Lifestyle Opinion

My Authentic Journey: Do You Need Drive To Follow Your Passion?

Courtesy Jeannette Dardenne

Experiential stories that revolve around the importance of being authentic to not only yourself but to those around you. After years of never finding the time to ‘stop and smell the roses,’ Jeannette is unearthing many of her passions including writing, fashion, and thrifting through her online blog ‘My Authentic Journey’ (formerly called ‘The Vineyard Life’) – a creative outlet that allows her to share, learn, and grow with others. You can explore more of her stories at @jeannettepdardenne on Instagram or www.myauthenticjourney.com.

By Jeannette Dardenne

What is the one thing that keeps so many of us from following our dreams?

Why do we fear before we try?

And will we one day look back and regret taking steps towards possibility?

Whenever friends, colleagues, and clients ask me how I have started and tried so many different things, I always go back and share that “I do my best to just do” instead of allowing myself to overly think <and rethink> the details.

It’s not always easy, and believe me I have made multiple mistakes along the way. But I have allowed myself to find new opportunities that allow me to investigate my interests.

Here is the thing, the element that I need to have before I can truly move forward is safety. I am pretty risk-averse. Plenty of time and attention is put into ensuring that I have a safety net before I go full in.

And truth be told, I focus first on stability, ease, and low maintenance. And maybe I have never hit it “big” because my fear of failure always jumps in. My drive is always there – but not at the expense of my own happiness. Years ago, I allowed myself to stay in a job that gave me little personal satisfaction for way too long. The business as a whole was not interesting and I found myself lacking any enthusiasm.

I always felt behind the “eight ball.” Never feeling like I had a possibility of true success and continually compared myself with those around me. This experience taught me the importance of focusing on working <aka making money> within a job that gave me personal satisfaction.

And let’s be honest here … it’s pretty insensitive to think that we can all “just choose” a dream career path. But, I do believe that if you can’t be happy where you work, finding some kind of happiness elsewhere is imperative.

Is there one thing that you have dreamed of doing – and have yet to try?

Jeannette Punsoni Dardenne is an entrepreneur who started the popular Facebook group @eatinconnecticut – a community forum that connects foodies and the food and beverage industry for delicious conversations. She and her business partner now together run @eatinconnecticut and INGroup Creative – a public relations and marketing company that helps small businesses thrive. Jeannette is also a business advisor at the University of Hartford Entrepreneur Center & Women’s Business Center. When she isn’t helping others, she enjoys exploring the state and beyond with her husband and two children.

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