Do you have a dream that seems like it will never be possible to achieve? Do you spend your days wishing for something that feels outside the realm of possibility for you?
Everyone has big dreams, whether they seem realistic or not.
We all have things that we want and that we’re working hard to achieve. Unfortunately, we often limit the scale of those dreams or tell ourselves that they’re unattainable, and that makes us feel dejected—it makes us want to give up.
That’s why today’s discussion is all about our relationship to our dreams—keeping our dreams alive, and learning to let them fuel us as they develop and change over time.
Dreaming big is not all about getting the exact thing that we want: it’s about how you feel in relationship to the dream and how that dream fuels your behavior and actions.
I used to imagine that I lived in a beautiful penthouse, high in the sky in the middle of a big city. At other times in my life, I would go on runs through magnificent, wealthy neighborhoods and imagine that I lived in one of the mansions I would pass. The problem was that I would also tell myself that these dreams were just fantasies that would never come true. I would think to myself, “You’re not the kind of person who can make money like that. What’s the point of dreaming?”
Now, ten years later, my dreams have shifted: I no longer want a penthouse or a big mansion because that doesn’t fit with the life I’ve created for myself. But that isn’t because I ever gave up on those dreams—it’s because I learned somewhere along the way to let go of the “what” and focus more intently on the “how.”
If every time you think about your dreams, you feel inferior and hopeless, you’re going to get discouraged and give up. More importantly, however, you might never take action toward your other goals.
If instead, you view your dreams as incentive to take bold actions and achieve new things, then you will see growth and personal development as you move toward your goal—even if that goal begins to transform over the years.
Like I said above, I no longer want to live in a penthouse in the sky, but I did get to where I am today (living the exact life I want to be living) because I had that dream and started to work toward it.
As you grow, your dreams will grow along with you . . . and that’s natural! What you need to do is to keep moving and working so that you develop the skills necessary to get you to where you truly belong.
Part of the obstacle in this journey is working past the doubts and fears that live in our minds and keep us from pursuing what we want. So often, we allow our inner critic to win as it exclaims, “You’re not good enough! You’ll never make it!” We listen to the voice, and we submit because it allows us to remain safe and comfortable in our little shell of security.
Fact: success is hard.
In order to create the life you want—to live in the penthouse, to get the spouse of your dreams, to win the perfect job—you’re going to have to do uncomfortable shit. A lot of it.
On the path to success, you’re going to face rejection and fear. You’re going to have to try new things and put yourself out there and take on intimidating leadership roles. You’re going to have to take on more responsibility and have difficult conversations . . . and it’s going to be uncomfortable.
Giving in to that fear may feel safe in the short term, but in the long run, it will leave you feeling depressed and left behind.
So, instead of submitting to your fear of discomfort and tossing your dreams in the trash just because they’re a little lofty, let’s embrace the discomfort and move toward it so that we can start to achieve greatness!
Let’s start by naming the dream right now, even if it sounds absurd and unattainable. What is one of the ultimate goals that feels like an absolute fantasy? Define it clearly and share it below in the comments.
Even if your goal isn’t super dramatic, you should share it so that you can no longer ignore it. You need to start taking steps to get on your own side. Decide here and now that you can achieve great things; that it’s not about your “worth” or “value”—it’s about whether you’re willing to take action and move toward your dreams, step by step, no matter how crazy they might seem.
Don’t worry. This journey is not always about achieving the ultimate goal . . . because that might (and often does) change. It’s all about pressing forward, growing, learning along the way, and ultimately creating the life you want for yourself.
Until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are, and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome.