should” also kills passion because it takes the joy out what you are actually doing! When you say to yourself, “Maybe I should be in a more practical career,” you are injecting negativity into the bloodstream of your passion by condemning what you are doing as somehow incorrect. Following your passion requires joy and acceptance of yourself in it’s fullest. There are many many musicians in this world today, and some much more skilled than I, but I come with my unique background, my own thoughts to express in their unique way…and so all my fears, and pain, hopes, beliefs and experiences come together in way that is unique from anyone else on the planet. Following your passion is difficult enough without injecting negativity into it on a daily basis. Let go of all the things you think you should be and instead accept what you are. And let go of all the things you think you “should” be doing and instead accept fully what you have chosen to do and fight for it tooth and nail.