Pursuing your passion might not be an easy road—but the reward is great once you arrive.

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The people who often inspire us to dream big and follow our passions are the ones who dare to blaze the trail of the unknown, fueled by their dreams.

In a candid interview with Amanda de Cadenet on The Conversation, Lady Gaga said that she dropped out of school at 19 and worked three jobs to support her passion for singing.

What if she’d been too scared to go for it?

Pursuing your passion may not be an easy road. Oftentimes, it’s the hardest thing you will ever do. You question your talents when things don’t go your way. You feel like you’re in a wrestling match with yourself, and you’re losing. But you keep going because you’re fueled by your passion, and you know the reward is great once you get there.

Here are nine ways to help you move forward and say YES to your dreams:

1. Learn to embrace your fears

If you’re scared to do something, it’s a sign you’re headed in the right direction. Recognize that when you have fear, it’s because you’re scared to get out of your comfort zone—and that’s exactly what you must do to grow and stretch yourself. No matter what happens, you will have been better off going for your dreams and not succeeding than if you never tried at all.

2. Surround yourself with positive people who have your back and bring out the best in you

Have you ever heard the saying, “You are the average of the five people you most often surround yourself with”? Make sure to always surround yourself with people who support you and have a bigger vision for you. They will keep you motivated and inspired to keep moving toward your dreams, even when you’re scared and every obstacle stands in your way. Reach out to them when you need them.

3. Stay open and flexible about your vision

It’s important to have a clear vision of where you want to be, but it’s important to also be ready for that vision to change. Whatever idea or vision you start off with can evolve into something bigger than you ever imagined if you just stay open, flexible and don’t get overly attached to any outcome.

4. Network for your dreams

Find people who support you and are on board with your vision. Collaboration, partnership and mentorship will get you further toward your dreams than you ever imagined. Networking is key to getting anywhere you want to go in life, so make sure find and connect with the right people who can help you get to where you want to go. This is not the time to be shy or be afraid to speak up for what you want.

5. Practice radical self-care

It’s sometimes necessary to work even harder toward the pursuit of your dreams, but you can quickly burn out if that’s the only thing you do. Make sure you take the time to care for yourself, including sleeping well, eating a whole foods diet, properly hydrating, keeping a mindfulness practice, exercising and incorporating time for play. Remember that when we take time to enjoy life and what we’re creating, we’re more inspired.

6. Stop asking for permission from anyone

Worrying about what others think will stop many people dead in their tracks and prevent them from living their dreams. Don’t do it. Most dreams that are unconventional and outside of the box are scary to pursue, but if you don’t do it, you’ll always regret it. If you wait for someone to give you permission to do something, you give them power over you and your life.

7. Be grateful for where you are right now

It’s important to be grateful for where you are now on your journey to realizing your dreams. For example, you might be sitting in a job you don’t like, but you can be grateful that it’s helping you pay your bills and fund your vision.

When we cultivate gratitude for where we are in the present moment, it elevates our spirits and leaves us feeling good. And when we’re feeling good inside, we’re in a better state to attract the people and the opportunities that will manifest our dreams.

8. Trust your intuition

Your intuition is the most powerful gateway to getting where you want to go in life. When you silently go inward and learn to connect with your inner voice, you won’t need to struggle to figure out which direction to take.

The hard part is learning to listen to it. Practicing a mindfulness technique like meditation will help you learn to tune out the distractions in life so you can hear the sound of your inner voice and then boldly act on it.

9. Take consistent forward action

No matter what you’re doing now, including that day job that just pays the bills, you need to take consistent action towards your dreams. Remember, Lady Gaga had three jobs to pay her bills while she was pursuing her singing career.

Create an action plan, and take baby steps each day if you have to, but keep moving forward. Often people give up inches before they’re about to reach a major breakthrough in pursuing their dreams. Don’t let that be you.

Eva Werk is a marketer who lives in San Francisco.


  1. Caroline Dowd-Higgins

    Great piece, Eva and the perfect advice for the start of a new year!

  2. Eva Werk

    Thanks Caroline Dowd-Higgins! I really appreciate your support and hope that many people will be encouraged to follow their passion this year.

