Allowing fear to run the show.
I've always known I wanted to sing professionally, but life experience & maybe too many people telling me it wasn't a "realistic" dream, had my ear for a long long time. I didn't go to college for music & my day job has mostly nothing to do with music. Over the past 10 years, I put all of my energy into my day job because it was paying the bills -- paid off my car loan, my college debt, put food on the table. I was being a responsible adult & with little to no safety net, I felt I had no choice.
My commitment to music was never all-in. Over the years, I'd get frustrated because I wasn't following my soul's mission. I'd start jumping back into music on the weekends, while sharing my newfound courage w/the wrong people. It's only normal to want to share w/your friends & family who you are & what you're becoming. But guess what? If you don't have the right people in your life, you're doomed. Progress would stall out for months & I'd be right back into a lack of fulfillment & desire for life.
The pattern over time was clear: I kept allowing myself to give in to the naysayers & negative thinkers who probably didn't mean to sway me off course, but in the end, cancelled out my courage & inner positive dialogue, which brings me to my next point --
The people in your life make a difference.
I don't come from a long line of entertainers, but some of my family members are profoundly creative in their own ways. I don't currently have a group of friends involved in music -- in fact, my closest friends are the furthest away from the industry, which for a long time, I considered a good thing.
Here's what I know for sure: It's not about your friends or family being in the same industry as you, but that they are chasing their dreams, wherever those dreams are taking them. You truly do end up becoming the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with, so think about who you let in. You might have a friend you don't share your music journey with because you don't think he/she would react in a positive, supportive way. Protect your dream!
Just keep going.
When you feel your head spinning with negative thoughts like: "I'm never going to achieve my dreams." OR "There are so many talented people in this world, what are the odds I'd make it?" That's the time to push yourself even harder. Whether your fear is rooted in success or failure, momentum is what truly drives positive change. If that means creating a schedule & sticking to it, going to live music events or taking a class -- involve yourself in the music community on a regular basis!
If all else fails, contemplate: at the end of this life, what regrets will you have? That's the most powerful line I can give you & one I hope will keep you going when you're questioning your direction. Good luck & keep pushing! You're worth it!