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  5. Spark Hire

    Great tips! Staying flexible about your career goals is monumental. Often, we picture ourselves at one place in our careers and end up in another–and this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Perhaps this stop on the road is propelling you to where you want to be, or this new opportunity is one that you hadn’t previously imagined, but it’s something you’re quite good at. Be open about your future and where it may lead, and you won’t be disappointed.

    • Eva Werk

      Thank you for the shout out Spark Hire! Our attachment and expectation of the outcome is what keeps us from seeing all of the opportunities for something greater when they arrive. I’ve had many goals that didn’t turn out the way I initially envisioned but because I stayed flexible it opened the doorway to greater things to enter and I realized that the original goal was not in my best interest for growth after all.

    • Adeel Alam

      Very true, Eva!

    • Eva Werk

      Thanks Adeel! Glad you liked it!

  6. 9 Feel-Good Ways to Say YES to Your Dreams | Brazen Life | Good News For A Change | Scoop.it

    […] Pursuing your passion might not be an easy road—but the reward is great once you arrive.  […]

  7. Yarden Avital

    Great article, well written and explained.

    • Eva Werk

      Thanks Yarden! I love that you read it. Please forward to anyone in your network you think will benefit from a dose of inspiration!

  8. Kerry Vogan

    Fantastic article, Eva Werk! This is great advice…All the pertinent pieces. I couldn’t agree more:)

  9. Mukesh Tekwani

    Good article Eva. Thank you for sharing these useful thoughts. I am sharing these with my students. Regards.

    • Eva Werk

      Thanks Mukesh! That’s great that you found the article useful and want to share with your students. That’s exactly why I feel such gratitude when something I write resonates with someone. What is it that you teach?

    • Mukesh Tekwani

      Eva, these articles do a world of good. I teach physics and computer science in a local college here in Mumbai, India. Some of my students have also read your article after I brought it to their notice. Good work. Keep it up! And thanks Eva.

    • Eva Werk

      Thank you for your kind words Mukesh! I’m very happy to hear that your sharing the article with your students. I hope it brings much inspiration to whoever reads it! And thank you for all the good work that you do in the world. It’s a great calling to teach others.

  10. Mary Blackmon

    Thank you for a great article – I appreciate the tips and proud to say that I’m using them as I just launched my new business – holding my breath, but going for it! 🙂

    • Eva Werk

      That’s fantastic Mary! So glad to hear you’re implementing them. What kind of business are you launching?

    • Mary Blackmon

      HI, Eva – launched USA FARM STARS http://www.usafarmstars.com … just last week in fact! 🙂

    • Eva Werk

      That’s awesome Mary! I wish you the best of luck with your venture. Never give up on your dream!

    • Glenn Beckmann

      Mary, I just happened across this article and reading peoples notes which led me to your web sight. It is a great sight and I will be a regular visitor because we are Farmers. Karen, Meghan, Hunter, and I grow Corn, Beans, Apples, Pears, Pumkins, Blackberries (make our own jelly), and next year we’re adding Bee’s to our farm to get our own supply of Honey and increase the production of our crops. Just want to say thank you for having the courage to follow your dream!

  11. Katrina Lerchen

    Helpful and excellent!!!

    • Eva Werk

      Thanks Katrina! I’m really happy to hear that you find it helpful. I would love to hear if there are any recommendations that are particularly useful for you.

  12. Chris Thies

    Great article. I’m glad to say that I’m actively using many of these already, but it is great to have positive reinforcement.

  13. Jessica Rea

    Great article Eva! My favorite is #7 because it’s so easy to get wrapped up in where you want to be, that you can forget to appreciate the lessons at each step along the way. It’s a great reminder!

  14. Sarah Rubenstein

    Wonderful! Thank you for this. I’m enrolled in the Live Your Legend course and it’s wonderful to get the additional support here!

    • Eva Werk

      Thanks Sarah! I’m happy to hear the article is supporting you on your journey to living your passion. Look out for another piece I wrote on discovering your passions. I will post it on the LYL group.

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